Valdis Story: Abyssal City is one of the best games i've played so far, i've been so hooked on to it that i have yet to become bored of doing the game over and over, it feels like each playthrough is a challenge and the hardest difficulty which is unlocked after your first playthrough really puts your skills to the test.
The storyline is quite a fun turn of events as neither hell or heaven is the good guy here! You start off on a ship with your crew then some giant monster comes and crashes your ship and you all sink and end up in Abyssal City which is deep under the sea, it turns out that you have been caught up in the middle of a war between angels and demons and your only way out is to battle your way through hordes of angels and demons as you search for your missing crew!
Currently there are 2 playable characters out of 4 which will be available in an upcoming patch. The 2 currently available characters have very different playstyles, one of them is a monk which starts by using only fists while the other starts with a sword, both have their strengths and weaknesses which makes it really fun to play through the game a second time. I started out playing the swords man in the hardest difficulty and finished the game and it was quite rewarding as i had to put some effort in to it, later i decided i was going to try out the monk and oh my did i get a surprise, it was like playing a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT GAME! i died a couple of times to bosses here and there which i had considered mastered, but because of the different playstyle and spells it really shook me up and made me have another blast through the game!
The game also features a leveling system and a talent tree system which is pretty rare for a sidescroller, it brings out allot of possibilities while leveling on what path you wish to take and what stats you require for your skill tree... Want to be a MONK MAGE?! no problem... Want to be a barehanded swordsman!? again no problem... the game is very well built to give you the different options of choosing what ever path suites you best!
The item system in the game is very pleasing, it's not to complex and not to simple, you will grind enemies along your travels and they will drop a variation of items for you, later in the game you will be able to use the items obtained to upgrade your weapons or armor as you see fit or even expand your mana or health pool. This really brought out the good old RPG feeling in me and made me want to try to obtain all the items in the game in my first playthrough, i then realised that there are some items in the game that are only obtainable from chests and you will have to think wisely before you upgrade your weapons or armors as you may not be able to upgrade any other weapon or armor in your current playthrough!
While gliding through the game you will fight vicious bosses that will show you no mercy at all, you will struggle and enjoy the sensation of progressing them til you finally deliver the final blow! you will be required to try out various combinations of armors or spells in order to find out what the best possible way to kill the bosses are. Every boss in the game has some sort of weakness and it's yours to figure out!
The game it self is well designed, the story is great, has beautiful graphics which are all hand drawn as well as amazing music that really puts you in the zone when fighting bosses or while you are exploring the world of Valdis Story!
- Playable multiple times - Very fun combat system - Challenging boss fights - Multiple characters to choose from - Great leveling system with a unique leveling tree - Difficulties made to please the average player to hardcore player - Upgrading system
- Map can be frustrating for beginners who have not played the game yet - You will become hooked to the game and not want to leave your computer!
Valdis Story is one of these rare Metroidvania-games that actually incorporates all the attributes of metroidvania-games which properly used and combined. Decent story? Well-developed and complex battle system? RPG elements? Exploration aspects and secrets? Beautiful 2D visuals and animations? All check.
It took almost 7 years for the game to crawl out of the concept cradle but it sure worth it. And the result? Unique combination of old-school gameplay core ideas with a modern approach.
I Kickstarted this one and it finally got Greenlit on Steam. This game is tough and I'm playing it on normal. It hearkens more to the mega man days where movement is very stop and go, and taking damage will completely destroy your momentum. The non-combat timed puzzles are brutal and require nothing less than perfection. I spent a lot of time repeating them over and over to get them right.
Combat is pretty complex, combining light and heavy attacks, along with a block, dodge (cancel), and parry system. It takes a bit to get used to, learning when to heavy attack to break a block, or block yourself. There's a lot of trial and error in discovering exactly which attacks can even be blocked or which ones you should use the "Cancel" dodge. But like the non-combat puzzles, every boss or enemy has a pattern, and this is one of those games that gives you warm fuzzies when you finally get the pattern and beat the boss after the tenth time. Until you figure it out, expect frustration and what will feel like cheap hits. Also, it keeps things fresh when you backtrack through previous areas because the enemies level with you and gain new abilities to attack you with as your progress through the game.
Along with that is a fairly deep magic system and your customization through both stat increases and a talent tree, that definitely changes the way you play your character in many places.
The graphics have a nice retro sprite feel, without reverting to the overdone 8-Bit style so prevalent, lately, falling somewhere between the quality of the PS1 and PS2. The soundtrack is superb, combining a lot of retro synth, metal guitars, and symphonic instruments and spans something like four hours.
This is one of those games that will challenge you, but reward you when you succeed and I'm really digging it. It really does feel more like the toughness of the original Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night to me than most games in the genre have presented lately. And I'm just playing it on the easiest of four modes... O_O
53 of 56 people (95%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
77.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
Having to wait for what felt an eternity for this update i yet again find myself replying this game all over again. This has been my best purchase to date on steam and i dont say that lightly. i feel there is a real art to the fighting system in which sometimes through my frantic button bashing at times i hear in my head a little voice telling me "what you just did there, was AWESOME". My only problem with the game is it leaves me wanting to know so much more about the lore, the history of this game as the story itself is great, but leaves me asking more questions then i got answers. Not really something major with issues but its the characters you meet along the game that look interesting and quirky that make me feel that way. im begging for a sequel or even a prequel. Endless fluff if you do this for me i will get a tattoo of Wyatt in honour of this!
To me Castlevania: Symphony of the Night rates as #2 greatest game of all time, bested only by Unreal Tournament 2004. It started the entire metroidvania subgenre and made a rather large impact on many people, including me. This game is made by someone who no doubt shares great love of SotN and metroidvania in general. If you are one of those fans you don't need to read any further, this is as good as it gets, the finest metroidvania I played since SotN.
For those not familiar, this game is set in a large two dimensional world where to progress to new areas you need to acquire keys and abilities (metroid style), but at the same time you procure new equipment, level up and specialize. The biggest strength of this game lies in it's combat system. This is a perfect mix of min max stat gameplay with skill based reactive 2d brawler. What this means is that you will have to take great care of how you invest your stat points, skill points what you upgrade, what you use and most importantly how well you understand and play the game. The combat system is simple at overlook: light attack, heavy attack, block, cancel dash and magic, but undrneeth there is a whole deep level that will make fans of stylish action games rejoice. There are lifters, slams, blocks, parries, force blocks, secret techniques, stealth, backstabs, criticals, magic oriented attacks, stuns,assists, crazy combos etc etc. In all honesty this game is rather overwhelming how much there is to the actual combat. To someone who invested time it's second nature but the sheer amount taken into consideration when creating a build for your character far exceeds what I ever thought a game like this would offer.
Currently there are two characters (there will be two more with a forthcoming free update). Each character has their own three skill trees to spend points on. Each character has different weapons to use and completely different playstyles. There are four main stats (strength, agility, inteligence and luck), you get to put a point in this as well as picking a skill when leveling up. It opens up a tremendous amount of specialization and replaybility for each character. Upgrading gear needs to be done wisely because the materials needed are finite, and for certain item types you will only be able to upgrade one item to maximum (weapon for example). Choose wisely which weapon, armor or spell you upgrade. Speaking of gear, everything is a sidegrade. There are no upgrades in this game, each piece of armor, accessory or even weapon is suited for a specific build or playstyle. Each armor has special properties and unique benefit. This alone expands the amount of possible play styles and builds significantly.
The game's combat challange is done correctly. The more I play the better I am. I started and i would get thrashed by every boss I'd encounter, barely able to finish it. Now I'll get an S rank on every boss encounter(tip, better rank on bosses gives permenant stat increases). It feels like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden, where the game teaches you the hard way to play well. On the other hand the platforming portion of the game is not so ideal. If I had any setbacks for this game it's that platforming does not work as well as combat does. Sure after some time it becomes trivial because you get used to it, but at first the platforming will be a chore, mostly because the way movement works. It's difficult to pinpoint your character, don't expect perfect pixel platformer controls like in Mega Man. Though after time it goes away and you learn it like it happened with the combat. A very minor setback to overall fantastic experience otherwise.
So yes, I absolutely endorse this title. For the amount of replaybility and content this game offers, along with free future updates to come this game is an absolute steal even for it's full price. For you metroidvania fans, I swear you will get that feeling that SotN had you as you explored, grinded and fought in Dracula's castle. Just an absolute blast of a game.
It's like a combination of Dark Souls and Metroidvania! A side scrolling action game with RPG elements and an occasional wicked difficulty curve. There was one boss I encountered that I spent two hours on, memorizing patterns and learning how to exploit gaps in their attack pattern. I whittle them down one sliver of health at a time... it was great. Of course, I then watched somebody wreck that same boss in 30 seconds at a lower level then I was thanks to careful planning and exploitation of their abilities! So it's a game with lots of depth, and it will give you whatever you want to put into it.
43 of 50 people (86%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
33.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
I NEED MORE! Its rare nowadays to find games that have real difficulty which can be overcome with developed skill. I Wish more games would combine RPG mechanics with great skill based combo fighting systems.
The game says I'm at around the ~60% completion mark at about 6 hours in; I feel I've had enough exposure to at least make a Yes/No recommendation. While there are certainly some frustrating elements of the design (which I'll list out below), I couldn't help but feel compelled to keep playing, albeit it after a little break. All-in-all, to draw a topical analogy, I keep thinking of the game as "Dark Souls-vania"; feels like a Metroidvania style game, with difficult (but often fair) enemies, and often unexplained elements.
Personal Cons List (with objective commentary): -- Not much indication of where to go. This often lead to retreading the same areas over again hoping to find the little thing I missed the first couple of times (to advance the story/progression), etc. -- -- The map seems arbitrarily color-coded (though I imagine there's some logic to it, that's not explained in any way that I noticed in the game). -- -- The very brief "objective" listed on the on-screen minimap has no context, and there is often no way to have NPCs, who just explained some cryptic event you need to particpate in to advance, repeat themselves of that key information.
-- Stumbled into some seemingly impossible boss fights that I'd later discover were optional (and had to load my game out of to "recover").
-- Encountered a brutally difficult "escape" sequence in the game that was on a timer -- it was so easy to fall/be blocked into a pit that could be rendered inescapable, that I'd either have to let myself get killed, or wait for the 80-second timer to countdown before I could retry again -- this took me several (probably 6?) attempts before I made it through. Was extremely frustrating. -- -- I see what the designer was going for, but being pushed into a pit with no way out, forced to suicide/wait felt like poor design. At the same time, I could've very well gotten lucky on my first attempt, and never thought anything of it... but I just got stuck in one of those ruts where I kept failing over and over again, and it took a lot out of me.
-- There's a little climbing animation whenever you grab the ledge of a platform/wall, which feels a little lengthy. The locked animation frames remove your control for a period of time that can sometimes be frustrating when you're trying to navigate the environments over and over again, especially when there are enemies in "strategic" places that seem positioned ONLY to knock you off of them -- frequently.
-- I'm personally having a hard time following the story. It's all dialogue-driven, so keeping track of all of the various odd-sounding names and places can feel a little overwhelming sometimes. There are times when events or dialogue feels so abstract that I can't tell if I just encountered a random secondary scene, or if the main story is progressing.
-- The menus / interface feel a little clunky, but are servicable. -- -- The focus meter has nice little light particle effects that shower into the screen -- this is sometimes distracting, as I think something is happening in the world, then realize it's just the interface. Distracts me more often than I would expect...
Personal Pros List (with objective commentary): -- I find the combat to be fun, deep, and reasonably responsive (in terms of controls). There are definitely some engaging combat systems in the game -- which, after several hours, I finally feel like I have some control over. -- -- There are some cases of personal frustration when I get locked into a juggle or a damage loop where I lose control, but invoking my "skill cancel" ability often seems to get me out of it -- not always, but it helps. There were a number of times where I got stuck in a damage / locked animation loop only to die because I couldn't regain control.
-- Seems to be good potential for replayability with the multiple characters and, from what I've seen, nuanced differences in the story for each. I started a second game, and played the monk character for about 60 minutes, which did immediately feel different in combat, and seemed to have a good number of unique spells available as well.
-- There are some interesting exploration / backtracking mechanics (in the vain of a Metroidvania game). Even though I do end up having to sometimes arbitrarily explore while trying to happen upon the next objective/event, there do seem to be enough games that I found myself discovering something previously blocked often enough that my interest doesn't wane too quickly.
-- The spell system is interesting, though a bit cumbersome when it comes to changing stuff. You can hold RT+B to get access to a paused "quick menu" for adjusting spells, which is useful, but you do end up having to scroll through up to 6 spells in each of four categories to change things around -- can feel a little jarring, especially when some of those spells really don't get used often (if they have a specific utility, etc.). However, the variety and functionality in spells is cool and interesting -- I do find myself mixing it up fairly often to make good use of all those tools, so having to switch this way, while annoying at times, is usually worthwhile. However, getting stuck repeating a boss fight until you learn the patterns means having to adjust to the desired combination of spells each time you start anew.
Anyway, I think that's about it. I do plan on continuing and hopefully finishing this game. I wouldn't call myself talented at games, though I've been playing for a long time, so I would say I'm skilled. In most games, I tend to pick one difficulty higher than "Normal", which is about where I usually feel comfortable -- right amount of challenge, etc. This game I'm playing on Normal, and I find it brutally difficult in places. There are bosses I've had to try a half-dozen times before getting the patterns and puzzle figured out to win, but it did feel fairly satisfying (and relieving) to do so. Those are the moments when the game felt so akin to Dark Souls. :)
In summary, this game is so much fun and so impressive that I can't recommend it more.
I played through this game once, and MAN did I love it. There are so many different styles of play: rush in like a barbarian, use melee attacks, take time to plan things out, use magic, attack from a distance, run away in fear, or any combination of those. The gameplay is so well made and the design so spot-on that there was never a dull moment. There's quite a lot of optional paths and bosses too. I really like how whether or not you defeat certain optional bosses determines what happens later in the game. Some of them change the story, some change the ending, and some even change how future bosses act. Plus the bosses were all unique and unbelieveably intense. It's a really pretty game, too.
And don't even get me started on the music. Ooooh god, the music. It's so good. I legitimately feel that this game has my favorite soundtrack of any game I've ever played. Zack Parish is now my God. I've never bought a video game soundtrack before, but I HAVE to buy this one.
I did notice that if there was more than one or two lasers on-screen at once, and during the final boss, I would experience framerate issues, but I also had a recording software running, and I'm sure everything would've been smooth if I hadn't been recording. In the end, I turned down the graphical settings for the final boss (which is a super intense experience and takes a little while to beat) and everything was fine. I have a really hard time saying that this is any fault of the game, but I wouldn't know.
As I mentioned above, I did play through this game on YouTube (youtube.com/Frozelar), if you'd like to see some more gameplay before buying it. I really hate to self-advertise but maybe it'll give people a better idea of just how great the game is before they buy it. Easily my favorite Let's Play of all time. Looking forward to playing through it again. And possibly again and again and again.
33 of 38 people (87%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 4
I played this for about 25 hours on my son's computer (i wanted to try to beat the game, but i didnt) One of the most well thought out, and well put together "metroidvania" games on PC i've ever played. The devs are dedicated to their project, and you can fell the passion they put into the game. I highly recommend!