Silent Hope

 Silent Hope is a dungeon-crawling Action-RPG by Marvellous and XSeed Games centered in the setting of Rune Factory and Story of Seasons. With the comfortable woods of Mineral Town behind me, I eagerly exchange my pitchfork for… another pitchfork?

  In a land devoid of voice, you play as one of seven silent heroes, led by a Princess trapped in a crystalline tear. Your mission is to journey into an ever-changing Abyss of monsters and darkness, find the King who dwells within, and rescue the kingdom from the curse of silence. You’ll need the assistance of your comrades in arms, as well as enough food to fill a banquet hall and recipes to fill an encyclopedia.

From the start, you can choose from Wanderer, Archer, Warrior, Caster, Rogue, Farmer, and Fighter. Each has a basic attack with the A button, a dash-type moving ability with the R button, two healing potions with the L button (which are refilled with each new dungeon run), and three powers with the B, Y, and X buttons. There’s no need to feel trapped by your initial choice because you can easily move between classes to determine what works best for you. I began with the Farmer, armed with a pitchfork and poisonous butterflies, to get a feel for the playstyle before switching to Warrior, Fighter, and Rogue for something a little more recognizable.

Dungeons are played in an isometric format, with a different layout generated each time you enter. Some levels contain barriers that must be cleared before moving on to the next level; others have a small enclosed arena with waves of enemies that must be eliminated (a Monster Rush). A number in the lower right corner indicates the floor you’re on and how many there are in total for that section of the Abyss. You’ll also see a few icons appear on different floors, indicating different types of monster encounters or where you can discover a crystal to return to camp or transfer characters. The most crucial icon, however, is the one that resembles a campfire. 

When you fall victim to a savage sheep or a ninja weasel with a loud boom, or wish to restart further into the dungeon, campfires serve as checkpoints. If you die in battle, you will lose some of your loot and be evicted from the dungeon, returning to camp. This is where you may enhance your gear, prepare supplies, and cook food. Loot drops for weapons and accessories work similarly to recipes. You still need to gather the necessary elements to manufacture the drops you locate. You have the atelier to create materials, the workshop to treat wood, and the blacksmith to make the equipment once all of the resources have been acquired. In addition to gradually strengthening your gear, you’ll need to cook meals to grant momentary advantages that can make a big difference in your playstyle. 

This game has been a lot of fun to play and I hope that you can try it out sometime in the future ! 

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