Saturday, 29 June 2013

Rogue Legacy

I did have a weekend planned.  It contained many things.  I intended to watch thousands of people watching smaller numbers of more skillful people, virtually jousting with each other at MLG.  I even considered visiting family.


Clearly, I had forgotten that this weekend was Rogue Legacy weekend.  It has taken over, spread it's wings upon my time spent doing anything else.  I will get little else done this weekend, but I do not care, not when it feels so warm under here.

It never fails to surprise me.  Just when you think the Indie scene is going somewhat quiet, that their games have lost their shine somewhat, one comes along and reminds you how in touch they are.  Rogue Legacy is a fantastic little game, and one you can sink many, many hours into.  It rewards you for winning, and it rewards you for failing.  If, like me, you're a little put off by that notion at first well, fear not, they have done well.  

Let me explain the process you will go through when you first start to play.  Almost immediately you will consider Castlevania, and rightly so.  There is a castle, it can be explored and there are secrets to discover.  Treasure chests litter floors laced with traps and unfair mobs only too happy to end your characters life with relative ease.  You will not find health pots in every corner willing to hand hold you through the next room.  It's pretty much you, that health bar, a jump button and an attack button.  Well we all know how this is going to end, and pretty soon it does.

After a short amount of confusion upon being whisked back to the title screen after a measly ghost finished me off, you get to choose an heir.  Granted, I had been told about this feature prior to my purchase, but I did not realize it would be handled so well.  You choose an heir from a small selection of characters, each with their own slant on life in the game.  Pick an heir with Vertigo and well, you'll be playing the game upside down.  Pick one with gigantism and yes, you've guessed it, your character is larger than normal.  Dwarfism?  Smaller than usual, ADHD?  Your character runs faster.  Colorblind?  You play in black and white.  This is tongue in cheek game design, and were it that alone it would all come crashing down.

The hook, though, is the system of keeping what you've earned.  After all, the castle is different every time you enter, so you're never keeping your exploration.  Instead of this, or keeping a single character for the gamer to get attached to, you're allowed a few concessions.  You keep the gold you've earned when you die, to be spent on your heir or lineage before the next voyage.  There is a talent tree-esque system of building up your power.  You spend gold on talents, they give you more health or mana, your next trip is a bit safer.  You can spend gold on weapons and equipment you find blueprints for within the castle, which carry over onto each heir.  

It can and will become compulsive, getting enough gold to create the first set of items at the Blacksmith, only to find that you still die in a very similar fashion, but on your way to doing so discovered the blueprints for a new weapon and well shit, here I am back on the road again.

I have only touched the surface here really, on what is a fantastic and affordable little game.  Sure the controls arent quite SOTN tight, and some will not like the fact that skill level means nothing when faced with a puzzle only an heir of a certain type can solve.  Nevertheless, this is a game sure to keep you entertained for a few weeks, and given the amount of times I have thrown to the gutter full price purchases within a few hours, I am pretty happy with this little purchase.

~sal

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