Tchia ‘s narration makes the discrepancy between the events of the story and actual gameplay a little more bearable: the story of Tchia’s journey is actually told in retrospect, to a group of children many years in the future. This makes it easy to understand that the story is told in fragments and embellished in between.
If you look at Tchia’s journey that you are playing, the contradiction between the supposed time pressure and the excessive exploration could not be greater: Tchia actually sets out to rescue her father and many other residents of the archipelago from the clutches of Meavora, who distributes the evil in the peaceful world. Still, Tchia takes an incredible amount of time to explore, and her actions against Meavora seem to go unnoticed or of no consequence on the enemy side.
But back to the adventure: The difference between the playing time of the main story of Tchia and the possibilities of the open game world is similarly significant. If you ran through the story goals and did everything as quickly as possible, you could play through Tchia in five to seven hours. But I’ll put it this way: It’s unrealistic. Because you’re always getting distracted by something, doing the next thing in the open world, another trip here… and so on. The game world is also far too beautiful to ignore its mysteries. !
You can see more about Tchia in the GamePlay trailer:
The world is at your feet
If you look at it critically, the world of Tchia follows the almost somewhat outdated concept of typical open worlds: there is something to do almost everywhere and if you are honest, some of the activities are not relevant or just a bit repetitive. But Tchia simply packs the whole thing a little differently, so that the natural urge to explore is automatically awakened and the whole thing gets the touch of a childish-juvenile adventure.
The biggest thing is probably that you rarely know exactly where you are on the map: only in very few places, for example at viewpoints, can you say your exact map position with certainty. Otherwise, the following applies to work on the cardinal points, the landscape, and the markers you have set yourself on the map. I haven’t worked so intensively with my waypoints in a game for a long time with the compass.
In addition, in Tchia you can and must climb, swim, dive, and even fly to reach everything. That’s where Tchia’s Soul Leap ability comes into play: she can take control of objects and living beings. This includes snakes, fish, crabs, rocks, birds, and much more. Some of the possibilities are just cool to have experienced. But especially with increased stamina, birds are very useful to reach higher points in the game world quickly or to move faster.
Meanwhile, everything can be climbed – provided you have enough stamina. One or the other may recognize Breath of the Wild here, which certainly also influenced Tchia. It’s similar to the game world: Although you always have some goal where you can go now, you are completely free at any time where you go. And as you build your stamina and soul power, you’ll have an easier time in the story and in exploring the open world. !
Rich and easy-to-learn gameplay!
While the gameplay in the open game world can be somewhat uniform in the long run, the temples are very varied in terms of gameplay. Yes, of course, there is some inspiration from The Legend of Zelda here too. What’s cool is that to be able to enter a temple, you first have to carve the appropriate totem. If the totem is placed in the entrance area, the temple doors open, where a playful challenge awaits. But rest assured: the overall difficulty of Tchia is moderate!
In the open-game world, it is primarily a pity that the actual use of soul jumps is limited. In other words: There are hardly any skills of objects or animals that can be used meaningfully. You can usually get just as far by simply throwing objects. So the feature is not fully used. More options could have been used, especially for the fights, because Meavora’s henchmen can always be eliminated immediately: An explosive or burning object is thrown at them.
But that’s a fundamental question with Tchia because while playing I kept asking myself whether the game wouldn’t have been better without “evil power”: The idea of simply experiencing Tchia as Tchia’s youthful journey, which then becomes one of the youngest explorers goes down in the history of the archipelago, I like it at least as much.
In general, Tchia can’t quite agree whether it wants to be a real wholesome game or not – it’s not violent at all, even if the violence is portrayed in a very exaggeratedly humorous way. But then there is the level of difficulty, which is very moderate. The worst thing that happens is that the stamina runs out (it is also a health bar) and you end up at the nearest campfire or in a cage in one of Meavora’s camps – you can then free yourself with a simple soul jump.
What annoyed me the most in Tchia are the music sequences. They’re actually cool: you play music in different situations, for example with Tchia’s ukulele. This can be done quite well with the controller, but on the one hand, the inputs don’t always react optimally, on the other hand in some sequences the notes come so quickly that it’s not possible to hit them all. With some sequences, I believe there is more of a bug here, but that keeps me from concentrating on the beautiful songs and the associated sequences. I can switch to autoplay, but of course, there’s also a trophy for completing a sequence with 100%. I reached 99% a few times, but something was always.
By the way, all of Tchia ‘s trophies are very much designed to explore (almost) everything in the game and reach 100% – the game certainly encourages this and I’m also motivated to get the rest of the things, but compared to the narrow story, it almost seems a bit like stretching the playing time. !
Round technology with small drawbacks
Technically, Tchia was able to convince me as far as possible across the entire game world. In many places, the game is really pretty and for the most part, the performance on the PS5 is flawless. What I missed: HDR support, which the game, unfortunately, doesn’t have. What annoyed me: The loading screens. Here I wish that games on the PS5 could do without it. They are short, but it would have been even better without them.
In between there are a few textures that aren’t that pretty and the reflections on the water don’t always seem to fit – but on the other hand I like the water. In addition, the various surroundings on the island archipelago are designed in great detail, and what permanently convinces me is the soundtrack in Tchia: It is simply a loving soundtrack that fits the gaming experience perfectly. However, the voice output in the game is in the spoken original languages – but there are German subtitles. Overall, the German translation has a few gaps here and there, but what is translated is also translated correctly. In the form of birds, for example, the special ability is still known as ” poop .” designated. Yep, as a bird you can just poop on everything underneath you. !
Conclusion: A colorful world full of adventures
Tchia is one of the most beautiful adventures I’ve played in a while. The atmosphere is simply wonderful due to the visual design and soundtrack, and the world captivates me to discover its last secret. The main reason is that I have to orientate myself and set waypoints – and maybe jump into the shape of a bird to get to my destination quickly. Sooner or later, of course, you will only be critical of the tired working through the many markings on the map, while the full potential of the soul jumps unused. Likewise, the fights against Meavora’s minions remain unspectacular and monotonous, while deep down there’s also that feeling, Tchia would have been even better without the staging of a “bad guy” as a pure game for explorers anyway – also against the background that the story is very narrow compared to the youthful exploratory adventure. On the other hand, there is an extremely large amount of freedom in the open game world with clever elements such as the temples. Despite the minor inconsistencies and some weaker elements, Tchia sticks in my mind as one of the most atmospheric open-world games I’ve played in quite a while.
+ Beautiful game world
– Potential of soul jumps not fully used
+ Greatest possible freedom
– Fights unnecessarily and uniformly
+ Great soundscape, very nice music
– Playfully annoying music sequences
+ display of the map without its position; Work with compass and waypoints
– Wholesome character of the game is belittled by annoying elements
+ Varied temples
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