Tails of Iron from United Label and Odd Bug Studio is a challenging but fun 2D hand-drawn action RPG in which you must fight to restore your kingdom. Learn more in our Tails of Iron review!
Tails of Iron from United Label and Odd Bug Studio, who previously gave us the charming The Lost Bear on PlayStation VR, is a challenging but fun 2D hand-drawn RPG in which you must fight to restore your kingdom. You play as Redgi, heir to the Rat Throne, and must fight against the evil forces of Greenwart, ruler of the Frog Clan. He burned everything on his path to the Crimson Keep, taking advantage of the King’s old age and the uncertainty of the kingdom’s subjects to strike at their heart. The game’s story is told with cutscenes that feature a narrator’s voice or that have the characters on the screen interact with each other by way of speech balloons with images.
You’ll move Redgi with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the X button and attacking with the R1 button for a one-handed melee attack or the R2 button for a more powerful two-handed melee attack. You can sheath your weapon by pressing up on the D-Pad, equip your one-handed weapon by pressing left, or the two-handed weapon by pressing right. You can zoom in and out of the action with the right analog stick to get a better look at things. Your ranged weapon can be fired with the Triangle button, as you aim by pressing the L2 button and using the right analog stick.
Once you’re ready to go for the kill, you can execute your opponent by pressing in on the right analog stick. You can dash with the Circle button or do a roll by pressing the button twice so that you can prepare your counterattack. There’s also the option of blocking by pressing the L2 button, and you can parry an attack by pressing the L2 and R2 buttons at the same time. The Square button will be for interacting with objects or characters, and you’ll be able to check your map by pressing the Touchpad on the DualShock 4. If you need to heal your wounds, you can do so by pressing the L1 button, as long as you have enough ale in your flask.
There are plenty of options to customize Redgi’s equipment loadout. Each item will add to his overall defense, frog resistance, mazi resistance, mole resistance or grub resistance, increase his one-handed, two-handed weapon, or long-range weapon damage, all while also increasing the overall weight that Redgi has to carry, which will affect his mobility. You will also be able to work on recipes that you’ll gain as you progress through the game.
The first one will be given to you by the chef, who is also Redgi’s brother when you sit down to eat. It’s a simple recipe that will require that you find water, roots, and some berries, which can easily be obtained from the basement near the kitchen. Once you have all items, just press the X button, and you’ll be served a feast. There are four meals to find, with two being story-related and two being optional. Food is not the only thing for which you’ll be able to find recipes. There are also blueprints to find during your journey, which will allow your other brother, the blacksmith, to craft you some new weapons, helmets, shields, and other pieces of equipment so that you can slowly make some progress towards becoming the new leader that the Rat Kingdom needs in these desperate times.
There are quests for you to complete, which will reward you with gold coins or items. Just check the board to see if there are any quests up for grabs, confirm you accept the quest – after carefully reading what you need to do – and then go and complete that particular objective. Once you’ve taken on a quest, the game will kindly point you in the right direction by placing a marker on your map so that you know where you need to go. For example, the first quest will ask that you use the training dummy to learn all of the basics for battles.
It’s thanks to this (mandatory tutorial) quest that you’ll learn that regular attacks can be blocked with your shield but that red attacks are unblockable and must, therefore, be dodged with the Circle button. You will also learn about yellow attacks, which can be parried when you press the L2 and R2 buttons at the same time within the proper window of opportunity so that you can then take advantage of the situation and attack. Some attacks are so powerful and deal damage over an area that you’ll have to dodge roll by quickly pressing the Circle button twice.
The game will ease you into things by featuring all of the above during the starting tutorial when you’re able to fully equip Redgi with a weapon, a shield, a heavy but durable helmet, and a proper set of armor. Once you beat the eldest of your brothers in battle and right before the King grants you the throne, that’s when the evil Frog Clan attacks, killing the King and everyone else on their path. You barely survive and must rescue your brothers, collect resources and new items that will allow you to grow stronger so that you can take on the Frog Clan and their leader and restore the Rat Kingdom to its former glory.
The trophy list for Tails of Iron is split into 10 Bronze trophies, 10 Silver trophies, and 6 Gold trophies, which means that this one has a Platinum trophy for you. On top of this, the even better news is that none of the trophies are missable! You can work on some of the non-story-related trophies along the way if you want to, but once you complete the game, you can go back and explore all areas to work on any of the trophies that might not have popped. Depending on your skills and how you perform in battles, you should be spending around 8-10 hours or so working on the Platinum trophy for this one. As long as you save at all of the spots with a blue lamp over them, you won’t lose much progress when you’re defeated.
Tails of Iron is a fun and challenging 2D hand-drawn action RPG that is a must-play on PlayStation 4. It offers a solid adventure that should take you 8-10 hours to 100% based on your skill level. Every location that you visit is full of life, with an atmosphere that helps to elevate this experience. The DualShock 4’s Light Bar will let you know how much health you have at all times so that you can quickly heal your wounds before it’s too late. Add a Platinum trophy with no missable trophies, and this is an easy one to recommend. Tails of Iron is out on PlayStation 4 with a $24.99 asking price.
This Tails of Iron review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by United Label.