Titan Souls is waiting for the planets to slide into alignment then shooting your arrow at one of Neptune’s moons just before they misalign fractions of a second later.
Titan Souls is a game of perception and patience. It’s also a game that made me flip off the screen as a victory pose more times than any other I can recall. There are no other enemies to slake one’s ever growing bloodlust upon along your path to fight a particular boss; only the shameful march through a lonely landscape as you return to an enemy’s roost. The titular Titans are your singular focus; this elicits a strong feeling of ire for the thing that keeps shaming you. It builds up a wall of impossibility that you chip away at until you find its weak-point and topple it altogether.
Titan Souls, much like the game it is inspired by, builds compunction and unease with each victory, but its effect is attenuated by virtue of standing in the colossal shadow cast by that inspiration itself. It wears its heart on its sleeve and is damn proud of it being there.
The bosses you fight are varied and interesting. I found little frustration in taking them on; mostly I would be initially befuddled about what to do but, after a few deaths, plans and patterns would emerge.
The minimalist approach to Shadow of the Colossus reaches beyond the graphics. Your not climbing towering behemoths in protracted battles; if you know the trick, many of the fights can be over within seconds of them starting. This does bilk some of the grandeur away from the proceedings; however, the simplified nature doesn’t make things easy. The streamlined controls and flattened perspective let Acid Never make the fights very demanding. While this is a game of patience, you will still need some swift reflexes to pull off the killing blow.
Titan Souls is standing on the tracks while a train barrels towards you. You have the tool to stop it, but it will not work unless you use it at the perfect moment. Usually the moment right before the train kills you.
You arrow is not a binary device: you have to charge it. You can give it a quick toss, but the result is limp and useless; thankfully, a full charge does not take long to complete. Once loosed, you must retrieve the arrow. You can draw it towards you by holding in the fire button, but the act locks you in place while you call to it. Sometimes it is far more prudent to just run over to it. However, you can also weaponize the arrows return trip (this is as badass as it sounds).
The pixel art style is deftly executed. Temples and statues show clear evidence of symmetry, but it’s often broken by encroaching nature or dilapidated structure. This too is borrowed from Shadow of the Colossus. That does not stop me from enjoying it.
I feel like I would be more critical towards this game if we were not so far removed from the original release of Shadow. As is, with my hunger for someone to take up that torch, I can’t get enough.
Titan Souls is a wonderful game, even if it is a copy of something done before.