Mandatory coin collecting destroys a game’s flow more than you think.
When I first saw Olympia Rising, I was quite excited to give it a go. The retro style felt really welcoming and the gameplay seemed swift and intriguing. The Greek motif made it stand out in the crowd. Olympia Rising had a lot of potential, but it didn't cash it all in wisely. The end result is a product that has its good points but has a lot left to be desired.
You play as Iola, a female warrior who met her end thanks to a brutal beast. Iola has been sent to the Underworld, where she has to redeem herself and reach Mount Olympus. After a while wandering souls are swallowed up by the Underworld, so there is no time to lose. This is easier said than done as the road to freedom isn't an easy one. Obstacles, enemies and bosses want to ensure that she will never reach her destination!
Olympia Rising is straightforward enough. You will have to clear various levels to inch closer to your goal. The twist is, however, that completing a stage isn't enough as coins are scattered across the various areas. The gatekeeper that you meet wants a certain amount before he lets you pass to the next challenge. Most levels will let you collect them however you want, but there are a few where the pressure is on. You are getting chased by lava to the top and you will have to quickly switch your attention between various tasks. This wouldn't be so bad if the coins would benefit you in some way beside being a plot device. They don't though and that makes it feel slightly pointless.
The gameplay mechanics are fun. Iola’s jumping abilities are impressive with the ability to double jump, hop from wall to wall and even fly high for a limited amount of time. You have a variety of elemental power ups that change the wayyou approach the opponents. The big killer in all of this is your standard weapon, which is the sword. The range on it is incredibly disappointing and it requires you to really get close to your enemy. Considering most of the baddies have a much better range, you can hardly call it fair. Another annoying element are the leaps of faith that are in place here. The game doesn't give you the best indication of where to go, which can you lead to some extremely cheap deaths. Death won't be found much at the bosses, which aren't exactly anything to shout about. Simple patterns make them not much harder than regular enemies.
Olympia Rising has a beautiful presentation and neat elements to boot, but ultimately does a bit too little to bring excitement. You complete levels at a decent pace, but a grand purpose can't be found with the coins you collect. There are very enjoyable gameplay aspects, but your main weapon will give you a lot of frustration. Add to that the leaps of faith and the underwhelming selection of bosses, and you just have a mixed bag. A mixed bag that will a bring a smile now and again, but that is about it.