//N.P.P.D. RUSH//- The milk of Ultraviolet is a very, very weird game! It's mostly a top-down shooter of sorts, with some light rogue-like and bullet-hell elements. It's a game that you can pretty much beat in less than 10 minutes, but it may take a couple of hours to understand what's going on and be able to beat it.
Basically, you're dying. You've been in some sort of accident, lost your limbs, and are now attached to a motorcycle, with guns for arms. Badass, huh? Everything has a decayed, drugged feel, in a good way. Your task is to collect girls for an unknown purpose (later revealed), and try to survive while you're at it.
You kill enemies that drop money, and you can use that money to upgrade, sell your organs (and be left bleeding out), buy girls, buy more time, etc. Have I mentioned it's a crazy game?Context
After Uriel's Chasm, Rail Slave Games seems to have become the developers whose games people just get for very cheap, and then do joke reviews on. While there are many legitimate flaws in this game, it certainly does not deserve the way people look at it as.
I played his other game yesterday, and while I recommended it for people who owned it, and wanted a completely crazy experience, I do not think it is a very good game, even at its core. The cryptic biblical theme didn't help either.
With this game, however, while it's full of huge flaws, design-wise, it's also something very unique at its core, and I actually enjoyed it! Think dark Hotline Miami, on steroids. This is pretty much that, although in a smaller scale.
I've bought it for less than 40 cents, and it gives you 3 cards, which you can sell for 9 cents each, so half of the game pays for itself. Presentation
Alike their other game, there are steam reviewers saying the game's retro look
is badly done and very ugly.
Well, the ugliness is completely intentional, and it gives the game a very personal vibe, in my opinion. It's a weird mixture of glitch and cyberpunk
. It's gritty and cheesy, but it definitely sets the tone and carries the experience almost by itself.
Mind, however, that the game has many faults when it comes to feedback, and part of it comes in visual form.
This is because you get blood on your screen when you kill enemies (the one introduced after release doesn't, due to a bug...). This would look like you're the one being damaged.
However, when you're damaged, the screen gets blue, and can often pass unnoticed.
It's ... not good. You'll often die because you didn't realize how close you were to death. It's unfortunate...
Thematically, it's very cool looking!
aren't very high quality, but again, help to set the tone. Didn't find them very good at all, but hey...
is also a mixed bad. It's mostly an amateur industrial metal. It's very
noisy and low-fi, and I'll definitely not listen to it on my own time. Yet, it adds a lot to the experience. Most people will find it completely awful at first listen... the whole game feels like that. But if you can put yourself in the right mindset, you'll find that it's a very cohesive experience, design-wise, and thus creates a great atmosphere to visit for a short while.Interface and Options-wise
, it's pretty horrible. Besides, half of the things do not exactly work as intended. Your preferences always reset when you get to the menu (either by starting the game, or finishing a run), the timer starts counting on the menu rather than when you start a run, etc. Still, the most important option for me was the game's volume (no separate sliders either), and that could be changed at any time, by pressing "+" and "-", so that's fine.
You always have to click when the cursor is on "back" to go back. Many people, myself included, simply press "Esc" to go back, and that closes the game immediately. There isn't any sort of saving, so you may lose a few runs by mistake like that.
Most of the dreadful first impression comes from this. The developer has said that he doesn't like making options menus and the like and wants to express himself. I can understand that, but the result is a game that seems to have be hammered together. And, for most people, it's definitely a big wall to their enjoyment, leading the the whole joke circle jerk around the developer.
The game didn't feature any menu, initially, but it was updated after release to have some
options. It was appreciated, but it explains many of the bugs. The menu exists, but the game hasn't been changed to accomodate it...
Bottomline is, it's probably the game with the roughest edges I've played. The interfacing is absolutely awful, and the presentation very unpolished. Still, if you can get past that, you may enjoy yourself!Structure & Mechanics
In this game, you need to save 30 girls, spread through 5 floors. After that, a passage on the 5th floors opens up, leading you to the final Bossfight.
It's a simple twin-stick shooter. You move with WASD, and aim/shoot with the mouse. The menus are the same.
I don't know why people mention the controls as being bad. I thought they were fairly good. Sure, it does not have gamepad support, but it's no the end of the world.
Perhaps people didn't notice that you're on a motorcycle, so you move as in such. It felt pretty good, to me!
Besides, your guns have a very high rate of fire, and make the enemies seems like butter, at times.
The camera is also very close to your character, which may hinder
gameplay for most people. Honestly, I was waaay past that when I played this game. It's the kind of thing you can play for 10 minutes, be challenged, and then put it down.
Each floor has a different configuration, and you'll have to learn their layout to plan accordingly. You have a time limit (which you can increase with money), so it's important to know where to go. The levels are also full of enemies, some of which have a very bullet-hellish pattern. There are only 3 enemy types, though.
There's a shop in the begining of the level, and it's also your "staircase" to change floor. In the shop, you can buy one
weapon upgrade, time, girls, and then there are 2 things with a heavy penalty to them. One, is buying health, but losing time. The other, selling your organs, for a big amount of money. Time doesn't tick when you're in the shop. However, once you sell an organ, your health starts to decrease, as you're bleeding out.
While the intention would be for the game to have a very subtle balance between what the player buys, it can be cheesed (haha, obviously!). While that may seem a bad thing (and yes, it is bad design), it opened up a speed-run competition on the Hub, where people are trying to cheese the game faster. It's amusing.
When I first beat the game, I beat it normally, by using the shop only to buy the weapon and time. I explored the levels thoroughly, and collected the girls. It took me more than an hour to understand what was really
going on, haha! After that, I cheesed the game, and half cheesed it a couple of more times. It was fun.
The last Boss is in a small screen, with bullet-hell patterns. It only has one phase, and there are situations where you can't avoid to take damage. Still, I never died against it, and I'm not particularly good at these games... The Boss fight is also independent on the rest of the game, so no need to worry about health or anything else.Conclusion
The game is very, very imperfect, and really bad at times. However, if you manage to ignore that, and even the sub-par design, you'll be left with a very unique experience
, and quite fun at its core, I've found! I won't play any more than these 2 hours, but it was almost free... Besides, if you're into getting into the highest scores, the game is quite fun to play with.
For the vibe alone, recommended! Otherwise.. don't.