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My Review of Honkai: Star Rail

A review of my new favorite mobile game!

By Austin Blessing-Nelson (Blessing)Published 2 months ago 4 min read
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My Review of Honkai: Star Rail
Photo by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash

Over the past several months, I have been playing a lot of Honkai: Star Rail. This game, which is made by the makers of Genshin Impact, is a very popular game that is actually in the process of celebrating its first anniversary! (Including with some in-game celebrations). Star Rail is currently available on Windows, Android, iOS, and PlayStation 5. Personally, I play it on my iPhone.

Star Rail is fantasy RPG game that has you exploring different planets where you meet lots of interesting characters and experience a variety of adventures. It combines open world exploration with turn-based combat. There are also a variety of mini-games, puzzles, and other activities. Currently, there are four worlds (each with multiple sub-locations) you unlock as the story progresses, each one with its own unique scenery, culture, and enemies. Each world is also full of a plethora of interesting places to explore, quests to embark on, secrets to find, and collectibles to collect.

As I said early, the combat system is turn based. Even though turn based combat obviously has its limits, I find it to be well executed with a variety of different playable characters - that come with a variety of different combat mechanics - to unlock and experiment with. The enemies likewise have a variety of different moves and effects, especially the bosses. The boss fights also tend to be challenging and exciting.

There are also several game modes with special combat mechanics, one of which even uses different characters based off some of the monsters you fight in the normal modes. Of course, there are also ways to boost and improve combat such as consumables, clothing (called relics), special power up cards (called light cones), and leveling up your characters (and like with many RPGs, there are multiple things you have to level up).

Notably, equipping different clothing does not change the appearance of a character. Also, with one exception, each character only has one set of actions they can use. But this is offset by the variety of characters.

Only a small handful of the playable characters are unlocked during the story, and the rest must be unlocked through different methods, namely the warps. The warps also allow you to obtain more light cones, including special ones that aren’t available elsewhere. One of the warps is always available, while the other warps are limited time events. The limited time ones contain unique characters not available through the normal warp, so you have to get them during the limited time event or wait for them to be part of a future one. Basically, the warps are a sort of lottery system that you play with tickets, which are obtained a variety of ways. The permanent warp uses different tickets than the limited time warps. Yes, it is possible to get more tickets (or at least the specific in-game currency that is used to buy them) by using real world money, but it is also possible to get a decent number of them without spending your hard earned cash.

Basically, like with most mobile games, there are some micro transactions and pay to play elements, but I feel they are balanced and are not essential to playing. They do help a bit, especially with obtaining characters. However, you cannot just pay money to guarantee a new character. Trust me, if I could just straight up buy characters, there are several I definitely would!! There are also ways to test play characters you don’t have yet, including being able to borrows them from friends for use in some of the game modes.

Of course, like with any game some of the quests are better than others. But in general, the game is very engaging and most of the quests are interesting and fun. There is definitely a bit of grinding and repetitiveness like with most games, but I feel like there is also a decent amount of variety and enough different types of game mechanics and quest types to keep me interested long term. And I feel like the newer materials are getting better. Besides missions, stories are told through other methods like collectible books/letters, dialogue, databases, etc.

In general, the various quests and storylines are interesting and worth playing. I do feel like some of the storylines ended abruptly or weren’t fully developed and some things felt like they needed more explanation. And some quests are definitely better and more engaging than others. Although, it seems that the story writing is getting better with the new chapters (not saying that it was awful before!). There are some side quests that I feel weren't fully concluded that I hope they add onto and conclude properly. Even though not all the quests and stories are perfect, they are very good in general, and I cannot wait to see what the future additions look like! Overall, I think the game is very interesting.

One of the best parts is that the developers are still unrolling new content on a frequent basis, including new characters, game modes, quests, and locations. New worlds are also released, but of course those take time. They are also improving existing content. One example was they added a button that removed all of a characters equipped clothes instead of you having to do it one at a time, which sped up the process of equipping new clothes. In fact, they just recently rolled out a bunch of new content, including updates to the mechanics, new characters, new locations, and more.

Like with any game, there are of course some bugs. Although, in my opinion none of the bugs I have encountered have seriously impacted my ability to play and enjoy the game and the developers seem to do a good job of fixing at least most of the bugs in a timely and effective manner. The developers also sometimes compensate you with in game currency for bugs after they fix them.

Even though the game isn’t perfect, no game is. Overall, it is a great game and I recommend it highly!

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About the Creator

Austin Blessing-Nelson (Blessing)

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