Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

Deep Dungeons of Doom

Genre: Adventure, RPG, Hack & Slash, Casual
Developer: Bossa Studios
Publisher: Bossa Studios
Release Date: October 14th 2014

First off, this game met one of my prerequisites immediately: Looking like it was made in 1991 for MS-DOS or the Commadore 64, and this game fits it better than a condom. This Android port originally made for tablets, despite what some may say in forums, is a great port to PC and although simple, is still incredibly fun. Initially the graphics reminded me a lot of a recent release called “Ultionus” but the gameplay however is incredibly unique. Deep Dungeons of Doom takes a bunch of elements and blends them all together to create a playing experience like no other. I love everything from the painstakingly perfect pixel graphics,  intense and spectacular soundtrack, all the way down to the deep, rich and in-depth story straight out of the times of King Arthur.

Deep Dungeons of Doom is what I would call a “Timing Based” dungeon crawler. Meaning you can’t move your character on the screen and you only have 3 actions, attack, block, and use item. Simple and straight forward controls, my only complaint would be the lack of controller support, but I can only hope that will come in the future. Starting out is pretty basic, but it takes a short period of play to get the timing down for blocking and attacking enemies. You face your opponent in a turn based style, but battle is very much real-time. Seemingly simple at first, Deep Dungeons of Doom ends up turning into an involved and intricate game that continues to keep your mind at work and make good use of your keyboard skills. You can cause extra damage if you attack an enemy while they are attacking, but be aware; it works both ways, so watch out. The fighting isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. During boss battles, like the first dungeons boss Pitch Black, you need to learn his secret before being able to inflict any damage. Each enemy has a unique attack and block pattern, so stay on those toes and attack when they aren’t blocking, and block while the enemy is attacking.

You will meet monsters and you will need skill and tactics to defeat them. You will find weird and wonderful treasures along the way. Most will help you, but some might not. You may choose to play as a Crusader, a Witch or a Mercenary – in fact each one might well be required if you are to successfully complete your quest – but knowing when to use each one is something you are going to have to figure out for yourself. – Deep Dungeons of Doom

The whole point of the game is to clear dungeons and build the characters stats with special items and skills. After completing the first dungeon you are given missions to complete with the Crusader. Once the first dungeon is cleared you are then able to view the map, this is where you can visit the shops and are able to purchase potions and upgrade your skills. The first skill upgrade for the Crusader is “Holier Than Thou” which gives you +5% Miracle Heal & +1HP. In the dungeons you find Altars, these Altars are where you exchange gold for enhancements. Usable items make up a large part of gameplay and are essential to success… most of the time. Some items like “Contract of The Vampire” that gives you +1HP & deals +2 normal damage to your opponent have nothing but positive effects, but others like “Devils Contract” where on use you pay 8HP but receive +60% resistance to all, +6 attack & +6 agility for 3 floors have some negative effects as well. There are also equipable items found in random chests after you defeat an enemy in a dungeon, or in shops when on the map. Items such as “Sturdy Sword” gives +1 attack while equipped, or even better “Ring of Magic Cure” which requires 2 magic but gives +2HP per floor. With continued gameplay you unlock 2 other playable characters, also upgradable. This gives the game a bit more “depth”, using magic with the Witch and swift moves with the Mercenary, combining items with the heroes passive skills makes for an even better chance of victory.

The soundtrack stays true to the 8 bit era, composed with astonishing perfection. Songs don’t get overly boring or repetitive they actually keep you interested and are pretty catchy fitting the game perfectly. Graphically Deep Dungeons of Doom is brilliant with incredible pixel art capturing the essence of the original games we call retro that paved the path before it. The cut scenes are awesome with beautiful 8 bit graphics to tell its incredible and strong story line. The death animations are on point, imaginative and gorey as hell. I don’t usually promote games made for the tablet and ported to the PC, but in this case, its was done perfectly. I’ll be honest, I had no clue this was originally Android based that’s how good the gameplay in Deep Dungeons of Doom is. This is an incredibly fun game, and for the price completely worth it. Not only does it have several hours of gameplay, but the “replay factor” on this game is huge, because remember those dungeons do get deep.

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 7/10
Story: 9/10
Challenge: 7/10
Replay Value: 7/10

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Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, Platformer
Developer: Crazy Viking Studios
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Release Date: September 13, 2013

The Gods struck lightning upon the land and from the bolts came Volgarr The Viking. This one from Crazy Viking Studios reminds me of the NES version of Dragons Lair, not so much the gameplay but the almost impossibility of completing the first level. Very unforgiving Volgarr The Viking has one difficulty setting, and thats Ralph Wiggum HARD. This is one of those games where what you see is what you get, and reminds me a lot of a SEGA arcade machine that would cost you 25 cents every run. So trust me, if that were the case with this game, you would lose your entire paycheck trying to beat the first level. BUT, that isn’t exactly a bad thing, and I’ll explain why.

When I initially started this game, the powerful music combined with the 16 bit SEGA graphics kind of takes you back a bit. I like games with unique introductions like this one, where the start screen is the beginning of the game as well. Volgarr the Viking takes elements from games like Castlevania and Contra, and brings them into the new age while making sure not to jeopardize the retro feel. Not only is this game more brutally violent than a relationship with Chris Brown, but brutally hard. My first time playing after 30 minutes and multiple deaths I still hadn’t made it to the first checkpoint. One of my main concerns reading the early reviews of this game revolved around what many called “clunky, unresponsive controls.” Thankfully after buying Volgarr I found this not to be the case. The dynamics and mechanics are perfectly balanced for this game, and are what I would like to describe as “solid.” Meaning each move must follow through before making the next, so if in the time you are swinging the sword you are hit, you won’t be able to react fast enough and will suffer the consequences.

The Game itself doesn’t have much of a story line. When you first start, the Gods declare “Rise Warrior!” as a bolt of lightning strikes the ground Volgarr appears. From there on you start the game immediately and begin the adventure. Starting off you are given a shield, which will act as your main form of defense against the lizardish bird monsters that you are put up against. When you aren’t attacking you are able to block the simple attack so each of the monsters, but the moment you attack you are leaving yourself vulnerable. The shield acts as a hit point. If you get hit, you lose the shield and you are now exposed to everything making your next hit fatal. You can pick up different forms of armor throughout the game by finding and breaking open chests. After getting the shield and helmet you can upgrade your weapon to a flaming sword which is considerably more powerful than the one you begin with. Each different item you are wearing acts as single hit point, each time you are hit you lose an item.

As for replay factor, that seems to be all that you will be doing when it comes to Volgarr The Viking, or at least that was my experience. I can say that I have played the game for a good 5 hours in preparation for this review, and within that time I’ve learned to love and hate the game all at the same time. It certainly is hard, and seems impossible, but I guess thats what gives it mystery. The way I look at it, Volgarr The Viking is yet another classic from Adult Swim Studios, and no matter what you love or hate about it, thats what makes it so awesome.

Volgarr The Viking stays true to the 16 bit retro feel all the way through. Everything from the controls, graphics, music and mood all remind me of after school gaming sessions with friends, trying to prove who could get further and beat the level. Taking everything into account Volgarr The Viking is a good game, fun to play, and bleeds nostalgia. If you think you have what it takes, go for it, you won’t be disappointed.

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 6/10
Story: 8/10
Challenge: 10/10
Replay Value: 7/10