Crypt of the Necrodancer Review:
I rate this game: 8.0 / 10.0
Where to start... hmmm... Before the games full release, my friends told me this game was awesome. Looking at it from a spectators view, it didn't feel like a good game. The reason I tried it is because of the game's music. This game has awesome music, and the word awesome cannot even begin to describe how good the music is - awesome is an understatement if anything else. Well, the music better be super awesome because its main theme is a Music-Rhythm Dungeon Crawling Game. Yes, put that cloth down; stop rubbing your eyes, your glasses and eyesight are both fine. MUSIC - RHYTHM - DUNGEON - CRAWLING. Who would've thought combining those elements would make an awesome Rogue-lite game, Brace Yourself Games and Klei Entertainment did. Okay, so, I start playing the game on my friend's game on steam during the early access phase.
MUSIC AND HOW IT PLAYS
That was the starting point that sucked me into this musical addiction of dungeon crawling awesomeness. At the beginning, just like all dungeon crawling games, you don't know anything about the dungeon. You start treading about slowly, and then you realize, how come my movements aren't registering very well, are these controls buggy or broken? NO, you can only move according to the beat, you cannot move whenever you please BUT the enemies and monsters do the same, they move according to the beat. This gives the game a semi real time system and gives you little time for planning strategies. Then, when you want to attack an enemy, you just stand next to them or in range of your weapon and click the direction the enemy is at. Most of the time, you will fight and suddenly another monster comes from the top, then below, then the boss of the stage is coming for you. When that happens, you gotta dance with the enemy on the fly. Each enemy has a different "dance" pattern, and with that, you "dance" with them. This part of the game made me come back for more. When you pull it off successfully, timing the beat perfectly, dodging everything, playing with the game's advance tactics that give a single beat invulnerability, that feeling that rushes through like adrenaline - well it was like that for me.
THIS SECTION SEMI-RELEVANT ONLY
Aside from that, just like any dungeon crawling game, itemizing is also one of the main fun points of roguelite or roguelike games. I'll write a few ITEM SPOILERS here, so if you want to find out what the items do on their own, you may wanna skip this section. Okay, At first, I loved the Broadsword which attacks 3 spaces in front of where your character is facing, not 3 spaces front, 3 spaces wide - in front of you, that box to the left and right. Unlike other weapons, this is one of the few weapons that can hit multiple targets. For the first few days of playing this game non-stop, I always looked out for the broadsword cause it was my main choice. Itemizing that with Ring of Might which gives 1 damage and combo that with a War Drum that let's you stay in one position without missing a beat and also increase your damage if you stand still. You could possibly one-shot a dragon if you use that combo with the War Drum. Then one day, I asked my friend: " Man whenever I get the Rapier, I feel like I'm bringing myself to death." Just so you know, the Rapier can only hit one target, with a range of two spaces in front of you. IF you attack a target that is two spaces away you lunge toward that target. Basically you attack and move a the same time, but why would you want to do that lunging towards a boss? If the boss doesn't die from that attack, you take a beating from the boss. Then my friend gave me the theory on how the rapier is awesome, and it piqued my interest. I practiced the rapier for another few days and apparently the rapier fit my style of combat. Then, I learnt that best combo with a rapier, Ring of Courage + Rapier. Ring of Courage gives 1 bonus damage and moves the player towards the target if the target is killed. I stumbled upon this combo, I held both items, and I was surrounded, no matter where I move, I'll get hit, and I have half a heart of HP remaining, anything would kill me, so, I YOLO-ed and dash around the battlefield killing everything in my path but eventually dying at the last 3 enemies because i messed up the beat. Along the dance of carnage, I saw myself got hit, but I didn't die, and so I realized, the Ring of Courage moves you one step forward, and gives you a one beat invulnerability. What solidified my choice of weapons to the rapier was this one time, so happen I have a damage boost ring, damage boost boots and a Glass Rapier, yes, Glass... Glass breaks your weapon if you get hit but it does 4 damage - the highest damage in the game, most mooks don't even have 3 HP. And so, with the rhythm and beats of the dancing gods i killed all of "Death Metal's" minions, I proceed to kill "Death Metal" himself, the boss with 10 HP, after a few frustrating side steps to get around his shield, i finally got a position to do a lunge attack with the Glass Rapier and I took it. To my surprise, Death Metal died. I just stood there for the next 1 minute, wondering what just happened. Scratching my head over it, thinking that there is no way possible i can hit 10 dmg in one hit, I finally gave up on figuring it out on my own and checked the wiki. Apparently the Rapier does double damage on lunge. From that moment onwards till today, I finished off most bosses with mostly a rapier.
LONG STORY SHORT, The itemizing in this game is fun and there are so many combinations to try but sadly there are only few favourites among players and people normally only stick to that because the other combinations are not as reliable. Comparing the itemizing to another Roguelite: Binding of Isaac, this game lacks in the itemization department.
The monsters and enemies in this game are very interesting to "dance" with especially in the final zone. The monsters make me want to come back to this zone with better gear just to try and fight them again. The story plot of the game is interesting but not amazing. In my opinion, it is a great story, I got mind blown at one point, and then mind blown again when I went to character select. So, once again, in my opinion, I think the story is great. Also, after getting the official full release and playing until the end of the story. I found out that you get to play as other characters to progress the story. That in turn makes the replayability of the game pretty good. Even without the extended story from other characters, I already played the entire game from zone 1 to final zone for hundreds of runs. Finally finishing the story, if im not mistaken, there might be DLC for extra levels or just Crypt of the NecroDancer 2 and I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT!!! JUST TAKE MY MONEY!!!
The couple of downsides of this game, is the lack of itemization options and very limited bosses. Every zone, the final floor will be a random pick from 4 bosses, and the further zones just improve their HP abit and include harder mooks in the boss chamber. I was expecting 10 different bosses in the official release. Only the Final Zone, Final Boss is fixed. The fight was amazing. To put it in words without spoilers, the game basically just told me "THIS IS THE LAST BOSS, HERE IS SOMETHING ENTIRELY NEW YOU NEED TO GET USE TO TO BEAT THE BOSS, NOW GO!!!". Now back to the negative points, the very final part of the story is ludicrous hard and I can't say any further because it would be spoilers. I consider that as a negative because it would frustrate people to a point that they would give up trying. If this game had more bosses, and more items, I believe I would give it 10/10.