New Game Review

AVARIAvs Hands-on at Play NYC

PvP with an old school RPG twist.

Today was the first day of the indie gaming conference Play NYC at the historic Hammerstein Ballroom and what a day it was. The best part about indie gaming developers is that they aren’t afraid to dive into something new. Juncture Media is taking one of these risks to bring us AVARIAvs, a Final Fantasy inspired turn-based combat PvP game.

AVARIAvs is a 1v1 party turn based combat game that pits players against one another in either online or local play. Each player will control a party of three characters in head-to-head combat. Players choose their attacks simultaneously in a time round of selection.  Local players will play with a vertically split screen, while online players will have fullscreen. Each party chooses their attacks at the same from a familiar lower-third style menu. One would assume that being able to view your opponent’s screen would be advantageous, but AVARIAvs moves too quickly to observe and analyze your opponent’s moves.

As the match progresses, characters level up and grant players the chance to upgrade a single skill for the remainder of the match. What makes AVARIAvs different from other PvP games is the level progression system. There isn’t one. Players get to customize their parties with different characters and equipment that grant different skills that can evolve through each battle. As a result, it completely eliminates the unbalanced nature of PvP games based on level progression. Higher leveled characters will always have an advantage over newcomers making the game less accessible to beginners. Juncture Media’s new system eliminates this and makes it possible for either player to win, with the only advantage over the competition being game familiarity.

It’s a sad thing to see fewer and fewer turn-based combat games out there, but AVARIAvs has found a way to make it fresh and exciting all over again. In fact, the game’s combat system forces you to move so fast that it never feels like you’re waiting for action to take place like some of the more classic JRPGs.

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Each pre-built class has a unique strategy to its combat giving the AVARIAvs player plenty of ways to customize and experiment with new character combinations, providing players over two hundred thousand possible combinations to master.

My colleague and I only had the chance to play one very confusing round but it was an absolute blast. I will be rushing back to Juncture Media’s booth to get another stab at it. You can be sure to find more AVARIAvs content here in the future.

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Boston born turned typical Brooklyn hipster with too much beard and too little time, trading off sleep for the chance to test his patience with the most frustrating games. From Dark Souls to The Witness to ironman Xcom playthroughs; if it offers a challenge, it’s on his list. When he’s not hiding in the mountains, editing music tracks, or pretentiously talking about craft beer, you’ll find him replaying the Bioshock, Mass Effect, or Souls franchises.

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