This is one of those tough ones where I can’t outright fault the key elements of the game design, but I also can say some of the choices in implementation brought it down a bit for me. Working in the mold of a classic 16-bit adventure, you’ll play as a young girl who gets caught up as someone able to operate in both the everyday and spirit worlds. I do appreciate the attempt to flesh out a story tied to her grandmother who had passed a year before, but the story to gameplay ratio in the first hour or so is pretty brutal and it just felt like the same objectives could be accomplished with a tighter script. Throw in movement from objective to objective often being multiple screens where you face the same repeated enemies and there don’t feel like many, if any, rewards for taking the time to explore anything or even engaging in combat and it has a tendency to drag a bit between major battles and beats. Arietta isn’t necessarily a bad title, it has plenty going for it, just up against much more engaging titles on the system it comes up a bit short.
Justin Nation, Score: