|Paintverse - Into the Spirit Realm|
|Genre(s)||Action/Beat 'em Up/Platformer/Adventure|
|Predecessor||Paintverse - Just the start!|
|Successor||Paintverse - Abstract Void|
|Release Date(s)||October 21, 2019|
Paintverse - Into the Spirit Realm is the sequel to Paintverse - Just the start! made by Dreams Inc, the game was released for the Starry Skies in 2019 after a port of the original for the Starry Skies in 2017.
Unlike the first game, the story is separated in multiple chapters and can be found here: Paintverse - Into the Spirit Realm/Story
The game is similar to the original's system, in which you traverse through lands and fight enemies in a somewhat simple Beat 'em Up-like combat system with pretend RPG elements, however many elements are made more complex, the new features include:
Areas and Bright Crystal Shards
Instead of a simple level-to-level system like in the first game and in Paintverse - Seraphina, the game uses an "Area" system, you can warp to different Areas which work as big worlds to explore and complete missions, similarly to games such as Super Mario 64 but slightly more non-linear, some areas are interconnected with each other but most are far apart, however you can connect areas together in order to make going from area to area slightly easier. The game also has a hubworld, "Burushia Main Plaza", where one can find all sorts of shops and NPCs.
The main reason to explore areas is to find "Bright Crystal Shards", each Area has a certain amount of Bright Crystal Shards which must be collected to reform a Bright Crystal, though you don't need to find all of the Bright Crystal Shards in every Area in order to win the game, they can be collected for 100% completion or just for fun, Bright Crystal Shards can be found hidden in specific parts of Areas, be given as rewards for completing tasks or be found by completing special missions.
The Combat System is probably the biggest overhaul, while it remains very similar to the original in many aspects, it's been heavily expanded with new combos, abilities and probably the biggest change: "Types", there are 3 Types in the game, these 3 Types are all used by Sketch, who can switch between each Type with the simple press of a button:
- Hand-to-Hand Type: The first Type the player learns, Hand-to-Hand involves the use punches and kicks, which can be done in chain with more ease without the weight of carrying a weapon. Sketch can also "Weave" while in Hand-to-Hand Type to switch his weight and move his body either left, right or back to dodge attacks and strike in open spots.
- Close-Range Weapon Type: The second Type the player learns, Close-Range W. Type involves the use of, well, a close-range weapon, like a club or a blade. Sketch, in this Type, wields Pincelle as a mix of both, as he swings it like a sword but in many combo finishers and heavy attacks he swings it like a club, while Sketch is in this type he can "Parry" to counter attacks and stun the opponent, leaving him defenseless.
- Projectile Weapon Type: The third Type the player learns, shortly after Close-Range W. Type, Projectile Weapon Type is exactly what the name implies, Sketch wields Pincelle as a gun and can fire multiple different elemental blasts in different ways, as well as squirt paint to paint surroundings and create puddles for enemies to slip on or traps such as puddles of electric paint to shock foes.
Rapidly switching between Types to create even bigger combos is the key to mastering Paintverse - Into the Spirit Realm's Combat System.
Each character in the game has a POW Bar, a small gauge divided in 3 halves, every time they take damage the POW Bar rises a little, once an entire half is filled it can either be spent on a temporary massive boost on Speed, Attack and Defense, a health refill, or an energy blasts shot directly in the direction the player is facing that does small damage but pushes enemies back and stuns them. The amount of halves you have filled up change the power of the boosts, the range of the energy blast and the amount of health refilled, however if you fill it all you can also waste it all for a super powerful attack to take out tons of enemies, this super powerful attack is known as a "POWverload" and while you only start with one, as you go along you gain more and more POWverload attacks.
Platforming and Sprinting
The platforming aspect in this game is upgraded a lot, not only giving you new moves such as the "Paint Hook" to swing from platform to platform and catch platforms too high for you, but also giving you the ability to "Sprint" to make higher jumps and reach more areas, Sprinting is an ability that can be performed by holding down a button while running, Sketch will run way faster than usual and after a while he'll gain so much momentum he'll still sprint without having to hold down the Sprint button, however he has way worse traction and if he hits a wall head on he will be stunned for a bit.
Sprinting also allows you to perform another technique, "Wall Kicking", if you're Sprinting at high speeds and you jump to a wall/platform besides you, you will kick off the wall and bounce off to the opposide site with even more momentum while gaining a bit of extra height, if you land on an enemy that isn't a Mid-Boss/Boss after a Wall Kick you'll perform a "Trickster Bounce" in which your character bounces on the enemy's head to gain more momentum and even more height, even throwing weaker enemies down to the ground and stunning them.
Multiple Playable Characters
As opposed to the first game where only Sketch was playable, in this game you unlock other playable characters as you go along, unlike Sketch these characters cannot switch between Types and are stuck to specific Types, however, they excel at these Types and have a lot of techniques Sketch doesn't have. After entering an area once you have a selected a playable character you can't change your character until you find one of the Safe Zones in the Area where you can switch between characters.
Exporbes, Force Fountains, Skills and Skill Limits
If you defeat a lot of enemies they may start dropping "Exporbes", tiny glowing orbs that can be cashed in the main "Force Fountain" in the Burushia Main Plaza or in any "Safe Zone" to obain Exp. Points which can be either saved up or spent at any time to upgrade a character's stats, which are Speed, Defense, Attack and "Charge". Speed, Attack and Defense are self-explanatory and Charge is how long charged attacks take to charge, the more Charge you have the less time they take to charge.
Every character in the game has an "Skill Limit", a limit on how many "Skills" you can equip to yourself, Skills are dropped by enemies, bought throughout the game, crafted or be given as rewards for completing tasks, these Skills include things such as increasing the damage certain attacks do, decreasing the amount of knockbacks your attacks do to make more combos, increasing your health and more, your Skill Limit can be upgraded by defeating enemies.
Inventory, and Bellador
Every character has an Inventory Limit, technically you can bring as many items as you want but if you exceed the amount of weight your bag can hold your character will be wore down and his speed will decrease, that's why throughout the game you can do things to increase your Inventory Limit, though the main method is to put items that your bag can't hold on your "Item Storage System", which you can access at any time in the main hub or in any Safe Zone, similarly, you have a "Private Virtual Bellador Bank" to store "Belladors", which are the game's main currency used for buying items, since every time you are defeated you lose a certain amount of money.
Safe Zones and Beacon Spots
Throughout Areas you might find Safe Zones, small enclosed areas with a pod which you can enter and check a computer to switch playable characters, check your progress, withdraw and deposit items from your in your Item Storage System, cash in Exporbes at the Force Fountain and even get out your Private Virtual Bellador Bank at any time.
Meanwhile, Beacon Spots work more like Checkpoints in a way, once you activate them you can choose to warp to that spot instantly and save time, however to activate a Beacon Spot you need to pay Mitch a certain amount of Bellador or use up special "Mitch Coupons" that can be dropped by enemies randomly or can be obtained by doing special tasks for him.
Areas are split into "Sector", each Sector is a screen, for example, if you've just entered an Area you'd be in Sector A, but if you walk into another Sector you'll enter another screen known as Sector B. Some Areas have "Sub-Areas" which are smaller Areas not connected into any other Area which are found through the main one and have some sort of relation to it. The Areas in this game are:
Canvas Swamp is a world-famous swamp located near Crayleeon that has become very popular because of its strange myst and mysterious layout that makes it confusing to navigate at times, however, now it has become populated by demons as a sort of mini-base of sorts, with many parts of it being blocked off, and the remaining parts being highly guarded by demons. This area has demons that like to hide in the murky water or like to ure you in to the muddy water to slow you down, so you have to be careful when fighting in this area.
Hidden Swamp Base Ruins
A Sub-Area of Canvas Swamp, this hideout is located beneath the swamp but is broken and in ruins after the events of the first chapter of the story, making this place filled with brave Artizzians looking to explore and one or two sneaky demons just waiting to attack. Surprisingly, even though the base itself is made out of a see-through glass-like material, it hasn't been broken even after its internal collapse, though there are still a couple rooms flooded with water but not too much.