'Another Crab's Treasure' PS5 review: Who says soulslikes can't be colorful?

'Another Crab's Treasure' PS5 review: Who says soulslikes can't be colorful?

My experience with Another crab treasure Can be summarized with the following observation: After 20 hours of adventure on the ocean floor, the game crashes during the final cutscene.

A refreshing take on soul-like style, Another crab treasure is the latest game from Seattle-based developer AgroCrab, makers of other indie hits. going down And Subway midnight. And while the game markets itself. heavy As an attempt to be gave Like Dear Souls, at its core it's an action platformer with some very dark and existential themes. Sometimes really fun and sometimes really frustrating, Another crab treasure Like a monumental entry-level Soul that unfortunately suffers from performance issues.

Another crab treasure A beautiful – but dark – journey under the sea.

Credit: AgroCrab

Set under the sea, the game's hero is Krill, a hermit crab who spends most of his life living until the day his shell is stolen again by a shark. Curl's adventure takes him out to sea, wearing trash as protection, on a quest to regain his shell. During this mission, he discovers that the ocean beneath him is polluted with trash and is being slowly corrupted by his gunk – meaning that whether he likes it or not, he might just be the one to save it. .

Unlike some games I've reviewed. Harold Halibutt, who use a mild critique of late-stage capitalism as set-dressing for their stories, Another crab treasure There's a cruel joke that isn't afraid to send the message loud and clear to players: How we live is really worthless. Throughout the story, Krill quickly learns of the underwater society he is avoiding and breathes in the trash and pollution of his fellow surface dwellers. The game's hub city, New Carcinia, runs on garbage, with all goods and services using microplastics as their currency.

In the city, you will immediately notice the stark disparity in wealth between upper and lower class citizens. In the Upper Crust, the streets are CVS receipts, lined with coral homes and expensive bottles of whiskey. Below, a building made of dirty cardboard boxes is sorely lacking in any kind of road. While this is all nonsense, talking to city-goers will make it clear that there is a difference between good trash and bad trash.

A vibrant, cartoon-like underwater cityscape with coral structures and whimsical buildings, with a red crab character in the foreground.

We are all losing out in the trash economy.
Credit: AgroCrab

It's hard to take a lot of upper crusters seriously when they turn their clothes on you—made of silica gel packets and orange peels—while lower townspeople wear garbage bags as clothing. It's all one big, unified trash concept, and it's a kind of subtle, but sometimes very obvious, form of environmental storytelling that goes into the details.

The sea creatures of Neocarcinia and their surroundings are memorable, if of little note. Firth is a blue hermit crab that's an obvious riff on the pesky libertarian tech bros; Nima is a matriarchal, down-to-earth crab. Jo runs a dive bar with her two daughters in a poor part of town and lives only one day at a time. Chetan is a noble lobster knight who seeks the power to save the ocean.

The lovely souls of AgroCrab are relentlessly critical of how man-made climate change and pollution are destroying our planet. It's refreshing to see a developer take a real stand on an issue instead of dancing around it hoping not to upset anyone. Despite all the charm and color, Another crab treasure Combines with a form of existential dread that's just as sad as any other ghost without a creepy medieval European fantasy.

Another crab treasure At its core is a Soulslike

An in-game 'Skills' screen showing unlocked and locked abilities arranged in interlocking circles, with the featured ability being 'Shellportation'.

You can unlock different combat abilities such as air dodge or the ability to make hammers out of shells.
Credit: AgroCrab

Like many other genre imitators, Another crab treasureThe combat is of the dodging, rolling and slashing type. However, it is not that deep. Dark Souls or PK liesinstead, it's like this Sekiro And Dropped order – Fairly stable combat that meets you at your level and asks you to master what you're given. What makes Crab treasure's combat stance is the ability to switch, at any time, between shells filled with ledges with unique magical abilities known as “publics”.

Bullets are heavily emphasized in combat, as they serve as both your weapon and access to your umami abilities. Like everything else in the ocean, these shells are everyday human trash that gets thrown out — from tennis balls, springs, soda cans to boxing gloves. Most shells have their own unique abilities that eliminate their common use by humans. A soda can can make a magical explosion of phase. Wearing a fuse will protect your armor from electricity that will stun opponents who attack you. And wearing a shot glass or salt shaker can turn you into a fastball of glass.

Along with your “Umi” abilities, you can attach stowaways to your shell. These are bits of junk and small animals that give you better abilities in combat. Examples include starfish. that gives you extra health, or a rubber band that protects you from electrical attacks.

A game interface showing a 'status' screen with a 'Stowaways' inventory, featuring fish, shells, and a special item called 'another crab'.

Oh barnacles.
Credit: AgroCrab

Combat is not that difficult in comparison Dark Souls, but it is not without its challenges. There is a noticeable lack of enemy variety after reaching the second or third major part of the game. You'll find different enemies to fight, but they're mostly all within the same archetype—except now they do more damage. Additionally, combat is intended to punish button mashers. This includes input lag and the reduction of I-frames when dodging. But it's not always clear where the intentional challenge ends, and the performance issues (I'll get to those in a minute) begin. I can't tell, for example, if the game doesn't recognize that I'm trying to heal myself, or if I'm timing the command wrong or something.

As if trying to be fair to the player in light of the added challenges, some gameplay elements also make things too easy. Enemies telegraph their moves to an alarming degree. And if combat is somehow still giving you trouble, the game has accessible features that can negate damage, add extra I-frames, or even give you a Can also give a gun that kills enemies instantly (this is no joke, by god).

Although in his heart, Another crab treasure Feels like the spiritual incarnation of classic platformers. Jack and DexterAs is the vertical surface you won't see in any other spirit. As you adventure, you can climb over fallen nets, access higher areas using a fishing hook, and jump long distances by pressing and holding X, which launches you into the water. Will make it floatable. It's an encouraging mechanic for a soul-like soul, although it can be very frustrating at times – especially if, like me, you've got fat fingers and you've made a mistake when you're floating towards a gap. Press the dodge button and now you will get wind. – Rolled down into the ditch.

Another crab treasure It is a small car

As much as I love the game's story and characters, it's buggy. The review copy given to me by Agrocrab and Popejanda was run on a PlayStation 5, with late performance issues with games. Dragon's Dogma 2. There were several instances where the game would crash, mostly from loading new areas within the map.

A loading screen of the game with a stylized overhead map and a character with a cheeky tip about the player's skill level

As the game says, you're going to die a lot, but it won't always be your fault.
Credit: AgroCrab

During combat, Krill will mysteriously fly into the air after performing certain moves – or being hit by it. Other times the curl got stuck in the geometry of the world, to the point where I had to go into the menu and use the “immediate die” option so I could reset. There was one instance of capturing a lake of gunk that caused the game to trigger a falling death animation as the creel hitbox. barely Slip on the gun.

Even more annoying, when nearing the end, I inadvertently ran into the end of the game after messing with the floor.

Some games took advantage of the PS5's SSD to hide their loading screens through transitional gameplay mechanics, such as taking an elevator, or navigating a character through narrow crevices a-la. Blood-producing or God of war. While Another crab treasure Try it, it's pretty obvious that a cutscene or new area is booting because the game will freeze and mess up until it loads.

While finding shortcuts is a big part of the genre, Spirited Away has long stretches of gameplay where you can save your progress — so imagine the feeling of all your hard work being wasted at any moment. Could be because the game crashes often. Load a new area. And as I said at the top of the review, during the final cutscene of the game, it crashed – forcing me to fight the final boss. Again Just so I can watch the last half of the ending.

It's an extra layer of challenge that's no fun, and instead feels like a hostage situation.

Is Another crab treasure Worth it?

A cartoon red crab with big eyes, wielding a fork, sitting on a cork, against an orange background with floating particles.

Cowboy Crab.
Credit: AgroCrab

For just under $30, Another crab treasure A great, if slightly basic, soulmate for anyone looking to get into style. From its beautiful setting to its charming, lovable cast of characters, the game's story is clever, funny, and a reminder that we live in community with each other and not by ourselves.

However, I'd be hesitant to immediately recommend it until the game gets a day one patch to fix its myriad performance issues on PS5. These complaints aside, Dear Souls of Agro Crab is by far one of the best games I've played this year.

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