Indsendt: 17. december
It's a real shame that I have to not recommend this considering that it's got a great first episode and has solid game play, good music and graphics. At the time of writting this, there are only 2 episodes out and because of how different they are from each other, I will review them separately.
The game begins with a very familiar and simple play style, small weak enemies come in low numbers and attempt to hit you. You can make quick work of them though. As you progress through the level, more difficult enemies are added and more challenging environments are present. There is even a few areas where you get to ride a beast like thing, it's pretty fun. Numerous well designed boss fights are included. Although it really starts to ramp up the difficulty at the later areas of the level, the game never feels unfair and with frequent checkpoints and 6 hits for a life bar, the difficulty is just right. More of this would be excellent. The final boss in this episode is pretty tough but reasonable enough. Although this episode is short, it's great and it got me really excited for more episodes. It really did impress me. If I had to give it a score, I'd give it a 9/10
And than suddenly the game does a complete 180, changing everything about the design that made the first episode so good. At first, it's a slow paced platformer with very few enemies. In fact there aren't many enemies at all in this episode, at least ones that give points and are stationed through the level. As you progress through this level, you will face more difficult platforming sections, most of which will either send you to the beginning via vertical drops or instantly kill you through large areas of pitfalls.
This episode also features riding an animal, this time it's a bee. This creature does not like to cooperate though. If you fall off, it will fly around you avoiding you as much as possible, though it stays roughly in the same area that you lost it. This can make it a huge pain just trying to progress through those areas as one hit will send you flying off the bee. Later on you have to use the bee in automatic screen scrolling sections where flight is mandatory. It's a mini bullet hell out of no where and the short range attack and instant kill from falling off the edge of the scrolling screen makes it infuriating. Oh and I forgot to mention that despite some bees being somewhat friendly, all the others will try to kill you and they spawn infinitely at the sides of the screen while you try to fly tightly crowded areas of spikes.
The only other main enemy in this level are apes, these guys are very annoying. When in high numbers, these pests can cause a lot of trouble. They jump around the room and throw what I hope to be rocks at you. These rocks are high speed and perfectly accurate, if thrown while you are in mid-air, they are almost guarenteed to hit. There is also a giant ape boss, which is very difficult. Ironically enough, it captures a blonde and throws barrels at you. Sound familiar? It should. A reference to one of the most iconic and classic games of all time, Donkey Kong. Only this is no easy breeze jumping over simple barrel trajectories. These barrels bounce all over the place with high speed and they're the same size as the player. Incredibly challenging and will take you many tries to overcome, if you have the patience.
After all that the level is still not complete, well over an hour now and you still have to keep going. The last sections I played were consistently frustrating. The auto scrolling of the screen which moved way too fast for me to keep up, killed me mercilessly. Not to mention the huge number of projectiles that fly at you. There is a lot of grabbing vines and ceilings reminiscent of some Shinobi levels, only the grabbing controls don't work all that well here. I died at least 30% of the time from the character refusing to grab a ledge or vine only to fall to my death. All of this combined created an experience that was punishing and sadistic. I'd have to enjoy the pain to finish this level. I did not.
So to conclude these reviews, I'd say that the game has great potential. The first episode being a shining example of great game design, while the second episode takes all the worse elements of older platformers and throws them all at you at the same time. This leaves me very conflicted as to what I should rate the game as a whole. I also cannot understand the massive shift in design here. The first episode featured almost no instant death or pitfalls, while the second episode is full of it. The game goes from fun and fair to brutal and painful in a flash. It's a true shame to see yet another retro throw-back desperate to relive the "glory" days of punishing quarter-devouring arcade games instead of improving on any of it.
In the end I do not recommend this game as I can't see the next episodes going in a better direction. Odds are they'll continue trying to make it harder and more brutal as they release the other episodes. It's not really worth the time and frustration for the average gamer. This is only for true hardcore platformer fans.