What value can we attribute to life without mortality? From my perspective, little to none.
Thematically interlaced, Rogue Legacy weaves in the concept of the value to time, stitches in elements of the ripple effect in decision making, and metaphorically hems together other perspectives that cross-stitch the very essence of my esoteric soul, like the momentum of energy. With classic castle platformer music, uniquely evolving weapon and skill trees, and nostalgic platforming design, I really enjoyed Rogue Legacy.
Rogue Legacy | Love – A Procedurally Generated Action Platformer
As I continued to play, I only fell further in love with this procedurally generated action platformer. Entranced by the retrogaming level design, character development with the skill tree upgrade system, and the visual representation of beautiful armor and equipment really got me going.
Rogue Legacy | Traits – The Art of Imperfection
The randomly generated character flaws added an organic beauty that I just don’t see in most art. Yes, art, as this game felt like so much more than just another repainted developmental reproduction, a honest and virtuous breath of fresh air.
Rogue Legacy | Life – Energy and Actions Reincarnate
Innovatively sidestepping conventional action platformer character building, the genius in this game lies in its future, whereas each time your character is slain, your legacy is reincarnated into choosing from three of your descendents. As you continue to choose descendents, your future options are skewed to your past choices. As time goes on these constantly evolving algorithms know what you like and present you with intriguing character choices.
Rogue Legacy | Classes – Tailored by Choice
Throughout your legacy, you learn certain characters fit your play style better than others. I personally preferred the barbarian, dragon, hokori, and spelunker classes. Each have strengths/weaknesses but the classes seem far from balanced – simply put, some classes are just significantly better than others. Characters like the spelunker are far more situational than a staple class like barbarian, and I think I picked Hokori every time I saw it… however, if I felt like going on a long run, I went with the lich.
With the addition of random traits and sub-weapons, decision making is quite unique. The Character you choose for a grinding session is not always the same as the one you would choose for a boss fight. Traits really spice things up, giving status effects like a classic retro instagram filter to vertigo which makes you play the game upside down. Although it can make decision making tough at times, that is part of the reason why this game ends up being so much fun: it challenges you.
Once you’ve selected your Character you have the option to buy stats, armor, or runes for your armor. The Stat Tree allows you to unlock new classes, increase basic stats, and gain entirely new ones. Armor blueprints are found throughout your legacy and with proper payment is unlocked. The sprite work on the armors are physically displayed on your heirs, no matter the size or shape.
Runes provide the fun stuff. Want four jumps and a dash? I did,and it was awesome. Aside from multiple movement upgrades, there are runes that increase hp/mp per kill, making the game easier/harder, and damage transferring.
Now that we’ve got a good idea of some of the cool stuff in the castle, let’s get in there.
Rogue Legacy | One Castle with Many Secrets.
The maps, which are procedurally generated, enclose treasure, bosses, teleports and more. Mini games, like the carnival, are a nice touch in addition to challenges. Some of them include rushing to a chest without taking damage, destroying all the enemies in the room, or getting to the chest without looking at it.
There are four sections to the castle the initial area: the basic castle, then the Forest, the Maya, and the Basement. Each area gets quite a bit more difficult as you progress, has its own boss, and has a varying distribution of equipment that you can pick up that is unique to each area. It has a very retrogaming feel in the music, platforming elements, and gold/chest drops.
After beating the game, the fun doesn’t stop there as I realized that there was tons of additional unlocks, boss fights, and gameplay that awaited me past the credits. We recorded a few of the boss fights if you would like to see some of the action:
Rogue Legacy | Optimus Grind’s Rating and Review.
Make no mistake, this game is a challenge. You are going to lose, but your death is far from being in vein.
Each time you enter the castle, you have the opportunity to procure resources that will eventually help to create your Rogue Legacy. I think that this element really puts Rogue Legacy over the top in comparison to other games: when you die, you have your choice to either start a portion of the level, the entire level, or in some cases the entire game all over again. Rogue Legacy always has something new for you to equip, upgrade, or explore into.
Rogue Legacy | Thematics
The art behind this game is actually woven into bringing value to each life, which to me, makes this game a visionary in the platform genre. The art design feels like a retro platformer, bringing that nostalgic feel you love. It not only stays true to its platforming predecessors, it builds upon the genre while adding new depths and options for many people to enjoy the game.
Rogue Legacy | Characters
The ability to choose the amount of dashes, jumps, and effects allow each person to choose how they will traverse throughout the castle is great. There are a ton of really cool character classes like Dragon, Shinobi, and Archmage which keep you feeling like you get to play as whatever MMORPG class you want without spending infinite time leveling up.
Rogue Legacy | Gameplay
The inherent randomness of this procedurally generated platformer keeps the gameplay fresh all throughout your Legacy. Traits cause you to play a lot of situations differently. The inability to really remember the map makes it so that you focus on what you see now. Button sensitivity is often varied based on your character’s size, class, and traits which creates the need for each heir to attack the castle in a slightly different way than the last.
Rogue Legacy | Music
Outside of the always fitting environmentally sensitive music, an in-game Jukebox will allow you to select what you want to listen to while you run, jump, dash or fly through the castle. I’ve found myself listening to the OST on YouTube quite a few times and I have yet to be displeased. Rogue Legacy has a soundtrack that you’ll keep coming back to.
5 out of 5
by Thomas Hake
Cellar Door Games really knocked it out of the park with Rogue Legacy. The game is available on many platforms, including PC, PS3, PS4, Vita and Xbox One. If you’re a retro gamer who enjoys taking things to the next level, you should probably put some time into this one. I found it to be well worth it.
Thomas Hake | Optimus Grind