[PS4] Jotun: Valhalla Edition Review
Thunder Lotus Games went to Kickstarter in the summer of 2014 with a modest goal of only $50,000. By the end of the campaign the team achieved an extra $14,000 and smashed the New Game+ stretch goal. Jotun has now made it to PlayStation 4 as Jotun: Valhalla Edition. How did the game transition to the PS4? Come read our Jotun: Valhalla Edition review!
Jotun, which is pronounced Yotun, is the story of Thora who died an inglorious death. She must prove herself worthy of entering Valhalla, which is the Norse version of heaven. Thora must do this by completing a series of Viking challenges of purgatory. If she succeeds, then the Gods will open the way for her to enter Valhalla. During her trials, she will have to travel to many locations, collecting runes and fighting the gigantic and fearsome Jotun and other giant enemies based on well-known Norse Mythology.
When I first booted up, I was really impressed with the art style. The game is hand-drawn, and the color palette and attention to detail are incredible. Once Thora reaches the bridge, the game pans out so you can see the whole area and it really is a very pretty sight.
Each level is split into three sections. For two of them you can come and go as you please, and once you explore those sections and come across a rune, you will open up a new area, which contains a battle to fight. The main focus of the game is on exploration and not in combat, giving us a game that is more relaxed right before the big fights.
During the epic boss battles, the way to success is learning their attack patterns and weaknesses – oh, and always use your heavy attacks for best results. The battles are short and sweet, and you can knock most of them out in under 10 minutes. The Jotun bosses are so big that the game has to zoom out, making you look tiny on the screen.
One thing I have learned when playing the game is that the exploration sections in a way prepares you for the battles with the Jotuns. For example, in the area leading up to the battle with the forest Jotun, you will have to chop away tree branches and anything that pops up from underground, a mechanic which you will be utilizing during your battle of the forest Jotun. A new mechanic will be introduced to you, and you will learn to utilize it before facing off against the next Jotun.
Should you run low on your health, there are Mimir fountains that will grant you full health. There are also statues to find that will grant you powers from the Gods – there are six in total. One of them is Loki’s Decoy which is a power that grants disguises. You can create a clown of yourself as a decoy to distract your enemies, and it also explodes. Then there is Odin’s Sphere which grants Thora the power of Odin’s legendary sphere which deals massive amounts of damage. There are also other collectibles to find such as the golden apples that will extend Thora’s life bar so taht she can withstand more damage.
The length of the game is short but a lot of fun. The hand-drawn graphics are incredible, and the level of polish is very pleasing. My favorite part was the orchestrated music in the background – I found it to be quite relaxing. Playing the game for my Jotun: Valhalla Edition review was a great time, and I’ll be giving it another go soon. Unfortunately for me, the game’s Platinum trophy is something I probably won’t be able to get becasue there’s several very challenging trophies in this list such as the speedrun trophies for which you’ll have to do perfect boss battles.
This review is based on a PS4 copy of Jotun provided by Thunder Lotus Games.