Tag: Review

Eastern Exorcist Review (PC)

  • Genre: 2D side-scroller
  • Platforms: Playstation, PC
  • Developer | Publisher: Wildfire Game | bilibili
  • Age Rating: PEGI RP| ESRB RP
  • Price: UK £13.49 | US $16.99 | EUR 13.99
  • Release Date: 14th August 2020

Review code used, with many thanks to Renaissance PR!

Note: this review concerns the early release version of the game.

Story/Characters

In this side-scroller you play as the exorcist Lu Yunchuan, battling the many faces of evil. The game is set in fantasy Eastern world, filled with demons and humans struggling for survival in this brutal reality. There are many characters you meet during your travel, though none are really relevant. Apart from the main story line, there are also side stories to be encountered (such as obtaining a talisman for an old lady).

Gameplay

Maybe it’s just that I’m not accustomed to playing games on PC, but I’ve noticed there are many control functions, which are spread out over multiple keys. And since they’re really close to each other I’ve never really felt like I had an optimal button lay-out.

The basic idea is to hack and slash at enemies, while also timing your attack to perform a counter-attack for extra damage. This works well on the lower demons. The problem lies in your Stamina, though. Especially when battling demon bosses. Every strike of your sword drains a bit of your Stamina. And as it takes a while to replenish, you often find yourself running out just when you need it to strike it at the boss.

Anyway, scattered throughout the levels are orbs. These can also be collected by defeating monsters. Gather enough of these and you can use them to level up, or buy more heart potions. As you progress through the story you also unlock skills for your Skill Tree.

Graphics, Sound, and Performance

The use of a Chinese ink painting style creates a stunnig view, especially with the scenery in the background. The soundtrack is really good and adds an extra layer to the story. There is actual voice acting in this game, but it’s all in Chinese.

I did notice that during some cutscenes there were no subtitles, and when there were subtitles they sometimes had some spelling mistakes.

While the performance overall is good, there were several occasions when the system was slow to respond to a key command, leading to many deaths. Yes, I kept trying.

Difficulty

There are several difficulty settings, which can be changed at any time. The gap between those settings felt quite great, though. From what I could tell the greatest difference lied in the amount of Stamina used in a battle. (Having more Stamina in a easier mode, leading to more sword strikes.)

On the regular setting the Boss monsters in particular are formidable foes, though as I’ve explained before, this is mostly due to you burning through your Stamina.

Conclusion

While this side-scroller has a beautiful art style and an interesting story, I feel the game is let down a bit by it’s combat mechanic, in particular your Stamina.

Verdict
Interesting side-scroller hampered by it’s combat mechanic.

Going Under Review (Nintendo Switch)

  • Genre: Indie, Dungeon Crawler, Action
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC
  • Developer | Publisher: Aggro Crab Games | Team17
  • Age Rating: PEGI 12 | ESRB T Teen
  • Price: UK £15.99 | US $19.99 | EU €19.99
  • Release Date: 24th of September 2020

Review code used, with many thanks to Team17! This particular review concerns gameplay on the Nintendo Switch.

Starting off as an unpaid intern can be a real pain. Long hours, meaningless tasks, just trying to get some recognition. It can feel like hell. You know what’s worse? Starting as an intern in a company literally filled with monsters! (Well, they’re in the basement.)

Gameplay

This colourful game sees the intern Jackie join a fizzy drinks company, but it’s not the internship she signed up for, as this satirical dungeon crawler has her dealing with the monsters living in the failed tech companies in the basement.

Thankfully, almost everything you come across can be used as a weapon, from a stapler, laptop, car to a cactus. Yes, I said cactus. Weapons break after heavy usage, so make sure you’re prepared. I still haven’t mastered the bow or any of the throwing weapons to be completely honest…

Battling your way through the ever changing dungeon let’s you encounter skills.  (Either through a selection room, after defeating enemies or at a café.) And yes, these can be stacked! If you’ve used a skill enough times in the dungeons you can unlock it as an “Endorsed Skill”. You’re able to set an Endorsed Skill before you enter an dungeon, that way it’ll already be equipped!

Obviously your bosses also have certain tasks for you. Performing these successfully incurs their favour, which leads to handy bonuses, such as a earning extra money when you defeat enemies, or being able to spend more money than you actually have! (Okay, that last one isn’t the most helpful as it creates a ball and chain that increases in size depending on the amount of debt you have and honestly speed is really something you need in this dungeon, unless you want to be a sitting duck.)

Graphics, Sound, and Performance

Both colourful in charterers and surroundings, this game is a treat for the eye. With popping colours, especially in the dungeons where you’re actually able to discern everything. And every dungeon has its own colour scheme.

Every dungeon has its own enjoyable tune. Which is totally inviting you to explore every one of them.

I haven’t experienced any problems performance wise. The game runs smooth on the Switch, both in handheld mode and docked.

Difficulty

Yes, prepare to die many times in these dungeons, just to have you get familiar with that fail screen describing how you weren’t able to complete your task. Bad intern!  Every time you enter the dungeon a new layout is created, so you’ll never know what to expect. And the enemies are actually good.

Now if you’re thinking this is all a bit too difficult for you, then don’t worry. You can also choose to play the game with the Assist Options. These let you start the game with extra hearts, lower enemy health, etc. Thus ensuring you’re still able to enjoy the game.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an entertaining dungeon crawler, then do I have good news, ’cause this is it! With its ever changing layout and engaging monsters this game will keep you entertained for many hours. It’s also ideal for a short exploration while you have some minutes to spare. The vibrant colours and chill music complete the ensemble.

Verdict
Fun dungeon crawler that will leave you wanting more.