The Average Gamer

Indie Rock: Rogue Legacy

Rogue Legacy

I’m very happy I get to talk about Rogue LEgacy/ this week, not because it’s good (which it is, it’s excellent, hold on a second DC Comics’ “The Flash”), but because it’s the newest game from the developer of Don’t Shit Your Pants. That means I get to post a link to Don’t Shit Your Pants in something I’m being paid to write. Thank you, Cellar Door Games. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

We’ve all reached a moment in a game where it’s clicking for us, but we wonder what it would be like if it took some design elements from another source. What if instead of X it did Y the same as in Z. Rogue Legacy is like playing the end result of that thought process, but for probably 80 different games at once. I hate to distill games down to the influences but it seems like the developer’s intention to draw comparison so gosh darn it, strap yourself in.

Rogue Legacy is Castlevania, only more Spelunky, but also… Infinity Blade? If it were a bullet hell shooter? With a progression system like in Dead Rising? Somehow all of these disparate ideas come together to form a tasty broth unspoiled from all the cooks crowding around.

Everything takes place in a castle that is randomly generated each time you die, but you don’t come back as the same character. You take over as one of three offspring which you can select based on their attributes. Some might be barbarians who can knock away enemies and projectiles with a shout, archmages who can use a variety of magical attacks and gain mana with every enemy they kill or other classes which I’ve not mentioned because they aren’t nearly as interesting.

The first few generations of your characters are utterly useless. They’ve so little health and only base level equipment so you’ll be starting over constantly. What you want to do is gain as much money as you can in order to spend it on upgrades so that you’ll get further and do better next time. You gradually learn the world as you also grab ways to better circumvent the obstacles it throws at you. That’s the part that feels like Dead Rising, but it’s helped by the rooms randomising each time you play. You’re doing the same thing over and over, but you’re doing it with the help of variety.

Each character is also defined by personality quirks which add flair. “Stereo Blindness” makes your character unable to see the transitioning animations when sprites change directions and “Nostalgia” gives the game a sepia tone like you’re from Olden Days or just pretending you are by using a wanky instagram filter.

I’m tripping over totally recommending it through one single complaint that’s really soured the whole experience. One of the character traits the game notes is that a character is gay. That becomes a defining character feature for them and there’s a bit of text which describes them as “fabulous”. It doesn’t confer any gameplay negatives or positives, but it stands out as a weird thing to call attention to while choosing not to list any other sexuality for any other hero.

It’s possible the developers are making a point about how you’re no different from anyone else regardless of where you want to put what you want to put, but by drawing attention to it without doing so for any other place on the spectrum it’s pretty lazy and by a lack of comment it practically establishes that being straight is normal. It’s a fine inclusion if you’re going to do the same for every character, but it’s just odd as it stands.

That’s the only gross part. It’s a great game. You can preorder it now for a demo and get the full release on Friday. Maybe you should! The soundtrack is also really good! It’s a video game I recommend that you play if you like them!

Oh, Also:

Rezzed 2013 was a success in the sense that I played a lot of games, a failure in not going on for the entire year until Rezzed 2014.

Revenge of the Sunfish 2You could benefit from playing Revenge Of The Sunfish 2 when that’s a legitimately possible thing for you to achieve instead of a fever dream.

Someone described it to me as if you’re playing a mid-ninties cartoon, like a Ren and Stimpy. It’s a bit like that, but I’d like to add that it’s also like taking too much ketamine and needing to sit down or you’re going to vomit from the uncomfortable heat.

I realise that sounds like I’m saying “It’s like Ren and Stimpy… on drugs!”. No. I’m saying it’s like if Ren and Stimpy were drugs.