Rogue Legacy Review:
Rogue Legacy is a rogue-lite action adventure game where you fight your way through the monsters and mini bosses in the castle to find your ancestor. The unique feature of this game is whenever you die, one of your heirs will become your predecessor to complete your quest. You get to keep your parent’s legacy to upgrade skills or weapon, but you lose the remaining before entering the castle. The layout of the castle changes every time you enter. In Rogue Legacy, we can see many resemblances with the Castlevania series, but this game has got its own twists.
The really interesting feature of this game is the traits system. Each child comes with different traits and classes. Some of the traits are just adding layers to add varieties to each run like Colorblind where the entire game becomes black and white, or possibly, be Far/Short sighted where parts of the screen become blurry. Others may affect gameplay, such as Dwarfism grants you access to tight space or Gigantism that makes your size and swing range larger. There are also ones that are there just to annoy you such as Dementia that makes you hear creepy laughter or seeing enemies that are not there or Vertigo that makes your screen upside down. See Traits for more info.
Character progression is tied with your family Manor upgrades and it comes in three flavors. Spending money in your Manor can unlock NPCs and classes or increasing character’s base stats. Blacksmith gives you equipment for damage and defense, and Enchantress provide runes that grant you new moves like air-dash and air-jumps. Gold is the sole currency of this game. Each time you purchase an upgrade, the cost of all upgrades will increase, forcing you to progress further in the next run. You won’t be able to do the mindless grinding because the leftover gold from upgrading is lost upon entering the castle. You have to treat every room like your last, because it may very likely be.
This game is difficult:
This game has punishing difficulty in terms of the enemy attack pattern and the character movement. There are over 50 types of monsters you need to learn their attack pattern from. Sometimes the screen just looks like bullet hell for you to dodge, other times monsters may shoot you from locations where you can’t reach. Worst of all, the infamous painting monster that blends into the background jumps out to kill you when your life is low.
A good example for game control would be the downward stab performed while jumping to hit enemies from above. This is an action, and not a stance your character remain in that form until it hits the enemy. You are forced to time your character’s dropping velocity and only do the downward stab as you are close enough to the enemy. Your experience is more important than the character’s progression.
The pixel-art graphic of Rogue Legacy reminds us of the retro games, it tries to keep things light-hearted at times. I have had a few chuckles while playing it. With exception from mini-bosses, each run takes less than 5 minutes, making this game suitable for players who may have limited or segmented play time. Despite the difficulties and unforgiving gameplay, this action adventure single-player game is still an addictive fast paced game that makes you think to yourself “One more run”.
Developer: Cellar Door Games
Published Year: 2013