Valdis Story (demo 3.0) by Endless Fluff
Valdis story is a pretty 2D platformer very much like Castlevania. 'nuff said.
Valdis story has some of the nicest art I've seen in an Independent game. Everything from the backgroudns to the characters and enemies is done with such beauty, you would imagine the person behind it was a master spriter of the SNES era. (that's when they really shined)
The art has this japanese kind of feel to it combined with a gothic motif. It's quite nice. It also has some nice panning effects when the action gets hawt, some lighting effects for when you do combos and even some particle effects sprinkled here and there.
Even the menu has some nice design to it with a bunch of icons, maybe not perfect but still pretty nice.
This gets a 9.12/10.
The gameplay is fast paced and has a lot of emphasis on combos called "Chains". You see, each time you kill an enemy you get what I like to call "Balls of Experience". The more you hurt an enemy without being hurt, the more your chain counter goes up and you get bigger balls. The bigger the balls, the better the experience of course.
To complement the classic jump dash slash action of 2D action platform games, you have a bunch of angel/devil techniques that can help you do some pretty nice olympic-style choreographies. From the classic double jumps and back slashes to some neat "counter smite" and spirit slashes.
If you don't think that's enough, you still get to summon some demons here and there to help you beat the crap of the unsuspecting enemies.
You get to really dish out some violence and make worth your previously accumulated balls of experience with some really tough and clever bosses. Some fallen demons, fallen angels, fallen generals and pretty much anything fallen.
Still, the game has taken some seriously strange decisions about gameplay. For example, your main keys (parry, summon, attack, etc) are in the ASDF row, but you jump with the space bar and move with the arrow keys. It can be a bit awkward at first. Oh yeah, and the game can be a bit of a bitch with resources, which is not normal in this day and age of portable super computers and Jiggobytes of memory.
The game gets an 8.5/10 because it still needs to polish the moves, choose better buttons and definitely lose some memory weight.
Music (and maybe sound)
Music. What can I say about it. It's your basic goth-jgame midi music: organ, piano and slow strings. It helps with the mood, but the quality isn't getting an award any time soon. They should really work on that because some of the songs sound really nice, if only the synth quality wasn't below poor.
Sounds are nice, you have your typical slashing sound, jump sounds, devil sounds, angel sounds... as you expected. They're also ok. Nothing particularly apalling, but not many games have that, so yeah.
7.432/10 ... If it had better synths it would go all the way to 8.423/10 ... almost a whole point.
You know, with a developer company called "Endless Fluff", you would expect a softer videogame, one with pretty huggable heroes and colorful enemies. What you get is quite the opposite, a dark game about demons and angels that border the demon-like. Lots of blood and gore. (In fact, the items that give you MP seem like little pieces of meat).
Who can say no to a fast paced action game with supernatural stuff going on and violence? Christians, that's who.
Alas, this game is only a demo so it's kind of short and lacking in some areas. It seems like a nice project, but the owner hasn't updated it since mid-last year (you know, 2007). Let's hope it's not because he abandoned this fine piece.
The game gets a 9/10 in the demo scale and an 8.12/10 in the general scale.
Here's a youtube demonstrating the battle system. The chain effect is kind of different than the one in the demo though, I like the one in the demo better.
Get it from here
and also check the actual website
(depending on the scale).
Enjoy the game.