I have a feeling I'm going to be losing a lot of time in the near future.
Rogue Legacy is amazing. A stock of old school nostalgia, Castlevania level design, suped up Wonder Boy In Monsterland sprite art. A meaty serving of roguelike features, lots of Binding of Isaac and Spelunky in there. A twist and extension of Don't Starve's persistent levelling and sense of progress. And of course, the bittersweet taste of the individual expendability of each hero, a la XCOM. Sounds delicious.
Rogue Legacy puts a unique spin on the perma-death mechanic core to the roguelike experience. While the hero you control may die in the service of his quest to explore the mysterious shifting castle, his/her heir will take up their mantel and carry on in their stead – with the gold and lessons learned by their deceased fore-bearer.
Sounds a lot like Infinity Blade when I put it like that, but here's the twist; Each newly sired hero has a chance at a random quirk. A birth defect, a medical abnormality, a special talent, ect. The random dice of fate determine if your new hero suffers from nearsightedness, or gigantism. Maybe you'll find that drawfism isn't all that bad, being tiny makes it easier to avoid fireballs and spiked ceilings after all.
And as the quest falls from one hero to the next, so does the family keep. You can upgrade the old homestead over the generations to upgrade your stats and open new random classes.
I've only bit into a bit so far and already I'm loving it. Really scratching the same itch that Binding of Isaac did, but in a slightly nicer way. While the sadist in me kind of got off on the purity of Isaac – one chance, random items, start again from scratch – there is something to be said for Rouge Legacy's way of doing things. While there are certainly runs that are doomed from the start (say, being stuck with a spindly mag who swapped his HP/MP stats due to a genetic defect), you never feel like you "wasted" time. Almost every run unlocks a new item or bumps up a stat, however small or insignificant. Even when you die almost immediately it still feels like you were pushing towards a goal.
If you spent a good chunk of 2012 playing Isaac, Spelunky, or FTL, guess what you're going to be playing this year? You'll love it.
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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