It was through the likes of Starcraft II and a summer jaunt with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that I attuned to the artful back-and-forth squabbles of e-sports. Since effacing the already flimsy notion of mastering those titles, I would on occasion think about picking up a new competitive game to adorn with my undivided focus—an after-work game with which I could build an array of skills and knowledge. Perhaps luckily, that never occurred; I never found DOTA loving friends, team-based shooters are too skill dependent, and card games and Pokémon are just out of my wheelhouse.
Just recently, long after I resigned to simply watching the occasional competitive stream (which compete with speed runs for my attention), AVARIAvs (pronounced “Avaria Versus”) ascended to Kickstarter.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I adore turn-based JRPGs. I have often longingly pondered the beautiful union of turn-based games and competitive. And that mere consideration went from a lump of clay to a molded reality in the skillful hands of Juncture Media. Just as I had imagined, AVARIAvs game pits two players’ teams, either online or locally, against each other as they swiftly plan and choose their actions with a radial menu and then “witness the mayhem of their decisions”. These battles take place in the context of the emotionally-confused world of AVARIA. This world is a host of a mix of telepathic XCOM like science-fiction with mana-chugging fantasy elements. Interestingly, this world is a collaboration between people from around the world.
Final Fantasy Meets Street Fighter
AVARIAvs will feature four classes, each with more than 40 abilities, and sixteen heroes who each have two branching archetypes. From these components each player fashions a team of three whilst considering strategy and how each character’s stats will develop well into the late-game. I am enamored with the very notion (and the early gameplay) of my favorite genre mutating into a primal sparring match between two quick thinkers and two pairs of frenzied hands.
JRPGs and RPGs are slow to change, but AVARIAvs articulates some of the updates and changes over the years into what looks to be an accessible and appealing title. The developers plan for a summer 2018 release. Additionally, Juncture Media has another title they wish to provide more details on this year: AVARIA Ghost of the Immortal.