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On 11/12 Nintendo broadcast their first Nintendo Direct presentation in five months. While many things have happened in between that time, the passing of Satrou Iwata and appointing of a new president, and games have been announced and delayed and teased, we haven’t had this form of direct contact since E3. It was a very welcome return and I fee like at least 5 mics were dropped over the course of the event.

You can watch the whole thing above (some intern was even kind enough to bookmark it with each reveal) but let me save you some time and tell you all the stuff important to me, and therefore important to you, as you’re all figments of my Moon Crystal’s imagination.

 

Final Fantasy Explorers 1/26/16

We knew this was coming to the Americas since GamesCon but I am excited for it once again. Right now the only game I play online with my 3DS is FF:Theatrhythm. I can’t deal with Monster Hunter’s controls or Freedom Planet’s..everything.  But this looks really easy to play and customize. I definitely plan on attending any launch event Nintendo will be cooking up for their store in NYC.

Pokemon super

Pokemon SUPER Mystery Dungeon out 11/20/15

I tried to get into the Mystery Dungeon series. An action-ish RPG with filled only with Pocket Monsters? I should be all up on that! But the writing and pacing was just so childish and sluggish that I couldn’t get into it. It felt like reading a novel written by a child. But once again the visuals and promise of playing as each of the 720 pokemon  are nearly tempting enough to get me back.

Linkle Finally Exists! Still not Groose

Beginning as concept art of Link’s little sister, Linkle (female Link) became the internet’s most requested bit of fanfiction for a long time. Lots of people hoping for a female protag in a Zelda game thought she’d be a perfect addition if we couldn’t get the titular queen of Hyrule herself. Well she’s finally here as a playable hero in the 3DS port of Hyrule Warriors Legends. The port also includes the ability to switch between heroes on the fly,mid battle, and let’s you upload your progress from the 3DS game to the WiiU counterpart.

Mario Tennis ULTRA Smash out 11/20/15

I don’t like many of the Mario spinoff things. Mario Party is more infuriating than Monopoly, Smash Bros is just not for me at all but tennis? I can deal with Mario Tennis. The newest iteration of the game is full of power-ups, online play, jumping attacks and supers.

Star Fox ZERO mid-2016

Platinum games has been very busy lately. After their digital-only Legend of Korra game they gave us Slayonetta 2, Transformers Devastation and they’re currently working on a new Nier title with Squeenix and this new Star Fox game. It has the classic on-rails segments and updates them with on-land tank fighting, 3D aerial dog fights and allows your ship to turn into a chicken-like thing to roam around and explore dungeons. Graphics are not stunning but this looks like a blast.

paperjam

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam on 12/10/15

The Mario & Luigi RPGs have eluded me ever since I tried the first on the Gameboy Advance and got stuck doing the jump rope mini-game about 2 hours in. This game has the Mario bros team up with the 2D version of Mario to defeat Paper Bowser and probably some other bad guy we don’t know yet.  Paper Mario has access to a ton of reality bending powers, like, making copies of himself, folding himself into a paper airplane so the Bros can glide on him to safety and more.

Dragon Quests VII & VIII Western Port confirmed for 2016

I was sincerely hoping to see these games in 2015, if only to cut leave myself breathing room to play all of Fire Emblem Fates, Bravely Second, Hyrule Warriors Legends and SMTxFE. Alas, it looks like I’ll have to die trying to play them all at once.

Dragon Quest VII and VIII were ported to the 3DS in Japan earlier this year, both with a ton of updates. Job Skill got their point requirements got slashed by half in most cases, new party members have been added to both versions as well as new Super Dungeons and Super Bosses and most importantly, new DRESSPHERES.  I missed DQVIII on the PS2 and very much look forward to this.

Fire Emblem: Fates on 2/19/16

Fire Embleim SPECIAL

This one was a bit tricky to understand, even for me who’s been keeping up with the game since it was announced  over a year ago. Fire Emblem Fates are the latest game in the series since Awakening broke all the records back around the launch of the 3DS. You play as a powerful prince or princess, destined to bring prosperity and military might to one of two countries.

There are two main campaigns that will be released at launch; Birthright and Conquest. The family you join, and so the characters you have access to, story and mission objectives, are different and specific to each version.  Then there’s a third game called Revelations that takes revolves around exposing truths hidden in both campaigns. When you buy one version at $40 you get a discount on the others and they’ll be $20 each. So if you buy the Special Edition you aren’t saving any money but all three games will be on the same cartridge. Not yet sure how I’m going to deal with this one.

And a few honorable mentions:
-No no Footage but Bravely Second: End Layler is confrimed for a Spring 2016 release
-Some Nobody named Cloud will be the next DLC character in Smash Bros on WiiU and 3DS
-The long rumored Twilight Princess HD port was confirmed for March 4th 2016
-Amiibo still suck and are rare but no plans to fix production strategy have been made

I didn’t grow up in a Nintendo household. My brothers and I shared a Sega Genesis and then a PlayStation 1 and 2. So I don’t have the nostalgia that makes so many people go crazy over just seeing these names and characters. But by KOS-MOS that direct was fun and I am more excited for these things to come into my handheld than any other things next year.

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Mini Post: SMTxFE News!

SMTxFE (aka the GREATEST GAME EVER) has had some new info drop in recent weeks. While the game, unfortunately, didn’t release a new trailer at Tokyo Game Show, we did learn that it would be releasing in Japan on Boxing Day! This week even more details have come to light thanks to a scan of a Famitsu article and the official website going up. Here are juiciest bits:

Kiria’s Mirage has been confirmed as Tharja; the Gothy, dark-humored, liberally-dressed fan favorite from Fire Emblem Awakening.

Source: http://dengekionline.com

I gotta admit, I never used Tharja in my FE:A playthrough. I made Cordellia a Dark Mage so her child would have the Life Drain skill so Tharja was just extra. However this magic maiden looks amazing. That cape/gown, that floating staff. I’m getting plenty of Magical Girl feels from it.

source :http://dengekionline.com/

On a side note, I don’t really like Kiria’s standard outfit. The whole “thong straps showing above your pants” thing is so 2010. It’s very K$sha.

The scan also revealed that Eleonora, the archer of the party, will have the playboy nobleman, Virion, as her Mirage. Very fitting and he looks very cool.

Source: http://dengekionline.com

There was another party member revealed who seems to be a child idol. Mamori will apparently be partnered with the huge hulking Mirage, Draug.

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But the most important reveal is clearly Barry Goodman. After having nothing but the twinky protag, Itsuki,  and Toma to look at for a year or so, Barry’s burly big-chested body is a wonder to behold. He hasn’t be confirmed as a party member, unfortunately but if there is a god he will be or at least will be in various states of undress. Admire below

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Genei-Ibun-Roku-FE-Screenshot-12 Genei-Ibun-Roku-FE-Screenshot-11

I am so fucking excited

“I hate mobile games.”

“I hate being on the subway and seeing people flick and kick their robots down an infinite temple runner, as they ignore the people who are trying to maneuver around them and the poles and other Bidoof on the train.”

“I hate mobile games because they’re all Match 3 tile games or Infinite Runners or Farmville and I can’t deal with that.”

These are the thoughts that held me back from playing games on my 1 year old smart phone and these are the thoughts that were completely blown away by Steven Universe: Attack the Light.

Attack the Light

                                                 Steven Universe: The Party

This wonderful game is a fully fledged RPG, based on the hilarious and subversively progressive TV show, Steven Universe. The revolves around Steven, who is the child of a legendary warrior woman who lead a team of immortal fighters who have pledged to defend the Earth from invaders. That team, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl use flashy powers, goofy attacks and science-y lasers to defeat foes on TV and you control them, and Steven in the game.

Attack the Light opens in a 4th wall-breaking bit, Steven is bored at home after his game console dies, but thankfully the gems show up and whisk him off on a real adventure to collect some anthropomorphic beams of light that have gotten loose. Steven embarks on a real life adventure and whimsically remarks to the gems that they are in a real RPG as he checks for loot and healing items. The team travels across 5 worlds fighting and returning the light creatures to captivity.

You start each round with 5 star points and every action (besides using items) cost some points.Saving points to use a bigger attack next round is very important. Besides that battles play out like a classic turn-based RPG: The gems attack foes directly (bonus damage is awarded to well timed screen taps), Steven plays the cleric by healing and buffing. But the whole thing is coated in Steven Universe imagery that would make any fan happy and gives it a very distinct charm. Steven heals by complementing and boosting the ego of the gems, he buffs by playing his father’s guitar; Amethyst can lower an enemy’s attack and defense by morphing into a huge muscular wrestler and elbow-diving them;  Pearl can crowd control and force enemies to skip turns using her holo-Pearl ability, and Garnet has a Rocket Punch! Items include things like Cookie Cat pastries and Together Breakfasts as nods to the show as well.

Every RPG needs evil Scorpions

                                                                     Steven Universe

There’s tons of room for strategy and customization but it never feels overwhelming. Each gem can equip up to 2 badges to augment their status, give stat bonuses or immunity to debuffs, as well as getting traditional level ups. I myself chose to give Pearl bonuses to her attack with every level and a badge that heals 5 HP each round and since her attack uses 1 star she became a Glass Canon that killed 3-4 mobs a turn. Garnet tanked with the most HP and debuff protection and Amethyst got all the Luck to get debuffs on multiple enemies with her whip attack. You could go through the game anyway, without using any badge or with a more balanced team than mine and still have a great time.

Demon Goddess

                                                              Demon Goddess

This game is amazing, perfect for my 30 minute or for an hour in bed or anywhere. You feel like you’re accomplishing real things and it’s funny and heartwarming just like the show. At only $3 in the app store you really have no reason not to get this game if you like RPGs or good things.

When I last left you, readers, I went off in search of answers to my questions about the plot of Dark Souls 2, and the search was pretty damn successful if I do say so myself.

I began by talking to a few friends who, like me, play the Souls game and find the setting and story just as engrossing as the gameplay. However these friends also came up with the same basic beats of the plot: Vendrick went off to kill the giants, stole something from them came back and hid away followed by (or just before) the rest of the giants showed up to wreck the kingdom. But the item/power he stole, what the Queen was after and who the Songstresses were, all these alluded them as well. The search would have to go deeper and there aren’t many places as vast and full of people claiming to know about stuff as Youtube.

I started with the channels that were primarily focused on Lore discussion (SilverMont, EpicNameBro, TerraMantis, VaatiVidya) and pretty much immediately found answers that plugged some big holes in my understanding of the game. I made a point in my last post about the Queen being silent upon her throne. I was just listing an aspect of the game and wasn’t intending that to be something I would have debunked! TerraMantis’s vid on Queen Nashandra includes clips with her dialog to the player! I’m not sure how I missed this dialog, I went to the throne room of the castle many times, after many big plot events, hoping she would talk but she never did. Maybe my file was corrupt or I didn’t step on the trigger tile..any of the dozen times I tried to interact with her. Or maybe you need to have the Ring of Whispers, which lets you hear enemies and talk to some monstrous NPCs, equipped to speak with her. I’ll figure it out on my next playthrough.

But Nashandra’s intentions become pretty clear from this dialog. She wants the player to become the next monarch of Drangleic, sit upon the Throne of Want and…do something…that will let the Dark spread.

Now two very large looming questions have been taken care of: What the hell the Queen wanted from the beginning, before she showed up as the final boss, and why we’re doing what we’re doing. Even if we  have no intention of working for her, our entire quests is to sit the throne. But why was it so damned hard to get to the throne? If everybody, including the King’s spirit and the Emerald Herald wants us to sit on the throne why all the obstacles before we can do it? That answer came from another video.

Usually in a story like this all the trials the hero must overcome are put in his way by the very people who want his help, a test,  as a way to measure his strength. Once he does he is given a prize or treasure that will bring some form of prosperity; But that’s not the case in Dark Souls 2. The obstacles that you must clear before you can ascend the Throne of Want are all in place to keep Nashandra OFF the throne!

  • The doors protecting the Throne and the most important Giant corpse are all barred and the only way to get them to open is by possessing the King’s Ring.
  • The King’s Ring is on Vendrick’s Corpse in the crypt.
  • The crypt is protected by a cult, guardsmen and The King’s Aegis (giant bell-mace swinging boss)
  • Access to the crypt is only gained passed the Amana’s Shrine which are home to dragon cultists and the Songstresses (known as Malfinito) that can subdue the Dark
  • The Ancient Dragon,  the symbol of fire and light which oppose the Dark, is the only one that can give you the Ashen Mist Hart which you need to access the Giant’s Friendship (which I believe to be the item Vendrick also acquired when he traveled across the sea to wage war)

With all of these barring her way the Queen didn’t really stand a chance on her own in getting to the throne and so she goads the Chosen Undead to do so.

The last question I found a partial answer to was the power of the throne itself. Dark Souls 2 beats it into the player’s head that the world the game is set in is one bound by a cyclical fate. Kingdoms rise, grow wealthy and learn soul arts and faith spells and then suddenly a curse appears and humans become Undead. The undying plague the land and seek to amass souls within themselves to stave off the curse. To do this they attack others and steal their souls. Then beings of the Dark arise to challenge those that thrive in the light and the kingdom eventually falls, not just losing power, they are destroyed in a violent war. The Throne of Want is situated in a kiln, much like the place where the player fought Lord Gwyn in the first game, and it basically  allows you to…either survive into the next cycle of the world or else be the catalyst that causes this cycle to end. As it is a Kiln and Nashandra seems to want the power of the First Flame, maybe your ultimate goal it to burn again and BECOME the first flame!?

These vids and comments sections answered most of my big glaring questions about the plot but some others remain. For example the Malfinito, whose song can calm the Darkones… according to the item description on the clothes they drop , they were given their power by Nito, the lord of the dead in the first game. When the hell did Nito gain any power over the Undead to pass on to these girls? Nito, the first of the dead, held power over death, the Undead were an affront to his very kingdom. He and Gwyn worked together to have the Undead go around pumping humanity into bonfires (which really only served to extend the Age of Fire from Dark Souls). He damn sure didn’t sing in that game. Another question, what are the Emerald Herald’s power and how did she get them. The observant player will see that she was probably created in that creepy lab but what was she made from and how does she control soul powers? AND how does she teleport around the map?

The final piece of DLC for the game just came out and the new DEX/INT Witch will go around looking for the answers to the last questions and hopefully uncover more mysteries.

Bloodborne Hype Train

 

It all began with a whisper… a rumor.

A leak had let out  that From Software were working on a new game and it was called Project Beast.

All the Tumblrs and lore channels on YT were ablaze with speculation and people were jumping on board the Hype Train eagerly. Being the level headed person that I am I decided to wait until something solid took shape before I gave bought a ticket and joined everyone.

Shortly afterwards the footage used in the video above started to circulate as well and I could see the game in action. Was it time to buy a ticket? No..not just yet for me. Seeing the gameplay, the color scheme, the monsters, angry villagers, the spirit/fog gate, all I could think was “it’s just Demons Souls again.” I know for a large chunk of the Souls consumers that alone is enough to pre-order the game but it just didn’t excite me. I saw the same drab shambles of a kingdom that had fallen into ruin that we had seen all over in Boletaria.

E3 passed this summer and the Rubbish hit the fan when Sony announced that Project Beast was actually a game called Bloodborne and not only was it being developed exclusively for the PS4, Demon’s and Dark soul legend Hidetaka Miyazaki was returning as director of this game after being absent from Dark Souls 2 (the reason for such now becoming clear).

Finally I was ready to get aboard the Hype train! This wasn’t the same ancient world where gods banished their sons  and dragons filled the skies; No it was a  modern(ish)! Cobble-stoned streets, a towering Gothic chapels, and creepy medical experiments, the BLUNDERBUSS! . This was going to be a horror game straight out of 19th century blood-curdling news stories and I wanted every bit of it!

But then… the final plunge of my roller coaster ride began as they released a gameplay trailer.

The movements, the dodge-roll, counter, rhythm of battle, the collision boxes of the blades and the enemies,another curse and THE SOUNDS OF THE FEET ON THE LADDERS! it was all the same! This video is from an early build of the game so some of these things have time to be changed, like the sound effects and I hope they will be.

The idea of the souls games really intrigues and speaks to me. The defining of what makes a human a human, of a soul and what would happen if you could take the souls from others and have your own taken. The drive that would cause to accumulate souls or else become hollow/insane/daft/invalid. The struggle for power that lords wage as their kingdoms enter twilight or as they turn sacrifice more than others were willing for power.  Bloodborne seems to have some of these aspects but the shift to focus on horror is welcome. If Miyazaki could only be even more bold and make more changes I would be on board. More than a different feeling combat system I would LOVE  a change in the setting.  I know it’s not the ancient kingdom with giant living suits of armor or dragon but taking this game out of Fake!England could open it up to so many possibilities.  Move it to Ancient Egypt or China or India. So many myths and so much lore to pull from (and yes I know about the Indian origins of Manus’ name). So much culture and so many other visual symbols that could be implemented to give all us lore hounds something to look up and debate about.

A part of me is scared that the reason for the uniformity carrying across into the next generation of games is in response to fan backlash. At the advent of Dark Souls (the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls which were spiritual successors to King’s Field) there was a pretty audible outcry from fans of the PS3 exclusive Demon’s Souls. Some felt Dark souls was too easy, some felt the PVP was “broken” because of the ease large amount of back stabbing, some console enthusiast felt betrayed that the game was available on PC and Xbox 360s, while some just complained it “wasn’t as good.” As I mentioned Miyazaki was not the director of Dark Souls 2 presumably because he was working on Bloodborne. Perhaps the negative opinions influenced his development and he kept this title close to the heart of the other to appease those fans. It’s also entirely possible this is the style, and sound effect, and animations, he himself holds dear. He’s the only one who could know the answer to that.

Maybe a launch trailer will come around and change my mind but right now Bloodborne just isn’t ‘new’ enough to get me on board with everyone else.

It all begins

More dogs that totally won’t do Bleed damage!

A fog/mist gate made of SOULS!

 

 

GaymerX2: Addendum

Here is s photo dump of pics and links from GaymerX2!

Me and Guest Players!

Here’s me getting settled on the plane to SanFran

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Me cheesing real hard with Shawn Allen                       Hugging a Gatchaman

 

 

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Joystiq Love

 

Cosplay and Video games

 

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A pic from the Dragball by @GaymerTV                                   A gender-bent Ramona Flowers

    IndieCade Tumblr

    This was a fun game like anti-CAH. You choose the unpopular cards to win

 

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Played the first public Demo of Borderlands The Pre-Sequel and met Claptrap[‘s cardboard cousin]

 

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From @HuntBell                                                               Rise Hawkeye and a lich?

Last week a hot tip in the Twitter-verse alerted me to the fact that the Lightning Returns demo had leaked via the 360 Marketplace. However MS swept up that mistake before I could paradigm shit into Combat Clinic. I was pretty crestfallen for the next few days, being so close to My Savior and then having her yanked away from me. My desire only grew stronger.

Cut to yesterday, January 21st and the twit-o-sphere taunts me again of LR news but something it new. This time the tweets are from more than one source and have pics of what look like in game locales in them. “SHE REALLY IS RETURNING” I said to no one in particular. And started the download on my 360.

The first thing I see after booting up the game is the greatest and most annoying enemy any RPG maker has ever designed: The “Click Any Button To Continue” screen. The screen that has haunted me since XIII’s initial release. A useless screen that is followed by another 13 unnecessary button clicks to get from  starting the software to loading your save file. Somehow I overcame this foe.

The demo starts right in the middle of the action, jumping into a scene already in motion between Lightning, who is corresponding with Hope via bluetooth, and Snow, who has become the king of an S&M leather fetish club. The visuals are pretty sharp and impressive. Where XIII-2 improved over XIII but used a lot of  blurring and smokey effects, LR has a lot of sharp dynamic lighting.  During the RPG-level witty banter between Light and Snow I get into my first fight.

Battles allow for free movement but Lightning seems to only *walk*  back and forth, never run, so she doesn’t feel as free as the cutscenes make her out to be. She does charge down at the enemy when you press a physical attacking button. 2 tutorials later and I had learned about Staggering an enemy, a familiar concept to XIII vets, and using items to heal since Light is no longer healed between fights.

I was then allowed to change around the Schema (Dresspheres, equipment and abilities) and man oh man talk about jumping into the deep end. Not only can you change  what attacks Light could perform with each dressphere, you could change the armor and weapons for each, steal skills from one Schema to the next or unequip Schemas entirely. The menu is just as dense and bland as XIII-2 Crystarium and Monster ability pages so I was just overwhelmed with percentages and numbers and scrolling text and gray. So much gray. Eight minutes of fiddling later and I had equipped the Dragoon Schema, give the Red Mage’s Deprotect skill to the Heartstealer and give all my magic The Savior for a boss battle I knew was coming from trailers I’d seen months ago.

Just as I expected a Ruby Dragon-looking monster showed up as the next enemy and promised to be a tough one. The game suggested I take her down with magic so I spammed Thunder and Blizzaga as The Savoir and switched the Red Mage to use Deprotect and Ruin. Once she was close to Staggering I moved to Dragoon, popped an enFrost potion and went to town on her. Took the boss down in under 2 minutes and got my  5 star rating! I felt pretty pumped.

Next I kept following the cursor on the map, moved Light down 2 hallways….and the demo ended. Just like that. In front of a door with unseen enemy troops stalking me, the game just stops. I get a nice screen telling me to pre-order the game to get the FF7’s Cloud’s armor (while supplies last!) and then it’s back to the main menu.Image

(Completionists will want to link their facebooks or twitter to the demo and post the pic of their boss kill time to unlock a free Dressphere in the full game. Instructions on how to do this here SquarePortal)

As a mark for seeing how the visuals have advanced this was  great trailer for LR:FFXIII but as a demo..this sucked. Only 2 enemy types to be found in the area, both of which barely attack or put up a challenge. Simply attacking with magic 3x will kill the Fuzzballs and the Cat Demon Things can be Staggered before they attack twice. And before I could blink it was over. I literally spent more time in the menu trying to understand my choices then decide on how to make my Dresspheres do the most for me. This leaves an especially bad taste in my mouth after spending 7 hours in the Bravely Default demo on my 3DS. In that I fought 4 bosses and explored 3 short dungeons.

If I weren’t all ready so goddamned hype for Lightning to Return this demo would not have don’t much for me.

Lightning finally Returns to NA on Feb 11th and EU Feb 14th

 

Presented Without Comment

over the weekend Famitsu updated their data for game sales in Japan with Final Fantasy X|X2 HD’s numbers and they were very strong.

 

The High Definition re-release of Final Fantasy X and its sequel had week one sales of more than 339K units.

A month and some weeks before, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII sold 277K units.

 

OK.

I lied. I will comment.

I don’t think these numbers necessarily represent the quality (or lack thereof) of Lightning Returns. I am certain there is FFXIII Fatigue going around, the JRPG consumer base. As much as I loved the first game in the series I am really ready for a new world and and new nonsense, made up vocabulary (And boy and boy is that Bravely Default demo really satisfying both those itches).

On top of that, FFX is 10 years old! The amount of nostalgia it evokes is very significant.

Basically I’m proactively defending Lightning Returns before I buy it.

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Thanks to the horribly drug that is a Steam Mid-Week Sale I was able to get my hands on Cellar Door Games’ breakout hit, Rogue Legacy about 2 months ago. I was trying my darnedest to hold out until January and buy the game for my underused Playstation Vita but I’ve heard too many positive things about the game and I loves me a sale. This game is definitely worth 4 times what I paid for it.

I’ve seen many web publications describe Rogue Legacy as a ‘Rogue-like,’ but since I never heard of the game Rogue those comparisons fell on deaf ears. A more console-gamer-friendly label for this game is a Medtroidvania. It has the familiar look and playstyle of the classics of the NES and Genesis, you run from room to room in a 2D view inside a castle filled zombies, skeletons, spike traps, flying eyeballs while finding powers and power ups.

The first twist comes in that instead of saving at statues of angels or a in a pod, you go as far as you can in the dungeon and when you die that character is gone forever. After the game over screen you choose from a small pool of possible heirs that your last character somehow had time to spawn before entering the castle. The children are cobbled by a random selection of available classes, spells and traits and so  choosing between them is as strategic as timing jumps over traps. Will you choose an Arch Mage who can cycle through multiple spells, but is near-sighted? Or the dwarf Hokage with massive attack but who has vertigo which flips the entire screen on its X-axis? Maybe you’ll get lucky and you’ll get a Barbarian Queen with a huge HP pool who has Peripheral Arterial Disease – which makes floor spikes completely ineffective.

Each time you enter the castle it will be with a practically new character which it fitting since the castle will also be different each time. The mechanic that gives the game it’s Roguish namesake is a completely randomized dungeon that changes the layout of traps, rooms, bosses, enemy types, chests and everything else whenever you enter with a new heir.  The gold you collect before your next death is carried on by the son or daughter you choose and you can buy stat power ups, new classes, armor and runes as you see fit. But whatever you don’t spend is paid as a toll to reenter the castle for another round of fun. The true goal of this game is staying alive long enough to get enough gold to buy the things you want.

 

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“Well how the heck am I supposed to beat the game if everything resets when I die?” You might ask. And the answer is, however you want. The game gives you the tools to decide how you will play. You can find just enough to unlock a class and set of armor you like and then memorize the enemy attack patterns and trap speeds ala a Megaman game, and just rush to the nearest boss, or you can grind it out, amassing huge stock piles of gold and becoming powerful enough to stomp on every weak enemy. Or something in between.

What makes this game such a success is that you always WANT to go back in to the castle. The controls are simple, the visuals are  simple but  clean and and the gameplay is addicting. Oh! You were only 56 coins away from getting that new helmet you wanted that lets you gain health with every kill!  Guess you better go back and start all over but this time, not use an air dash when there are Ice Wizards around.

 

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What I most love about the game is the customization of in-game aspects and a similar freedom with how you literally approach the game.  Of the two dozen or so possible traits I quickly found my tactical favorites like P.A.D and dwarfism getting around easier, Hypergonadism for perma-roid strength that lets me knock back pesky enemies,  O.C.D. which restores MP when you do what comes naturally and destroy chairs and candle sticks in the rooms. I also found some just for fun faves, like Nostalgia which gives everything a sepia coloring, like a flashback scene in a cartoon – or the Gay trait which has no gameplay effect at all!

I’m able to play the game how I want and just grind away, collecting stats and items for 30 minutes to and hour at a time, before choosing to actually attempt to progress in the story.  I’ve seen other players choose to become better  at mechanic level and avoid enemy attacks and plow through the game at lower levels. My style would’ve been even  more suited to the PSV’s portability but I do not regret getting the PC version and may even buy it again if the Vita version has some bonuses.

This is definitely a must buy for lovers of Metroidvanias, Rogue-likes, Megamen or any 2D platformers, who don’t mind (or  maybe even love) a bit of grinding. It’s charming, fun and very addicting.