The Saint Seiya franchise has always been a staple media ever since the manga’s original serialisation back in 1986 where it was published on Shueisha’s Shonen manga magazine, written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. In this article we take a closer look and compare two Saint Seiya games, being Saint Seiya: Awakening and Saint Seiya: Galaxy Spirits.
Anyone Can Make Life Shine
Saint Seiya: Awakening is published by YOUZU Singapore, which is the global hub of YOOZOO Group in APAC while Saint Seiya: Galaxy Spirits is published by DeNA Hong Kong. While both the games feature Seiya and his companions on their adventure, they have their own unique differences for their titles.
One of the main differences between the two titles would be the overall visuals and graphics of the games. Saint Seiya: Galaxy Spirits shows off the game with a 2D art-style for the in-game sprites of the characters as well as the background. Meanwhile with Saint Seiya: Awakening, the game features 3D models for their character sprites while incorporating both 2D and 3D elements for the background during combat, since you can rotate your camera during battles.
Saint Seiya: Awakening
Saint Seiya: Galaxy Spirits
While on the topic of visuals and graphics, one thing that I really like about Saint Seiya: Awakening specifically is its stunning special moves that the characters perform. One prominent example would be Dragon Shiryu and his Rising Dragon Punch which has Shiryu summon an image of a majestic dragon as he fires off his attack, which is a neat reference to his signature Rozan Shō Ryū Ha where you can see from the manga and anime.
Saint Seiya: Awakening manages to pay homage to the Saint Seiya IP by not only including the character’s signature moves into the game like with Dragon Shiryu, but also having some pretty cool Easter eggs scattered throughout the game, like including the original manga panels during the opening sequence at the start of the game.
A Spirit In Search of Truth
While both of the Saint Seiya games talk about the franchise and have you play through with the Saint Seiya characters that we all know and love, the two games play somewhat differently than one another. In Saint Seiya: Galaxy Spirits, the bulk of the gameplay is semi-auto real-time, where players can mostly leave the game on idle since your characters can use skills on their own, but you still have to activate your character’s “Awaken Skill” on your own by holding down the character’s portrait and slide upwards.
For Saint Seiya: Awakening, the gameplay revolves around turn-based combat where each character during combat performs their actions in a sequence based on their speed stat. While you have to control your units individually by activating their skills as well as targeting the specific units, the game also offers an auto battle mode but I personally like having full control of my unit’s action to optimise the combat scenario.
For each turn of combat, you’re given a limited amount of energy where you can exchange to use a character’s skill. You’re still able to attack in the case where you run out of energy but it’s only in the form of basic attacks. The energy replenishes at the start of a new turn, so you have to strategically plan out your course of action before you start fighting.
Going more in depth with the game features of both the Saint Seiya games, Galaxy Spirits has a neat concept where each character has their own preferred position to be positioned during combat. There are three positions for a character to have, “Front”, “Mid”, and “Rear” and the units will be automatically positioned when you add them into your roster.
Previously mentioned, Awakening has a unit’s sequence be tied to the character’s base speed stat which can be found by clicking on the “Growth” tab on the main menu. The higher the speed stat of a character, the more likely they will be able to perform their actions first when in combat.
When it comes to strengthening your units, levelling up your characters is an important factor to take into consideration when clearing through the content of both the Saint Seiya games. In Awakening, each character is able to level up until a certain threshold which is tied to the character’s current level tier. Once a character reaches the level cap, they then can be “Rebirth” into the next tier by exchanging saints as a material to ascend a character into the next tier as well as increasing their overall stats.
As for Galaxy Spirits, on top of levelling up your units, each character has access to a set of items, and once you have all 5 items equipped on your character, you can advance said character. Advancing them will let you unlock more skills which ultimately makes your unit stronger.
We’re all Part of the Universe
After going through the comparisons of both the Saint Seiya games, while it’s clear there’s differences between the two titles, it still doesn’t diminish the fact that both of these games are successful in their own ways. One of the common factors that makes these two titles successful is how both of them faithfully retells the story of Saint Seiya and their reproduction of the IP. Awakening and Galaxy Spirits both manage to repaint the classic title in a fresh coat of paint all while paying respects to the original title by including nostalgic elements that bring back childhood memories to those who grew up with the franchise.
For Saint Seiya: Galaxy Spirits specifically, perhaps one of the factors that players enjoy would be its casual playstyle that allows players to get into the game easily. The game also has enough depth to keep players engaged through its upgrade system of the characters as well as bountiful amounts of game modes for players to access and play.
Saint Seiya: Awakening on the other hand has stunning graphics that has the most modernised look compared to the other Saint Seiya games out there. Accompanied with beautiful looking special effects of each character’s skills and appealing gameplay mechanics, it pays a nice homage to the Knights of Zodiac series.