Well Done Good Sir
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Well Done Good Sir
At first, I saw the well crafted and polished nature of the game. The animations were very smooth and, the art and assets were fantastic also. However, I found the gameplay itself was lacking in contrast to the polished art and feel.
The main complaint I have is that, the control system and the gameplay are at odds with each other. The weighty and sliding nature of the control scheme contrasted heavily to the very precise, and agile platforming elements implemented in various parts of the game. A point of frustration arose in the first village, where you must jump across 1 tile thick blocks, or else fall to your death. The weighty controls took many lives from me there, I'd say about 10. Grabbing ledges feels odd, personally I'm not used to having to hold down the jump button to grab onto the ledge, but that might just be a 'me' problem. Normally I'm used to simply holding the direction toward the ledge, this threw me off during those village jumps since holding jump meant elongating your jump, so I had to release jump, but then also press it again in rapid succession or I'll just die. In fact the platforming seemed to be the main issue that I had difficulty wise. The jump button seemed to have too many functions packed into one press. It jumped, it also elongated your jump if you held it, you also have to hold it to grab ledges, if you want to wall jump you have to press away 'then' jump, if you want to kip a wall, you have to hold jump as you make contact as well. The grabbing ledges and wall jumping could have been simplified. Instead of a jump input to grab a ledge, simply holding down the direction to grab it would have sufficed. It's also extremely awkward to be sliding down a wall, and 'not' being able to jump off the wall by pressing it. This led to strange moments where I was unable to wall jump because my timing of the opposite arrow key wasn't correct, leading to the loss of a life. And because there were so many functions jammed into one key, the game wasn't sure whether to kip up a wall, grab the ledge above it, or wall jump which was my intended purpose.
The hook just seemed irrelevant completely. It didn't help my platforming at all, in fact it hindered it. It basically just slapped you against a wall you might have reached anyway, and makes you slide down it, if there is no wall opposite you, you're dead since you cannot jump up the wall you are currently on Megaman style. This design choice makes sense, it would be far too easy to platform if you can simply climb every wall in the game, but it also makes it much more difficult, especially when you have to press the opposite direction as well which disconnects you from the wall. The hook didn't help in either of these situations. It felt too slow to throw as well, and the length didn't compensate for it. If the hook was slow to throw, but reached much further, it would have worked. If the hook detracted faster but have the same range, it would have worked. As it is now, it is slow and short. If you were to jump and at the apex of your jump, throw the hook straight up, by the time you threw it the hook would probably reach about where the apex was, basically reaching to where you could have already reached. You had to preempt your hook throws, which was strange considering that the platforming is already heavy feeling and made emergency hooking basically impossible. If you hooked on a wall out of danger, you're basically dead.
The combat was strange as well. It felt fine on the ground but once you're in the air all bets are off. The very noticeable contrast between the speed of the attacks on the ground and in the air is just too jarring a difference. On the ground if you get hit that's your own fault. But in the air, you get 1 attack, and it takes an eternity to use. 1 overhead swing that takes about as long as a hook throw, meaning I also have to preempt my attacks mid air. I also find it strange if you start the attack mid air, but don't complete it and hit the ground early, you get stuck in a landing animation for the attack but no actual attack comes out. This makes land based creatures difficult to hit with the attack mid air since if you land on the ground early you will be stuck. And if I miss the target, I get hit and get locked in hit stun, losing a life because there is no invincibility. Twice I remember losing a life to a first tier mud monster because I would get hit, get thrown back, and without even touching the ground land on the monster, get hit, and die. And because of the slow mid air attack, there was literally 'nothing' I could do about it, I just had to take my lumps. It just seems like a strange design choice to not include hit invincibility in a game with excessive platforming and no viable mid air defense. Speaking of strange design choices, I don't understand why the human enemies can shoot through walls. Not to mention that they shoot incredibly rapidly for shotguns. This makes being seen by human enemies a death sentence, closing the gap between you and a shotgun with your one mid air attack and slow slidey controls is nigh impossible. If this is the case why even include a health system to begin with if being seen by a human basically means "You Lose"?
My last gripe, is the out of place Life System. Maybe it's a story thing, I don't know I couldn't complete the game due to the above mentioned. But the life system just doesn't fit into the gameplay at all. Even losing all my lives it doesn't punish me in anyway significant way other than wasting my time for no reason. If you die at a checkpoint, you start over from there. Lose all your lives and you get sucked into the caves, have to platform your way out, only to get booted back to the main map and to the beginning of the level right back to where you were. You don't even get any lives after that, it just makes everything more difficult and a gigantic waste of time if you die again (which, face it, you will, a LOT).
I want to like this game. The story elements, and art, and feel are there, it has potential. But the sub-par gameplay elements and awkward, clunky controls mar any chance the game has for the good aspects of it to shine. As it is right now, it's just a big ball of confusion and anger.
only complaint is the hook, the delay for its use just feels waay too long. if you shaved off .3 seconds or so it might be ok.
i got to the third world, but then it started getting tedious since i couldnt find another 'infinte souls' fountain
Controls are unresponsive on certain occasions. Otherwise, I feel the game i excellent.
When a game makes me come back to keep playing, it deserves five stars.
It's true that the controls are very tricky, but it's the charm of the game. Maybe the only unfair thing I feel in it is that you can be hit multiple times consecutively, I don't like it but it seems to be intentional when you find the enemies who throws axes.
I got stuck in the last overworld. I have 11 keys, but I am unable to find the last level. Can you give me some hint to where it is? I completed the three levels near the place where you begin and crossed the mountain to reach the castle. Is there a way to reach the house with a green roof?
Anyways, a great game. Thank you!