Publisher eastasiasoft continues to pour out the games with their latest being from Ratalaika Games and developer OMEGACORE. It’s called Arsonist Heaven and it’s a new 2D retro action platformer that is available on all the major platforms. Here is our review of the PlayStation 5 version.
Arsonist Heaven, like a lot of games from eastasiasoft and Ratalaika Games, doesn’t have much of a narrative to it. It’s just yet another game in their long line of budget arcade titles that focuses on gameplay above all else. This game has you playing as a hunter outfitted in a flame-proof hazard suit and armed with a flamethrower who will be moving through different biomes and burning down any enemies along the way. Much like most of their games the controls in Arsonist Heaven are pretty simple and easy to pick up and play. Movement is handled with the stick or D-pad while shooting is tied to the X button. Circle lets you jump while a double tap lets you use your jetpack to gain more height. That’s about it but while the game is easy to control other design decisions left me frustrated with it.
As you move through the levels you need to use your weapons to dispatch the various enemies in them. The problem here is that this game commits a crime that I really hate and that is that the enemies don’t really react to being hit. That means that even while you are standing there shooting them, they can continue moving and attacking you which leads to you constantly taking dumb hits over the course of the game. Health pick ups are scattered about but they aren’t exactly plentiful. Another problem lies in the jet pack as you have a fuel gauge tied to it so anytime you use it that gauge depletes and it takes way too long to recharge. Ammo can also run out quick so you have to be mindful to not just carelessly spray it otherwise you’ll be left on empty until you can find some in the level. While exploring said levels you can also all too easily fall into a death pit and die due to poor positioning of the camera. Then there are the boss fights that come around every five levels which are full of cheap design decisions too like letting them move faster than you can typically react. All of these things add up to make this game not very fun to play at all.
The visuals do nothing to make the game stand out either as it just goes with that retro pixel-art look that so many of these games have nowadays. It looks fine and there is at least variety in the biomes you are platforming through but nothing about it whether it be the levels or enemy design stood out. The same goes for the soundtrack which has some OK retro tunes and some solid sound effects for the weapons but nothing that I’ll remember now that I’ve put the controller down. Trophy hunters are always the group that these games are aimed at as they usually have easy and quick lists and that is very much the case here. You’ll find 13 trophies in total with a Platinum and all you have to do is beat the first 12 levels.
Arsonist Heaven fails in executing its ideas and because of that you should probably skip this retro platformer. Taking cheap hits in games is one of the most un-fun things to me and it happens a lot here. Not only that but making it so that your ammo and jetpack fuel runs out too quick leads to even more frustration. If you’re in it for some easy trophies you might be able to get them all before getting fed up with the game but if you have no interest in that then you can safely look past this one.
*Arsonist Heaven is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.