Rogue Legacy review

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May 4, 2013
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There's an enemy called a McRib in Rogue Legacy. I can't tell you what these guys look like, but I know they exist because I was finished off by one, and the game's epitaph screen tells you precisely what it was that eventually did you in. I also know that they often lurk at the top of rooms, and they love to drop jaunty showers of human femurs down on their prey.

Whatever shape they take, the McRib ended the career of Lady Chun-Li XV, a Spelunkette who had a surprisingly decent run of things despite colour-blindness and a bad case of dwarfism. She certainly fared better than Ladies Chun-Li XIV and XIII (thoughts to the family). All told, she brought in a haul of just under 4000 gold coins: not too shabby for a spelunker class, who are good with loot but otherwise pretty weak and feeble. I used the winnings to buy a health boost and an attack boost: I was investing in the future. I knew that when Lady Chun-Li XVI came around, she would now be slightly less weak and slightly less feeble.

Rogue Legacy is witty, elegant, and cruel. I've spent the last week trying to work out whether I mostly love it or hate it, and I've finally made my mind up. I know I love it, because it feels like the weird medieval faire-attending cousin of Spelunky, offering a sequence of short 2D lives that are explored in a rich platforming ecology where even your 30th hour will reveal a fresh secret. I have occasionally wondered whether I might hate it at the same time, though. It's too good with the compulsion stuff. It draws you in with cleverness and soothing repetition, and once you're into the mid-game, it can sometimes seem to offer little but grind in return.

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