Came across this project posted on a certain imageboard, and I'm genuinely surprised by how promising it looks already.
Absolutely love the aesthetic on display here, from the character/monster designs, to the lo-fi environmental atmosphere. The cute-and-lewd style of your chosen avatar is a perfect fit for the pseudo-PS1 era aesthetic, and they're adorably animated to-boot.
And that audio! Major props to whoever handled the music, they absolutely nailed that mid-to-late 90s ethereal Jungle/Trance theming perfectly. An excellent match with the uneasy, dreamlike vibes of the player's foray into the misty mountains of Woodpeak (and hopefully beyond).
Gameplay's certainly no slouch either, with snappy controls and a satisfying (if somewhat shallow at this point) combat model.
The responsiveness of your character's dash, the fairly solid Z-Targeting lock-on system, the (mostly) generous attack hitboxes to better facilitate an arcade-like feel to melee combat, the immediacy of slinging spells on-the-fly, the subtle increase in movement speed once you're truly out-of-battle to better aid in traversal...
There are so many smart design decisions here to indicate this devteam has some real talent behind the logo.
That said, the balance of weaponry and spells on-offer did feel more than a little off-kilter beyond the first wave of enemies.
Slower options (Axe/Staff) quickly become liabilities to use compared to the far more freeform Dagger/Sword/Scepter, and your Wind spell is head-and-shoulders more effective than any of the other three spells at the player's disposal. Additionally, elemental properties didn't feel especially satisfying to mix-and-match, only appearing to lessen damage when facing like-matching enemies, rather than increasing damage for finding clever mismatches (Water to put out Fire, etc).
However, the demo I played (v0.0.95e) is already a year old at this point, so I'm sure changes have been made for the better since then in that regard.
Bit of an odd comparison, but what I played really reminds me of Musashi: Samurai Legend for the PS2.
That title didn't exactly set the world on fire for a variety of reasons, but its was aesthetically gorgeous top-to-bottom, and the sheer potential for an incredible action-RPG was clearly evident to the player all the same. That's where I feel this demo is at presently: enticingly on-the-cusp of being truly great, given enough time and care.
Flesh-out the combat sandbox and RPG systems, add a respectable story to spur the player's step through these labyrinthine dungeons, keep that delightfully ethereal soundtrack running underneath, and you'll have one hell of a cult favorite on your hands.
Very interested to see where this project goes in the future. (.❛ ᴗ ❛.)