By Pablo Vargas |

'Sea of Stars' is one of those wonderful, surprising and incredible exceptions to the rule that make the video game industry great, a jewel inspired by classic role-playing games and combining them perfectly with a modern design, to pay homage to the golden age of gaming. JRPG, and at the same time, forges its own path with innovative brilliance that sets new standards in the genre and stands on its own as one of the greatest indie games ever made.

Sea of Stars: a masterpiece with all its letters

From the first moment we put our hands on the control and see the loading screen of 'Sea of Stars', it is evident that it is an intimate, spectacular work and made with love. Its hand-crafted pixel art style is a nostalgic nod to the past, evoking fond memories of great classics of yesteryear, with an obsession with detail in every pixel, filled with beautifully lush environments and character animations that bring the game to life. game world in a visually captivating and emotionally resonant way.

The majestic setting of each setting that we travel through in our adventure, are a faithful testimony of the impressive work that can be achieved with pixel art, perfectly combining nostalgia with modern innovation and turning 'Sea of Stars' into a symphony of color. , light and detail, which does nothing but go up and up in each scenario, leaving the bar higher and higher, constantly surprising us along the way with truly emotional and majestic landscapes.

Every environment and detail in the game is not only meticulously designed, but also completely alive, evoking deep feelings of wonder as we traverse vibrant forests of autumnal reds, intricate caves and ancient ruins, to the natural beauty of waterfalls. and shimmering corals of a beautiful mountain, full of details and secrets, in a mesmerizing dance of pixels, bringing the world to life and immersing players in a wonderfully beautiful visual tapestry that is both nostalgic and fresh.

And it is that the obsession for detail that 'Sabotage Studio' has had is truly amazing and key in guaranteeing absolute immersion in the game, from the way our gadgets shine in the dark -projecting shadows in real time-, the sensation height and depth when we are walking a rope on a mountain, the fluid animations of the NPC's in the markets or taverns, even the small change in the musical atmosphere as the day turns into night, it is something that has turned us upside down. in the wonderful world they have created.

The influence and echoes of both masterpieces such as'Chrono Trigger', 'Breath of Fire', 'Final Fantasy VI', 'Secret of Mana', 'Dragon Quest' y 'Golden Sun' it's something that 'Sea of Starsdoes not deny, but rather, like a student looking with love, respect and pride on his teacher, he reverently embraces the spirit of these legendary titles, while boldly creating his own narrative through innovative combat mechanics that embrace the well-known turn-based battle approach, but adds a successful system of timed attacks, defenses and abilities, as if it were a "parry", to inject a dose of life, addiction and adrenaline to the genre, like never before.

A combat system and gameplay that set a new standard in the genre

I have no doubt that its developers -just like this humble servant- grew up pressing the 'X' button left and right as soon as they played RPGs in their childhood, mistakenly believing that with this, it would be possible to increase the damage and vulnerability of the attacks, or rest the effects and increase the defense against the attacks of our enemies. And for this reason, they decided to make this urban myth come true, and incorporate into 'Sea of Stars' the possibility of performing spectacular atacks and timed defenses, which if we touch the 'X' button at the right moment, will increase the damage, healing or hits, as well as mitigating enemies' attacks and abilities, significantly reducing damage.

The gameplay is a perfect blend of turn-based combat and real-time action, where battles are an orchestrated ballet of tactical prowess and precise timing, demanding both strategic thinking and quick reflexes, where enemies have a turn counter before to attack us -and that keeps running while we are thinking about our attacks-, so we must think critically and quickly about our movements, as well as the appropriate type of damage that will have to be inflicted to break their defenses before a special attack, providing an element additional strategy and adrenaline that keeps us involved all the time in dynamic and highly addictive combat sequences.

And again, contributing its own essence, with a magic point regeneration system that changes the rules of the genre for the better, by establishing an interesting balance between the traditional system of using basic attacks and special abilities that consume magic points (MP). , but allowing each time we make a normal attack, we can recover magic points, while a 'Combo' bar is charged with the attacks we make, and that when executed, it does not consume magic points.

This provides another degree of strategy in the game, since when leveling up, we must choose if we want to invest in our experience points (Life, Magic, Physical Damage, Magic Damage), adjusting to the style of play of each player (a ), and that in our case, we have taken advantage of initially focusing on physical damage, to spend magic points at the start of the fight, quickly regenerate magic -and incidentally do physical damage-, charge the combo bar in parallel (which does not consumes magic points), in order to recharge abilities in the middle and end of the fight against final bosses.

All this, equally combined in a perfectly designed and intuitive control system that is quickly adjusted to experts in the genre, as well as those who are taking their first steps in the RPG, integrating the traditional action of role-playing games and fusing platform elements. and even an sense of open world, to create an innovative and comprehensive gaming experience, in which we can explore, jump platforms, solve interesting puzzles, go through dungeons, climb structures, swim and loot chests, fish and even cook different recipes to improve our statistics, contributing with intelligence, a completely fresh air to the genre.

A wonderful and powerful story that we can never forget

The musical score, composed by the Yasunori Mitsuda, the master mind behind the iconic melodies of 'Chrono Trigger', is a captivating charm and a cherry on the cake that cannot be missed. Like other celebrated works of the genre, 'Sea of Stars' masterful soundtrack weaves seamlessly into the game, infusing emotion, depth and atmosphere into every scene.

From hauntingly beautiful melodies during moments of reflection to adrenaline-pumping tracks during intense and epic battles, music isn't just a backdrop; is a living entity that guides players through the ups and downs of the narrative, evoking nostalgia and instilling wonder, but most of all, seamlessly weaving an amazing story that has captivated us from start to finish.

And it is that beyond its innovative combat system, its spectacular visual impact, its masterful soundtrack, 'Sea of Stars', would simply remain as a beautiful tribute for nostalgia and memory, if it had not been for a wonderful story , which pays tribute to the archetypes of the genre, but masterfully writes its own path, in a story that has us immersed from beginning to end with the fate of its characters. And here, without a doubt, is where 'Sabotage Studio' gets the 10 and scores the final goal.

There is so much we would like to say, but we want those who are going to enjoy this true masterpiece to do it the same way we did: without knowing anything, beyond the basics, because without spoilers, the plot of 'Sea of Stars' is simply an anthology; A symphony of prophecy, sacrifice and heroism, centering on two young boys destined to save the world from an encroaching darkness that leaves an indelible mark for a lifetime, with a story that strikes a chord and stirs the heart.

A narrative that weaves a wonderful story of friendship, honor, sacrifice and epic adventure, with a cast of truly unique and memorable characters that establish from the first moment, a magical and immediate connection, making you really care and care for them, even through a story that never falls and that will make you laugh and cry in equal parts, with a truly emotional and impressive climax, that has touched and burned us to the bone, as few games in our life have.

At the end of the journey...

'Sea of Stars' is not just a game; it is a testament to the artistry and passion that can be put into game development. 'Sabotage Studio' rose to the challenge of modernizing pixel art, infusing it with contemporary technology to create a visually stunning and emotionally resonant universe. Like a student equal to their teacher, they not only pay homage to the classics that inspired their work, but also learn from their mechanics and storytelling prowess, to create an unrivaled experience that transcends the screen, captures the imagination, and touches the heart.

His harmonious combination of innovation, homage, and emotion catapults him into the ranks of the best independent video games we've ever seen. With stunning visuals, an emotional narrative, and gameplay that pays homage to the past while pushing the boundaries of the present, 'Sea of Stars' is a shining testament to the enduring magic of RPGs and an incomparable masterpiece that will be remembered. for generations to come.

'Sabotage Studio' has created a timeless gem that not only pays homage to the classics of yesteryear, but also establishes itself as a modern legend in its own right and shines like a radiant beacon that not only makes it one of the best indie video games of history, but also a true masterpiece that, with its own merits, rises to the Olympus of video games and establishes itself as one of the best RPGs ever created.

Today, 'Sea of Stars' officially becomes the first independent video game in the history of Revista Level Up -with more than 400 reviews written in 10 years of existence-, the 12th title to obtain a perfect rating, joining to 'The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt', 'Red Dead Redemption 2', 'The Last of Us', 'Age of Empires II', 'God of War: Ragnarok', 'Chrono Trigger', 'Metal Gear Solid', 'TLOZ: Ocarina of Time', 'Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis', and 'TLOZ: Tears of the Kingdom', in the Olympus of video games that have obtained a rating of 10/10 and enters the 'Hall of Fame' of Revista Level Up

'Sea of Stars', The gaming gods salute you.

Welcome to the Olympus of video games. 

Final note: 10/10

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