What is this?An unforgiving, 2D side-scroller platformer.
The Best:The feeling of accomplishment after successfully completing the game, or at least netting a few nice items by dumb luck or careful potion use before your almost always imminent death.
Love Nintendo Hard platformers?This game is for you...
The Worst:Being born the son of a Peasant when your choice of father was "Great Guy". The swirling arrow icon that resets your progress on said random fatherhood mode without any warning. And, of course, dyeing. Specially right next to the final boss.
|Personal: ||75/100 ||I had a great time playing this game. Quite challenging, yes, but I found in it a great way to kill time, specially when internet was MIA. |
|Overall: ||60/100 ||It's a short game, relies mostly on replay value that comes with randomized items and classes. It's main objective is to unlock five stars on "Great Guy" mode. Really recommended to great fans of unforgiving 2D side-scrollers that enjoy being kept on their toes (any second can be your last and throw all your progress on that run away). This game has no narrative, it's pure gameplay. Quite straightforward, brutal yet fun and addicting gameplay. |
Visuals, Sound Design & Gameplay
Everything is just so cute... On this land where everything and everyone is out to get you. And they will. Time and time again.
Charming, albeit a little bit bland, colorful 2D graphics. It's visual cues are functional, every object and enemy is able to convey what it's able to do, and how you should react.
The levels are quite well crafted, too, specially regarding secrets and different paths. They're not all that obvious, making you feel somewhat clever for finding new things on your first few runs.
(C'mon, even the bloodthirsty butcher looks cute)Visuals: 8/10
The art style is cute, a contradiction in regard to the game brutal difficulty. Yet, it works, and gives that feel that Villager "I will murder you and devour your soul" face gives over at Smash Bros.
It works. The music complements the game well, although I judged it a bit forgettable at first, it grew on me, and I've come to think it matches the tone of the game seamlessly.
The sound effects also work fine, adding to the readability of the graphics.Sound Design: 6/10
It's good. It's also quite bland and nothing out of the extraordinary, mind you, but it adds to the charm of the game.
It's main source of inspiration seems to be Ghouls'n Goblins.
The core mechanics of old school platformers is present. You also have a button for each of the characters arms, letting you use one weapon on each hand (I recommend keeping a melee and a ranged one equipped, if available). You can equip three pieces of armor. You can store a few items on your inventory. You can also pickup eggs, which you lose when you're hit and can use to spawn birds that protect you and kill enemies.
Every piece of equipment has a limited number of uses, so you will be managing your resources, trying not to waste anything or else you will be pretty much defenseless. Items can be found on certain (fixed) locations, and can also drop randomly from enemies.
Potions can be used to restore durability and give special traits to items. Weapons will have their kill potential increased, with bonus such as extended reach or piercing trough enemies. Armor will activate additional effects when you're hit, like spawning fireballs. Helmets will also change the birds you can summon by using eggs into another species, for varying effects.
The weapons are: Swords, lances (that really drives the point home on Ghouls'n Goblins as inspiration), magic staves and boomerangs, each with it's variations and uses. Pretty much all of them are fun to use.
The items you're able to acquire at the very start of the run depends on "who your father was", you can select it from a few choices or go with "Great Guy" for his profession, which will randomize it. Each time you beat the game with "great guy" for a father, you will collect a white star besides this option, making the game even harder for each star present. If there's a goal on this game besides just having a successful run, it's unlocking "5 stars Great Guy" mode, and then beating it. There are 3 all around classes (Paladin, King and Lancer), 2 pretty different, which translates in unique runs, albeit requiring more strategy and awareness (Shepherd and Alchemist), and Peasant, which transforms the game in one hit kill mode, removing armor spawns and adding difficulty to whoever is masochist enough to try and beat this game with the extra challenge. The classes "Great guy" gives you depending on your difficulty, with the last 3 ones only appearing after clearing this mode a few times.
The levels are linear and the items spawned are fixed. The enemies are randomized, although lightly. Each level, you will see the same enemies every run, although varying in number and spawning locations.Gameplay: 6/10
It's straightforward, yet complex enough to be interesting. It gets repetitive, and you might get tired of it before you unlock those 5 stars, but controlling your character is fun.
It's challenging nature gives you that cozy feeling when you succeed.
Controller highly recommended, but not required.
As a somewhat recent addition, this game received achievements.
I didn't actually play after that update, but by looking at the descriptions, I can see pretty much all of them are doable, except for the one that requires you to beat the game with a Peasant as your father...
Just by playing the game you will unlock most of the, but seems quite hard to 100% it.
It's quite cheap, and gets discounts every once in a while. Also, as of today, it's been featured on five different bundles, which is great.
It's worth full price if you're a fan of the genre and believes you're going to get a few hours of fun out of this title every once in a while.
If you have any interest in the genre, you should at least get it while it's on sale.
I like this game. I have the feeling I liked it more than I should, it has it's flaws, it's limitations and, well, it's bugs (Items can be duplicated or simply disappear, for instance). But I like it. It has it's charm, it's moments and is a great game to play when you've got time to kill for whatever reason. You can just pickup and play a few runs, no strings attached, no need to keep sessions long.
Mainly playing this in offline mode, I think Steam doesn't have a perfect grasp on how many hours I actually played.
If you like old school 2D Side-scrollers, specially for the challenge the NES-era packed, well, you're in for a few hours of running, jumping, dying, crying tears of despair, fury and joy. This game deserves the title of Nintendo Hard, and if you like that, it deserves a place in your library.
It's a neat little game to play while your internet isn't working, or you're on a matchmaking queue on another game, etc.
When you get the hang of it, getting to know patterns, spawn points and strategies, the fun comes from successfully beating the game with different items and overcoming difficult odds. That gets old after a while, but you can put the game down and pick it up to play again whenever you're bored. It's also funny to see other people struggling with it.