RWBY: Arrowfell, the Metroidvania-style video game adaptation lovingly crafted by WayForward and Arc System Works, was recently released, giving fans of the long-running series a solid experience that puts them firmly in the boots of Team RWBY’s leading ladies. Players are presented with an in-canon story, perfected side-scrolling and platforming action, and the ability to switch between all four Huntresses on the fly, each providing a different combat experience.
The developers have stated that the story takes place ‘in-canon story set during RWBY Volume 7’, so RWBY fans should have no problem there. After the fall of Beacon, Team RWBY traveled to Atlas and continued their training to become Huntresses. Their first mission is to investigate strange Grimm sightings at the summit north of the city Mantle.
Besides the main story involved there, Team RWBY can take on nice side quests for NPCs, such as returning a valuable book to a record keeper, or delivering a pickaxe to a miner, all of which either help complete other side quests, or give other benefits, such as money or skill points. The characters are interesting, and seeing the team interact with them is always a fun time.
Coming from WayForward and Arc System Works, of course the art is going to be incredible. The characters are expressive, the landscapes are intricately designed, and the enemies are just as imposing as ever. The small cutscenes presented employ still images where the characters’ expressions change, and even the NPCs are given charm and personality, but the full cutscenes are straight from RWBY, which makes sense because the team who made the show worked on them.
The audio work is superb. The still image cutscenes just have the girls saying single lines, such as ‘What?’ or ‘Hmm’, but the full cutscenes are fully voiced. The sound effects are just as well made, with each step and slash adding the right impact to battles. The music as done by RWBY originals Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams, who also created an original theme song for the game.
It’s a WayForward game, the game development company that mastered the Metroidvania style of platforming and combat. Players can choose their next destination on a map of Atlas, and with some 25 areas to explore, there is plenty to do. Each member of Team RWBY plays differently, and not just with their choice of combat. While Ruby can swing her scythe and Weiss can slash her sword, their Semblances set them apart as well. Ruby can dash in air, and Weiss can create a platform, both of which help in both combat and platforming navigation.
Players will navigate side-scrolling maps and pass from one room to the next. It’s not simply moving left to right, there are different paths to take, some more hidden than others, which will require careful jumps and dashes to reach. Platforming puzzles can be tricky, but careful use of RWBY’s Semblances will see them cleared quickly enough. Besides Ruby’s dash and Weiss’ platform, Belladonna can form a ‘kagemusha’, a shadow clone, that can both attack in time with the player, and stand on platforms to open doors, and Yang’s mighty punch can dole out damage and break down some walls.
Combat rewards careful and considerate fighters. Rushing into an enemy will only result in losing HP, which is only regenerated with HP pickups or items that can be bought from the traveling merchant. Even touching an enemy, such as mistiming a jump and landing on them, will knock the character backward and result in lost HP. For those curious, yes you can be pushed out of rooms with an ill-fated launch by an enemy.
Passing from room to room will respawn everything, from enemies to crates, and hanging torches, both of which can be hit for money, hearts, or HP orbs. Players start out with three hearts, which are consumed when the HP bar runs out, giving them three additional hits to either win the fight, or find new HP orbs to replenish the HP bar.
RWBY: Arrowfell, is a remarkably fun game. Fast-paced action, thoughtful platforming and navigation, and RPG mechanics such as increasing character stats with skill points, and a fun cast of characters. Even those unfamiliar with RWBY may find themselves thoroughly enjoying the experience. This game is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
©Arc System Works, WayForward, Rooster Reeth
Anime Corner was provided a review copy of RWBY: Arrowfell.