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Siegius Arena

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Fight in arena battles and upgrade your gladiator in this Action-RPG about betrayal and revenge.

Arrow Keys - Movement
Z - Fast Attack
X - Heavy Attack
C - Items
V - Spells

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This is an old childhood classic that I remember playing 11 years ago now. I'm playing it now again after over a decade, I finished the whole thing and I've got some critique to make that's going to be as unbiased as I can make it, unaffected by nostalgia.

TL;DR: The game has lots of issues with its controls, its combat and progression but it's still really fun to play to this day.

Music is really good, even if it's compressed to high hell, it's a flash game so obviously it's gonna be like that. Decent story, good animations, good backgrounds, nice enemy designs etc. I don't wanna talk about this stuff because it's mostly subjective and it speaks for itself. You got eyes and ears, you can judge for yourself.

The combat... oh boy the fucking combat. I didn't know as a kid what good combat and bad combat looked in a game but I had an intuitive feel for it. Now coming back to this with a mind that analyses the shit out of game strategies, optimization, balance and user experience, I can say this game's combat is all over the place in its quality.

Main points:

1. The beginning in the pit levels is slow and not challenging. I get that it's because the game is still lacking in enemy variety as they slowly get introduced as you progress. But that shows that the difficulty hinges heavily on the synergy of enemies' attack types and their numbers. Honestly, you can just get through the pits without even having to use any items cause of how easy going the start is.

2. On a mixed note, the game does get harder and that's a good thing, otherwise, it would have been too boring to keep going if it weren't challenging as it progressed. I like the fact that it gets harder, it actually grabbed my attention and kept me engaged as soon as I started losing fights and had to restart a few times. The reason I feel mixed about this is one of the main issues I had with the game, the enemies' combat uses cheapshots to level the playing field with you. It's kind of like Age of Empires 2 giving extra resources to the AI if you increase the difficulty because it can't really make a smarter opponent, instead it just gives it any advantage over you.

3. Later arenas are going to have you dogpiled by enemies and being swarmed easily. So then the game becomes more about crowd control, positioning and maneuvering through projectiles. You start thinking about who to pick off first and prioritizing your targets, when to use your ultimate and your items. I love that. That's actually really good! The problem with that is the game's controls. They fucking suck. Ok they're not that bad but I really don't like the button mapping. And no, they don't suck just because I don't like them, they really are bad. Forcing people to use your preset key bindings for your game without allowing them to switch to other configs is annoying. You use arrow keys to move and Z, X, C, V for combat actions which is stupid. It's stupid because you're delegating combat action buttons to the left hand while you use your right hand for movement (which is too basic to waste your dominant hand). It might sound pedantic, especially considering that this might fit some people who are left handed but... most people are right handed... and I'm most people. I could play the game, sure, but it was uncomfortable.

4. More on the point about controls. It's not just the button mapping being unintuitive, it's the movement and the combat. Really briefly I'll explain the gripes I have which could have easily been avoided. Each of the 3 weapon types you've got have their own attack pattern. The attack patterns have no depth to them, you're going to be spamming quick attack most of the time except for dual weapons which you'll want to use the heavy attack once you're near the side of an enemy you're attacking so you can jump back and reset your position...

5. This, this right here is the thing I want to talk about. Attacking moves you forward at the end of a light/heavy combo. What does this mean? It means if you wanna sit still and attack an enemy right in front of you till he's dead, you need to take into account the fact your dumbass gladiator will move out of attack range as you clip through him and the enemy ends up behind your back and you get flanked by multiple enemies. This will make you have to plan your initial attacking position before you start going ham and spamming light attacks on an enemy so you don't phase right through him while he's still breathing. It could have easily been avoided if attacks didn't clip you right through an enemy and you just stood still. OR IF you could move forward or backwards whilst attacking BASED ON the direction of where you're currently pressing to move. It adds a challenge to the game but in a bad way. You're fighting your character's movement mechanics.

6a. The variety in gear choices is nice but most choices are impractical so the variety is ar0tificial. You're not gonna use a shield weapon because they do much less damage than the other 2 weapon types and the defense isn't worth the trade off. They kill enemies much slower and since your main concern is crowd control and killing enemies fast, it technically ends up hurting your defense. Heavy and Dual weapons do have a specific use but overall, heavy is better in the end because of its armor penetration AND it's reach which is something I can't stress enough. You need that reach to attack first and from further away.

6b. Magic is shit, only one out of the three choices you have that's viable is without a doubt earthquake; mainly because it's the only way in the game you can interrupt enemies' attacks and stun them (this is a really big fucking problem but I'll get to it later). I don't think I even need to talk about the items... you have the choice between using javelins (throwing spears), random crowd affection potions and of course health potions. You will never spend money on any other item but health potions because you can only carry one item type with you into battle and you as sure as shit won't bring tridents (which cost a lot, are unreliable to hit and don't do much damage when they do actually hit something).

6c. Only thing I can praise about the variety is a little bit about the starts for armors. You get the choice to specialize a TINY bit (I need to emphasize tiny) into either spell power, your ultimate's buildup and armor. The progression of armor's stats is random so you don't know if the next level of unlocked gear is better than the stuff you got on now. Like for example, all obsidian armor are worse than the previous armors you get because their special stats are at 0% so you get no extra spell power or cooldown, or ultimate buildup... wtf? The obsidian cape gives -7% crowd excitement when the imperial cape gives +30%!!!!! Who made these numbers up? I guarantee you that this shit had no thought put into it.

7. Last thing I wanna say and this was the worst offender for me. I hate your options for defense in combat. That's to say... there's none. You have a shield but that's just a flat armor stat bonus. You can't block or dodge or move fast out of the way, or sprint or stop attacks mid way. There's this enemy types that scale with you and who will take advantage of that weakness. They are the assassins, and they're the biggest pieces of shit you'll fight. Their attacks are instantaneous so most often they'll hit first and if you interrupt them by stunning them, they can still attack you again if you aren't stunlocking them by spamming light attack. That alone isn't the issue, the issue is that all enemies attack after a set amount of time idling around in the arena, but for whatever reason, if you get hit by an assassin, every melee enemy will get a bloodlust and start running in to attack you simultaneously. The cherry on top is you have the same move speed as the enemy so you can't outrun them, this will get you into situations where an assassin is running after you and you can't reposition, turn around and hit him to interrupt him. You will get hit no matter what and maybe dogpiled and stunlocked... all because you can't run faster than the enemy, because you can't stun some enemies even if you hit them, and because there's no dodge or block.

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Look this is still a really fun game, and you can't be too hard on it because it's a flash game and it came out during the 2010s era when game design principles and user experience wasn't heavily focused on. The people that used to make good flash games moved on to Steam or GOG so they can make some money for their work... you need to appreciate the fact that this game comes from another era that's long gone, when people used to make games for fun, for brownie points. Even though this game was sponsored by NotDoppler (meaning the devs got paid for their work), it was made with love, even if it's flawed. I see the good times I had and I just can't get those good times from games of today. The game's got so many flaws, fundamental ones too! However, it'd be a crime to rate this lower than 4 stars because it's actually fun and has more effort than other shit that shows up on the game portal

this game is really hard but good at the same time

Good game

webiwabo

es un buen juego pero esta roto

Credits & Info

Views
410,006
Faves:
3,685
Votes
1,085
Score
4.48 / 5.00

Uploaded
Oct 18, 2012
12:38 PM EDT