Rogue Legacy (PC, Mac, Linux)
Developer and Publisher : Cellar Door Games
Release Date: June 27, 2013
Rogue Legacy is a side scrolling Rogue like action RPG with a few platforming elements. The main objective is to kill the final boss who is available after killing the 4 bosses located in the tower, castle, dungeon, forest. The game is skill based with progressive elements included.
The majority of the game plays like an old school adventure in 2 dimensions. You are equipped with a sword and move around different rooms of varying size and monsters. Clearing or running away from each to make your way to the final boss. This includes running, swordplay, using magic abilities and most of all jumping. The gameplay feel both energetic and tense with an uneasy feeling of doom lying ahead in the next room only to kill your honorable knight that you have grown fond of the in the first few minutes of gameplay, making his death more meaningful and enraging only to be avenged by his kin.
This is also where the major challenge of the game comes from as the game cannot be called easy. This is a challenge in skill and reaction time making it fun for those who love a challenge.
While these four areas to explore are all very distinct from each other visually, the enemies all felt like repeated versions with the same attack patterns, making the game fell receptive in longer stretches of gameplay. Yet this is countered with each enemy having a unique presence on screen due to the detailed animation and artwork.
In the beginning of the game you start off with basic gear and skill level are are quite weak to take on the challenges. The way to progress is to earn gold per run of the game to permanently increase your stats and gear. Thus including an element of grinding in the game where multiple runs are necessary to complete the more difficult levels. The fun begins after your main character dies and you get the choice to play as the heir of your character. You are given a choice of different characters each with its own perks and misfortunes. Essentially this system allows you to choose your hero in a random state of handicap. Some are just cosmetic whereas some are major game changing like inverted cameras, or light foot that does not trigger traps.
Every character choice has a randomly chosen class, magic spell, and traits. You start off with 3 classes and with progress unlock many more. Like assassins that go invisible, or miners that get extra gold. Also when you die after the character you can use the gold acquired to upgrade various rooms of your keep. Like building an armory to improve your weapons and so forth.
In the game itself you can find gold and blueprints that allow you to craft better gear. Equipment management is rather simple with the character finding gear that can be used in the next run. You also unlock runes that give you certain powers like double jump or returning damage. You can also stack the same runes to give you more control of these powers, with the max runes at any time being 5.
Also there are hidden chests in various rooms rewarding exploration although with various traps attached. Each run will provide a fulfilling amount of progress, making each run feel important and urging a strong sense of one last turn similar to games like Civilization.
The rooms themselves are quite varied with certain rooms giving you mini objectives like take no damage or make no jump and if you complete the same you get a treasure box in the end. Thus, keeping even the most boring of rooms interesting. There are also plenty of secrets to discover within the dungeon.
Graphics and Audio
The visuals are made to resemble the old school style of gaming like Castlevania or Megaman. But having recently been bored of all the 8 bit style games in the market I kinda felt that this was lazy. The pixelated look of the game looks a bit aged. But given the budget price I can’t blame them either. This also means that the game will run on any configuration you can throw at it from the past 15 years.
The sound effects provide a great presentation to the game, being very crisp and clear in their message and never distracting from the game itself.
The game is rock solid stable and I did not run into any major issue apart from a couple of rare incidents of enemy getting pushed off screen or into terrain. The controls are sharp and responsive as you expect and works great on an Xbox 360 controller.
If you have no connection to the earliest generation of gaming, you might still want to pick it up, as this will give you a crash course of what true gaming was like before the PlayStation consoles.
*This game was reviewed on a Windows 8 PC with GeForce GTX 680