I like video games. I like weekends. Let’s roll!
The game that’ll be getting most of my attention this weekend is Stormcloud Games’ ASCII-art dungeon crawler Brut@l, which releases August 9th on PS4. The fine folks over there were kind enough to grant me early access, which means I’ll hopefully have my review up shortly after the rogue-like goes live on PSN.
So far I’m enjoying it, mainly its unique aesthetic and admirably balanced gameplay, but I find myself getting frustrated at times due to failing its required platforming segments. Since it’s a rogue-like, dying means packing my shit and moving back to the start screen. This mechanic is fine, it’s commonplace and part of what makes the genre stand out, but when the platforming just doesn’t feel right and a missed jump counts as a death, I end my run more irritated than fulfilled.
Perishing in other rogue-likes like Spelunky or Risk of Rain is always a learning opportunity, and sometimes Brut@l is as well. But having a solid run marred by wonky platforming has yet to become fun. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The entire world is made up of letters and symbols, some of which are collected in order to craft or enchant weapons. I’ve only played for 4 hours so far, and I’m not sure if the letter discovery is randomized or not, but I went four straight floors on my Ranger without finding the right letters to craft my bow — the sole reason I chose ranger to begin with.
Four classes are available to choose from, and although they all share the same skill trees, each has their own starting talents chosen for you. For instance, the Mage is more adept at magic and can identify potions, while the Warrior has a beefier health pool and starts with an earthquake-summoning special move.
I’ve also been playing a bit of Compile Heart’s new PS4 JRPG Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, thanks to their publisher Idea Factory hooking me up with a copy to review. I never got around to the original Fairy Fencer F on PS3, but Advent Dark Force is supposedly more of an improved expansion than any form of sequel. That’s working out perfectly.
The idea is that a good-for-nothing “hero” named Fang acquires a sword, which also doubles as a vessel for a magical fairy named Eryn. He’s lazy, annoying, and only cares about food, so this hero stuff is definitely not up his alley. However, Eryn’s story about freeing additional fairies in order to awaken The Goddess intrigues him, since it’ll grant him any wish he desires — i.e.. food.
So far the vapid story has yet to hold my interest, but the combat mechanics are interesting — fusing together with fairies to open up additional spells and abilities, like in Tales of Zestiria — the characters are holding it together well, and I’m a sucker for flashy games with loads of side-quests. I also like the idea of freeing fairies and using them as a kind of card game, whereas you can use them to slowly free The Goddess in return for permanent buffs, like improved magic damage or increased experience gains, should you equip them or use them on the world map.
If I need a break from all of the dying in Brut@l, or the anime trope-ridden Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, I have Samurai Warriors 4-II to take the edge off.
I’ve been pretty busy lately, and nothing helps me relax quite like the mindless hack-n-slash of a good musou. I really like this one in particular, as it’s the most similar to Hyrule Warriors (which pulled me back in to the genre). There’s weapon fusing, unlockable characters, mount collecting, base defending, and none of the menu surfing that turned me away from the Dynasty Warriors Empires series.
What about you folks? What are you getting in to this weekend?