I’m going to pop in here to tell you about a game that has mesmerized me. “Gee, Malstrom, what game could do that?” Very rarely can a game do this to me. The most recent times were games like Minecraft or FTL. This game is Rogue Legacy.
Above: Way more fun than hardcore gaming.
Rogue Legacy is Zelda 2 on mushrooms. While I don’t think the action is as tight as Zelda 2, the game is quite intense. There is much sword play, spell casting, and jumping around. Many of the enemies seem like they came from the NES. This game is NES hard. Baby hardcore gamers, beware!
Here is how the game works. You have a knight. He can run and jump. He can slash with his sword. He also has a spell he can cast and maybe another ability. The game offers you a choice of three knights. Some of them may or may not be different classes (barbarian, mage, paladin, etc.). And among those, there may be other traits that are randomized that are good or bad. Some knights are fat and can’t be knocked back. Others are small and are more maneuverable. Knights that are hypochondriac have their damage taken displayed larger than normal. Knights that are color blind play in black and white. Knights that are near sighted have the area around them fuzzy. One type of knight plays upside down (!).
After you choose your knight, you can upgrade yourself in various ways (more on that later) depending on the gold you had from your last run. When you are done, you go to the castle, and you lose all your remaining gold when you enter.
When you enter the castle, it randomizes. Every time you enter, it is a new castle.
But once you die, that character is dead forever. You then choose your descendant knight (out of the three choices) and try another round at the castle.
Here is where the game is brilliant. Unlike games like FTL or other rogue games, your upgrades are permanent. So your descendant takes the money obtained from the last run and buys something (say a new sword). For now on, you will forever have that new sword. The more upgrades you get, the further you can go through the castle and obtain even more money.
The castle itself scratches that Metroid itch (or Castlevania itch). You can obtain new abilities. Like Super Metroid, there are new areas with different ‘atmospheres’. Each area has a boss.
The game is addictive as hell. Doubly so if you are a fan of NES style gameplay or if you like games like Super Metroid.
Here is the genius part of the game. Difficulty in video games is difficult to have a ‘one size fits all’. This difficulty also becomes silly once you memorize everything. Rogue Legacy is certainly skill based, and it won’t let you ‘remember’ things since the castle randomizes each run. Every run, the player pushes himself because no matter what upgrade you get, you will keep finding yourself hitting difficulty walls. This keeps the tension high and consistent throughout the entire game sessions.
Here is a review over it.
Make sure you play it with a controller. It is meant to be played with a controller.
It’s 2 AM fo rme now. I’d keep playing, but I’m going to pass out. Can’t remember the last time a game has kept me hooked for hours on end.