I love when a game comes out of nowhere and exceeds my expectations. Little Noah Scion of Paradise served as the latest example of this. Cygames revealed the title at the Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase and released it on the same day for Switch, PlayStation, and Steam. The short trailer hooked me with its vibrant colors, chibi characters, and adorable monsters. I visited the Nintendo eShop to find its price at a mere $15. I decided to give it a try. At worst, I’d be out the price of a delivered pizza. At best, I’d have an enjoyable time with a new game. I’m glad to say the latter came true and I’m glad curiosity got the best of me.
Little Noah Scion of Paradise Video Review
You play as Noah Little, an alchemist on an adventure to find her dad, Darion Little. The game opens with you crashing your airship in a mysterious ruin. As start to explore the ruins, you find a cat all by itself. After a few scenes of chasing the cat, you learn the cat can talk and it’s lost its memories. It cannot even remember its own name. Noah decides to name the cat Zipper and you both decide to journey together to explore the ruins and hope to regain Zipper’s memories. The duo then stumbles on an intimidating person named Greigh who says they know Darion Little. Worst of all, they killed him and they’re at the ruins to use a weapon to destroy the world. This sends you chasing after Greigh to get answers as you dive deeper into the ruins.
The story, while short, came across nicely. Dialogue between the cast never felt disjointed. Each character felt distinct to the other. Little Noah felt lighthearted and full of humor. Zipper portrayed as quick witted and annoyed. Greigh, on the other hand, came out as intimidating and full of hatred. I wish the story ran a bit longer to get more context on the world, but the character’s motivations were easily received.
Little Noah is a roguelite, meaning you progress until you die. You then return to the beginning, losing all of your items along the way, but retaining the knowledge gained to try and get further. With each run, Noah collects accessories that give stat boosts and Liliputs, creatures that Noah uses for combat.
You can have five Liliputs for your basic combo and then two additional for skills. Each one brings a different attack pattern and skill. So the game encourages you to mix and match them to find what combo works best for you and your play style. Some of the attacks felt at odds with others.
I never quite found a good combo to use with a Liliput that featured an uppercut. I wished the game did a bit more to give suggestions when it came to these attacks. For those not wanting to experiment, it does feature an auto set mechanic. However, I didn’t like the selection when I tested it and never used it again. If in a single run you find three of the same Liliput, you unlock a special ability. This can be an increase to a stat for Noah or extra strength to the Liliput’s attack or skill.
Little Noah Scion of Paradise Release Trailer
Some Liliputs are also locked behind progression. For example, Queen can only be acquired after making repairs to the ship. There are 40 Liliputs altogether with more being added in future DLC.
The one item Noah keep each run is mana, which is the power harnessed by alchemists. You can use this item to repair the airship, giving you permanent upgrades for future runs. This can be things like gaining the ability to use potions, starting off a run with gold, and stat increases. You acquire mana through defeating enemies. Also, the items Noah acquires in a run turn into mana after you die. The amount of mana depends on the rarity of the item. So the more rare it is, the more mana you get. Aside from defeating bosses, there are side challenges in each level you can take part in. This includes defeating enemies within a certain time or dealing a certain amount of damage in single combo.
If you hope for a beefy title, you will need to look elsewhere. Little Noah feels best to compare it to a dessert. You only get a little bit, but you really enjoy what you do get. I rolled credits on the game with my playtime at around seven and a half hours. I dove into the ruins 11 times to make it happen and only needed to find 3 more Liliputs to get all 40. The game only features three floors and two bosses per floor. Again, a short experience overall. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve done all I can in the game. There’s still upgrades to the ship to make, new avatars for Noah to unlock, and maxing out my bonds with each Liliput. I can easily see this giving the player another four to five hours to complete.
With it being a short game, Little Noah doesn’t include a wide variety of tunes. What is there though was pleasant to listen to. The world theme brings a gentle tone to the world. The music as you navigate the ruins feels reminiscent of pirate music, giving a thrill of exploration. The boss battle theme kept me on my toes as I dodge each attack. The game only features Japanese voice acting and the lines feel well delivered. Not all text is accompanied by voice acting though. Some dialogue brings only a minor exclamation. I’m sure Cygames decided to reflect this decision in the game’s overall price.
I headed into Little Noah not knowing what to expect. I believed I would enjoy it based off what I saw in the trailer, but I’ve thought that before with other games only to be disappointed. Little Noah wasn’t the case. I felt compelled to see this to the end and find Noah’s dad. I hoped Zipper would regain its memories and give me more information on the world. The game kept me glued to collecting these adorable monsters and testing out new combos with each new addition. I wish Cygames gave us a bit more to do. Another floor or two and some more story content would give the game even more enjoyment. However, I feel what is there is well worth the price of the game and I look forward to what else Noah Little may be up to in the future.
Press Start gives Little Noah: Scion of Paradise an 8 out of 10
Little Noah: Scion of Paradise is out for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. This review was done on the Nintendo Switch version.