Developer: Cellar Door Games
Release Date: 6/27/2013
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2D platformers have had a huge comeback in the past 5 years, but none of them really offer a great challenge. Rogue Legacy offers a lot of replay value thanks to the randomly generated dungeons and characters. I love Rogue’s character selection system. You get to pick between three different people and when you die their attributes make an offspring that is similar. Some characters walk upside down, some have extra strength, health, MP, HP, and various other passive effects. This is really neat and sometimes you are forced to choose one particular character so the other bad genes are wiped out on your next death. You can upgrade your weapons at each rebirth and you can give up 30% of all gold you find to lock down the castle if you liked the previous layout. When you enter the castle you must forfeit all your gold so you start from scratch. This is a cool feature and doesn’t really get in the way.
When you actually play you will be greeted with great controls and fast-paced and challenging combat that’s similar to Mega Man and Castlevania. Breaking open objects gives you gold or items, and enemies can be really tough and fast. You have to stay on your toes because you can die really easy. I died around 15-20 times before I even got to the first boss. You also get items that use MP kind of like in Castlevania. Honestly, this game felt like Castlevania meets Infinity Blade which isn’t a bad influence. I wasn’t frustrated because sometimes the rebirth was for the better. After a while, it gets kind of hard so it’s only fun in short bursts. I found the game very addictive and the variety of enemies kept me coming back for more.
The whole point is that you become more powerful every time you die, so it’s not like other games where all your progress resets. You are always progressing no matter how good or bad you are at the game. After a while you start learning the enemy patterns and eventually even a favorite layout. The graphics are actually pretty good with nice 8-bit sprites, this is actually one of my favorite platformers in a long time since ‘Splosion Man and Fez. There’s really not much wrong with the game other than the lack of level variety and the game can be way too hard. This game relies solely on skill to advance, and the better you are the longer you can survive.
Don’t let the simplicity and small scope of Rogue Legacy turn you away. If you love platformers and challenging games this is for you. The game has a great chip-tune soundtrack, nice graphics, and solid controls. The constant dying and respawning can get tedious sometimes and the progress you made before can feel like it’s all for nothing. Thankfully there are many upgrades and items to buy to keep you coming back for more.