Indie releases have found a comfortable home on the PlayStation Network, especially ports of older titles finding new homes and audiences on the PS4. With a large AAA gaming drought this summer, this is the perfect time to pick up one of the best indie titles to be released last year on Steam, Rogue Legacy.
2-D Dark Souls
In Rogue Legacy, you play as a family of adventurers, mostly warriors and mages, who are endeavored to explore Castle Hasmon and vanquish the many creatures inside. Running up against zombies, skeletons, dark knights, fire-shooting floating eye balls, and more in a randomly generated castle, the player will die often and especially pretty easily in the games early stages. Luckily, this family runs deep, as you send member after member send to their death trying to find the true culprit of this castle’s mystery.
Players will have the option to choose between three children of the last family member that you used to assault the castle has a randomly generated set of skills that each have their own set of advantages that genuinely encourages different play-styles.
Luckily, the game allows you to equip and keep new armor and weapons as well as improve your abilities and gain new attacks as you earn gold moving forward. Additionally, taking advantage of certain NPC’s will allow for your explorer to traverse the same maps repeatedly, though for a price.
Addiction, Thy Name is Rogue
Rogue Legacy continues to be ceaselessly addictive, goading players to smash their heads against the wall again and again. Because of its simplistic controls and design aesthetic, the player will continuously kick themselves over a missed jump or incorrect strategy and go right back into the thick of it. It’s a tribute to the game’s engineering that it champions the determined player that keeps coming back for more action, piecing together the enemy’s patterns, and making adjustments the tenth time in the dungeon.
Starting simply from move, jump and attack, Rogue Legacy later adds more controls as the player progresses without making the game overly complicated. Honing magic as well, the player can expand his roster of available characters from just a mage, warrior and knave, to using shinobi, miners, and paladins and even more upgraded divisions beyond that.
No Really Big changes
There aren’t any really big changes to the gameplay from the Steam release outside of some touchscreen functionality. The player can use it in this case when it comes to looking up just what may be around the corner from you, as you’ve already passed it or not. The game also benefits with the share functionality of the PS4, most assuredly for hardcore players that can use the feature to review past mistakes or just broadcast their embarrassment for the whole world to see.
Top to bottom, Rogue Legacy has a tremendously funny sense of humor that gives it its charm extending into its gameplay. Play as a character who suffers from Vertigo and enjoy playing with your screen flipped. In the mood for some profanity? Choose a character with coprolalia Talking to obviously corrupt NPC’s nets you some moments of hilarity. Even in the simple character models. All character models have a similar character model with each sporting a hilariously long beard. But with both male and female characters playable in the game, how do you tell the difference between a male and female character? A bow on the top of their helm. You can really still feel the love that went into the game from every conceivable area and it connects well with any player that touches the controller.
The music is instantly praise-worthy, bringing about notions of nostalgia, while also being iconic in its own right. Following hours of gameplay, you will find yourself in a random moment humming the dungeon theme or somehow recalling the title screen melody as well. It all plays well into the games identity that is both distinct and harkening back to yesteryear when Ghosts ‘n Goblins ruled the land.
Not So Random
Though the dungeons, forests, castle, and tower location the player will move through will seem to be completely randomly generated, some locations may repeat, but in different location in respect to other rooms. Not necessarily a big issue per se, but it takes away from some of the challenge the player expects of the unknown.
Additionally, some subtle loading quirks does occasionally come into play every once and a while, letting the player see that some elements still are loading as you get where you’re going. It doesn’t take away from the gameplay experience considering how quickly a player must assess the room, but it’s a small crack on what would be a perfect experience nonetheless.
Finally, much cannot really be said for graphical improvements here beyond the irony that on a next generation console, one of the most graphically powerful machines mass produced, the player will be engaging a 2-D platformer. Indeed, it looks decent enough, with vibrant colors and measured angles, but it stays true to its aesthetics.
Just Do It
Rogue Legacy is a spectacular experience that will keep gamers in their seats for hours to come. Frustrating and exhilarating, this rogue explorer has the simple accessibility that will make this an instant party favorite that also has complex puzzle and castle configurations that will have hardcore audiences diving deeper and deeper for some time. In a time when very few major releases are coming to the advanced console, picking this solid game up won’t be a bad idea.