Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rogue Legacy - 8/20 hours

There was a period, lasting for about two hours, where I genuinely hated this game. Like with a fiery, irrational passion. It was when I was trying to defeat the first boss, a giant eyeball that shoots fireballs at you in a kind of low-rent bullet hell, an beating it was a matter of very precise dodging combined with careful risk management. Given the relatively low health values of most of the game's character classes, there was very little margin for error, and I must have died somewhere between two and three dozen times.

It was the sort of challenge that seemed just fair enough that victory was conceivable, and there's nothing better for getting under my skin. I'd stare at the screen, grinding my teeth in grim determination, to play just one more life, not really convinced that the next attempt would bring success, but also unwilling to give up on the hope that it might. Each failure got me madder and madder, and when I get angry, I get industrious.

Which is a shame, because an accomplishment born of hate is never quite as satisfying as one brought forth in joy. When I did, eventually, beat the boss, I was more like "about damned time" than "woo! celebrate!"

If I could change one thing about the game, I'd get rid of Charon, the guy at the start of the castle who confiscates all your gold before allowing you to play another life. I know this would completely defang the game's difficulty, but I'm kind of okay with that. It would change the dynamic of the game from one where you're constantly trying to exceed yourself with ever lengthier and more lucrative performances to one where you can explore the game at a leisurely pace, gradually accumulating upgrades over time, regardless of whether you succeed or fail. The latter may not be as "tough" or "cool" as the former, but it is right in my personal wheelhouse.

Still, there's something about Rogue Legacy that draws you in. I've died about 150 times, and I still feel the draw to do just a little bit more. That's probably the sign of a good game, even if I can't help but resent it a little.

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