Jessica “Allahweh” Brown — @Allahweh
(PC [REVIEWED], Mac, Linux)
Even beyond this, the game itself suffers a few bugs in places that, while not completely game-breaking, do hinder the enjoyment of the experience a fair bit. There were several times when I would jump up and over something and somehow fall outside the environment, or get stuck somewhere (that wasn’t designed to be part of a puzzle) and be required to restart the area, costing me valuable in-game score points for rather difficult stages. Occasionally the graphics would glitch out, not showing a switch as being pressed, showing a block in a position that it wasn’t actually in anymore, and, unfortunately, occasionally having enemy darts glitch out and kill you without you seeing them.
|You also released an ill-advised third-person action spin-off that
we’d all prefer to not talk about, but moving on…
|Let’s not kid ourselves, folks, Tekken 5 (and its spin-off/update,
Dark Resurrection) is still the best Tekken.
Don’t get me wrong, I still played the hell out of Tekken 6, but always with the thought in my brain that it could have been so much better. Other fighting games started to grab my attention. The deep and technical fighting of Virtua Fighter satisfied my craving for a fighting game with challenge. Mortal Kombat’s legitimately great story and gothic horror vibes gave me a fighter with a stronger personality. Dead Or Alive 5’s (initial, yes I did realise my mistake upon playing the damn thing) promise to tone down the ridiculous sexualisation made me no longer ashamed to be a fan of the fast-paced arcade brawler. You and I, Tekken, drifted apart. Other fighters were satisfying my needs and doing it better than your underwhelming current-gen entry.
|And I haven’t even mentioned how amazing the music in this is! I could
waste hours sat listening to the customization theme alone!
Mat Paget — @MatPaget
The GameSparked Team
Mat and Myles go it alone on this week’s episode of The GameSparked Podcast. Mat regales listeners with the happenings of his birthday before closing the book on Rogue Legacy. Myles, on the other hand, talks mostly about his trip to Victoria, and a very unfortunate mid-night accident. To finish things off, they talk about how much they loved Pacific Rim. And that’s about it. Not a lot of videogames on this videogame podcast. All that, and not much else, on this week’s episode of The GameSparked Podcast!
Mat Paget — @MatPaget
The gameplay is incredibly simple, offering one button for each action — attack, magic, jump, and special. The one attack, one weapon you are equipped with for the entire duration of the game may seem like it would get boring with suck a lack of variety, but this isn’t the case. Having only one weapon to master allows you to become as skilled as possible with it, and believe me, you’ll need to be for some of the trickier encounters in the more difficult areas. It’s the spells that offer the variety in Rogue Legacy‘s combat, with around ten of them to mess around with. They range from throwing a dagger directly in front of you, to summoning a storm of crows that’ll go after enemies directly, and stopping time completely. The special skill is class-specific; for example, the Barbarian King/Queen’s special is a hearty shout of “Fah Ro Dus,” which knocks back every enemy in the room.
This also goes for buying equipment such as swords, armour, and runes that you’ve found throughout the world. Swords and armour increase your respective stats in obvious ways (the changes are displayed to you before purchasing), while runes are a tad different. Unlocked after completing a challenge room, runes can augment each piece of equipment, giving you a new ability. These runes can also be stacked, so if you decide to have a couple of the same ones, that ability will increase in strength. Double-jumping, sprinting, receiving health and mana after every kill, and having damage returned to enemies are just a few of the modifiers you can purchase and work with. Buying as much stats and equipment as possible before going for another playthrough is absolutely crucial, as it eliminates the roguelike quandary of “starting from square one again.”
The progression your characters will go through is gradual, yet feels amazing. They will get stronger over time, making it incredibly satisfying when you’re able to take out enemies in one hit that took several a few playthroughs earlier. It doesn’t get to the point where you can just run through the game, however. The game still requires you to use finesse to take out the enemies, and there are a few of them that are disguised as chests and paintings that you will forget about. There is rarely a time the game doesn’t require you to use skill (with a touch of luck at times) to make your way through the rooms and areas it throws at you.
Among the normal rooms full of enemies and chests, are a handful of rooms that offer either some kind of minigame, or a special bonus (or curse). One of the minigames consists of paying up 25% of your gold, then choosing one of the three chests in hopes of tripling your money spent. The other minigames are hosted by an apathetic clown, telling you to hit a certain number of targets with either daggers or axes. These games are nice little breaks, which are often rewarding. There are two other special rooms: one with a fountain that will heal you, and another with a shrine you can pray at. Praying at the shrine will either bless, or curse you with a modifier such as being able to walk on spikes, or having some of your money go flying everywhere when hit by an enemy.
There are also rooms that host nothing but a portrait of a videogame. These portraits are of Cellar Door Games’ past projects, and viewing them will give you a history lesson on the development of each title. These are completely unrelated to the game at hand, and won’t help you at all, but they quickly became my favourite thing to come across. They’re interesting, funny, and will have you jumping in joy when you see one — that is until one of them turns into a goddamn enemy.
Rogue Legacy is not without its flaws, however small they may be. The only control issue I found was that the downward stab demands absolute precision, and there are platforming sections that require this precision, which makes it incredibly hard not to get through them without accruing damage — I found myself avoiding these sections altogether. Bosses are another thing that could cause a few problems. Although I didn’t have many problems with them personally (thanks, in most part, to luck), they definitely disturb the flow of the game, which I can see stopping some players in their tracks — though the bosses won’t stop anyone from exploring the rest of the world’s areas.
Even with its flaws, there’s nothing to hate about Rogue Legacy. The beginning may start a little slow for some players, but it quickly snowballs into something you won’t be able to put down. The character progression is incredibly rewarding, the game’s humour is refreshing, and you’ll be saying to yourself “Just one more game,” even after you promised yourself that on the last run.
Have you always wanted to explore the Wild West as an anthropomorphic white rabbit? Likely, the answer is no. But even if you’ve never dreamed about such a game, developer PD Design Studio made something that certainly stands out. Dusty Revenge is a stylish 2D beat ‘em up with colorful characters, but is there anything missing from the fun? It all depends on your affinity for the beat ‘em up genre. In either case, maybe there’s something about Dusty Revenge that will draw you in.
Beat ‘em ups have seen a resurgence in the past few years. Before this, it seems like the only ones we had played were the likes of Double Dragon or Final Fight. Now, however, there’s a great deal of options available to you, the latest of which is Dusty Revenge. In this game you’re given far more story than is expected of the genre. This is the first thing the game does right, as it helps draw you into a more interesting experience. No, the story isn’t incredibly deep, as it starts out as yet another “revenge for dead family member” tale, but it fits well with the backdrop.
The world Dusty Revenge inhabits is an alternate sort of Wild West. The deserts are dry, buildings are crummy, and all the baddies just happen to be anthropomorphic animals as well. Despite their animalistic nature, they are still able to cause a ton of damage to you via gunshots, rolling over you, or simply pounding their fist in your face. Thankfully, Dusty (the aforementioned lead character) has a host of attacks and upgrades.
You start off with a very small stash of attacks. The few basics include a quick, but weak attack, as well as a slower, yet stronger one. There is also a ranged attack available through Dusty’s gun. These can be strung into combos, although you only gain access to most combos through leveling up. Leveling up is an incredibly simple process as all you have to do is collect XP by killing. Once that’s taken care of, there are no stats to tweak or anything: the game just automatically unlocks new skills for you.
Hammering off combos via the keyboard or an attached game controller work perfectly fine. If there’s one complaint it is that there isn’t much excitement to be gleaned from most of the battles. Dodge one attack, hammer away at an enemy, jump and strike, and rinse and repeat. You can very quickly find yourself running patterns of attacks at the varied enemies without having to worry after a while. This is one downfall of beat ‘em up games for most people who don’t call themselves fans.
On the occasion that there are tough fights, or certain enemies that will give you a bit of added trouble, you need to make use of your partners. They are both introduced relatively early on and give special skills beyond what Dusty is capable of. For example, once there are enemies shooting you from windows, you can assign the sniper to target them. Players then must zoom in with the sniper scope and take them out themselves. During these support segments, the main playfield is slowed, meaning you aren’t going to find Dusty dead after switching back from another character.
Where the game gets more interesting is the bosses. There are a handful of huge enemies who you must contend with, and each has their own strategy. In comparison to the rest of the game, boss encounters are one of the few times players will ever actually fear for their character’s life. With strong enemies who have a range of attack types, you’ll be forced to learn their ways and skillfully take them out. It’s a shame that more complex play wasn’t required during many of the game’s other segments.
Although gameplay (no matter how smooth) is a bit lacking, there is one spot where Dusty Revenge excels and that is in the visuals department. This game has an excellent art style that makes it look like a cool, incredibly violent cartoon. The lead characters all look like they can kick some ass, even if they’re not “humans,” and the art style combined with character design makes the game far more interesting than it ever would have been with run-of-the-mill cowboys duking it out.
For the price of ten dollars, you’re getting a pretty solid couple hours worth of beat ‘em up action with Dusty Revenge. The main issue lies with how much you love beat ‘em ups and if fairly repetitive play is worth it to you or not. There are definitely reasons to play, such as learning the combos to dole out as much pain as possible, or to enjoy the art style, but these are all meant to serve as anchors for exciting gameplay. Although this doesn’t seem present, Dusty Revenge still provides an interesting take on the beat ‘em up world.
|Oh, man! Nostalgia all up ins!|
|This promotional image does a pretty good job of hiding
just ugly the game actually is.
|Have I managed to get across the fact that I hate Ben 10 yet?
Because I hate Ben 10. Really hate it.
The GameSparked Team
The GameSparked Podcast contains naughty words, and inappropriate content. Viewer discretion is advised.
The verticality harms the gameplay more than anything. Given the wide viewing-angle of most monitors and televisions these days, horizontal side-scroller design just makes sense. Obstacles enter the player’s field of vision earlier, thereby allowing the player to react appropriately. In Freedom Fall, the player can’t see what lies ahead unless they stand still and hold up or down, which isn’t the most exhilarating mechanic despite its good intentions.
The narrative heartbeat’s flicker only exacerbates the game’s flaws. Upon the player’s first few flops downward, they’ll notice some crude graffiti etched on the wall…bearing a MESSAGE! *dramatic whirl* And since this thread is the game’s final saving grace, I won’t delve too much into it, other than to state this: it has heart and some pretty solid potential to tell a sweet moving story, but it ultimately falls flat and joins the majority of games’ boring narratives in the Badguy/Boss-fight clearance section somewhere way in the back between piles of blank CD-RWs and JCVD single-DVD movie combos (tragic, I know).
|Why does it feel like we’re still in highschool?|
The story isn’t the only thing that feels new here, though. The overall trappings of the game, like the art and music, are different as well. Little surprise, as series staples Kazuma Kaneko and Shoji Meguro have not done the art and music, respectively. Instead, they’ve been replaced by Masayuki Doi (character designer for most Trauma Center games) and Ryouta Kozuka (composer for Devil Survivor 2). They’ve done quite a good job – I enjoy the several new demon designs, as well as many of the tracks off the original soundtrack (Overture and Tokyo Map are a couple of standouts among many) – although I felt the old team could have delivered a superior one. Ah well, it’s a nice breath of fresh air, and at least Atlus decided to take a chance.
|At last, you can finally live out your fantasies of being a thug from a GTA game.|
Since managing skills and weaknesses is such a critical part of the game, having a good party is the key to survival. Besides recruiting demons in conversations, you can also access the Cathedral of Shadows on your gauntlet, which allows you to fuse two or more demons in order to make a new one. By doing so, the new demon will inherit the skills of previous demons. Thankfully, you can now specify exactly what skills the new demon will have, a feature conspicuously absent in previous entries of the series. Demon fusion is one of the biggest and most complicated (though by no means inaccessible; it has a list of recommended fusions for newcomers) aspects of the game, which can, and probably will, inspire collectors and power gamers.