The first addition is New Game+. Like the name implies, New Game+ — provided you’ve already completed the game before — allows you to play through the game again but at a harder difficulty setting. Enemies make their move more quickly, barely giving you any time to switch targets when you’re facing multiples of them, and their attacks are much stronger. Better have your blocking techniques straightened out, or your character will fall in a matter of a few hits!
(Most) everything you’ve earned from your previous playthrough, including the party members you’ve recruited and the various abilities Ajna learned along her way, are retained with New Game+ after going through the introductory stuff. Ajna will also be colored a bit differently, based on (spoiler) the finale of the game:
The update also enables multiple players on the same computer to play the role of any additional characters in the story. So, for instance, you could plug in a second controller and have that player control Dhar, or Tungar. Each character has their own abilities — Ginseng, for example, has a super jump that can be used by holding Down, then jumping — and they’re allowed to double-jump. Apparently they can jump more often in the air later on in the story. Hunoch can’t be used right now, but he will be working in a later patch.
Not only can these players control them outside of battle, they of course can also be used in battle. So while the first player may be in control of three of the characters, the fourth will be in control of the second player. Up to three additional players can be added, each having access to their own party member. Or, you could have, say, three players, and while one person controls two characters, the other two control just one.
Supposedly, friendly fire can be turned on to keep you on your toes when you’re around your allies. Or maybe just to fight them. Either way works. All of this info and more can be obtained from the in-game menu itself.
Today’s update additionally brought in some other bug fixes/improvements:
-Rebalanced late-game enemies to be more difficult!
–You can now change your party in battle! HOT DIGGITY. However, swapping party members in from the Reserve during battle costs 1 bar of Iddhi and will leave them very slow until they fill one action. HP and status effects follow characters, like you’d expect.
-Because of co-op, enemies will now “burst” if they’ve been in hitstun for a long time outside battle. No more cheesing enemies to death or infinite juggles with the bow, sorry.
-Once you have reached the last save point, to aid in completing side quests more quickly you can now from any Save Bell.
–Added “Load Last Checkpoint” menu option. Does what it says, for those instances where you want to repeat yourself.
–The end credits have an all-new piece of music from Kikuta-san himself! It fits the mood much better, but if you want to hear all of it you’d better gather up those Incarnations..! (The previous credits music is now played if you watch the credits or the Contributor Credits from the pause menu.)
-Updated the credits and the Contributor Credits. You can watch the Contributor Credits from the title screen, too.
-Fixed a great many camera bugs, environment bugs, cleanup errors, and text bugs.
-Fixed several occasional black screens skipping cutscenes on PS4.
-Fixed several out-of-world exploits, none of which were particularly useful for speedrunning I hope.
The last update was spotted late November last year. This new update is definitely welcoming. After playing through New Game+ for a bit, I can say it certainly is a lot more challenging…and a lot more fun! Glad to see some of my wishes get fulfilled from my original review. Here’s a quick gameplay session that gives a glimpse at what the New Game+ is like. Notice how quickly the characters lose their HP when they get hit (spoilers, obviously).
As far as co-op is concerned, I honestly don’t care too much for it, but I’m sure others will appreciate it.
I did notice something funny though during my gameplay. Those blue and pink creatures that Ajna encounters along her journey. The ones who power her up when she collects enough Ringsels. She talks to them, they warp into her head. Travel to the Inner Realm, talk to them, and they tell Ajna she can’t be powered up any more. They disappear from the Inner Realm. Where are they now? Right where Ajna talked to them before. And the cycle will repeat.
Nothing really to worry about, though, as it didn’t affect my progress.
There are still more updates to come. One of which will be the guest characters. And the Switch version is still yet to be seen. No word on when that’s coming, but nevertheless it’s great that we’ve been able to pick this game back up and get some more value out of it.