Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pocket Review - Rogue Legacy

I have never been a fan of unfair games or ones that are hard for the sake of being hard. I'd offer shy away from games that people claimed were tough, but then I played Demon's Souls and found that sometimes these seemingly challenging games simply require a little bit of patience and planning. It was with that mindset that I entered into the world of Rogue Legacy on PlayStation Vita, a game which took delight in killing me over and over.

In Rogue Legacy, you progress through a castle as far as you can one life at a time, finding gold and new items as you go. When you die, you're kicked back to the title screen where you can start over by selecting one of three new characters who are descendants of the adventurer that just died, now with brand new classes and traits. For example, you might end up as a giant paladin who is nearsighted or as a demented barbarian with IBS. These new traits mean you can take a different approach to the castle than what was possible before. More importantly, this new explorer inherits all of the gold and blueprints for items found by those who came before, so it's not all bad when you die. In fact, it's a big part of the game.

Each time you die you get to return to the manor where you can upgrades skills and unlock new classes. To unlock these new skills you have to have gold, so it's good to gather as much as possible early on to make your character stronger. Before re-entering the castle, you are also able to purchase new weapons and ability runes based on the blueprints found by prior adventurers. Once purchased, these are available for the rest of the game. Just know that the more powerful the skills or equipment, the more gold that's required.

The castle changes its layout every time you enter unless you have the architect lock it down, which costs you 40% of the gold normally earned during that session. This is only worth it if there is a boss you are trying to beat or a treasure you couldn't reach in your last session. Other than that, I found it best to go in fresh each time to try to earn as much gold as possible before dying. Progression in Rogue Legacy mostly depends on the task you're currently trying to complete. One time through your focus might be to earn 4000 gold to purchase a new job class, and the next it's trying to beat one of the four bosses that block the sealed door at the start of the castle. Whatever task you are focusing on, there are classes, equipment, and runes designed specifically to help with that, so it's best to go in with a plan.

I haven't finished Rogue Legacy yet, as I find myself stuck on a boss and likely needing to grind a bit to boost my stats or find new weapons. There is an element of randomness to the game that I don't find appealing, as there's no easy way to know where to find specific weapons or runes. Despite the randomness, this game is a great fit for the Vita. It's easy to pick up and a play a few generations whenever you want. So even if I haven't beaten that stupid ball of flame yet, I can carry this around and keep trying as often as I like. Rogue Legacy is a blast, but it's not for everyone.

Recommended? Yes, it's a great game to play in bursts, but also offers more depth than your average time-waster.
Enjoyed By? This can be fun, but I can only recommend it if you are determined and have a great deal of patience. It's not easy.

This game was played on Vita via a PSN download provided by the publisher.

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