28 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 2.8 hrs on record (2.5 hrs at review time)
Posted: Feb 11, 2020 @ 10:45pm
Product received for free

Early Access Review
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ScourgeBringer is a super fluid roguelite 2D action platformer that happens to be very polished at this time for what is available (Beta v1.04 as of writing, 3 fully developed zones out of 6 planned). More importantly, it is just a lot of fun to play. Despite that it's in Early Access, the combat mechanics feel so seasoned and well-done that you would be hard pressed to point out any problems with it.

My experience is limited to my short amount of time spent so far (2.5 hours) and I have not yet cleared the 3rd available area. I see someone wrote that they cleared the whole game after 5 tries. I guess my skills are just much lacking in comparison. I have played probably 20 times so far and only managed to get into the 3rd zone once.

ScourgeBringer has a story, though that's limited currently to a few well-drawn artwork pages when you start into your save. I enjoy games that have a nice story or rich lore, but this game really doesn't need it.

Without a doubt, the platforming will remind many players of Celeste with its fast-paced movement and tight jumping. Everything flows so well, both in and out of combat.

Aerial combat in 2D platforming is often neglected, and perhaps it becomes difficult to get the progressively unrealistic mechanics to feel natural and right in the hands of the player. This game has perhaps one of the best aerial combat mechanics I have seen in recent years. You can, at times, maim a whole roomful of enemies (usually 1-2 waves) without touching the ground. There is just something really satisfying and fun about it.

Another thing to note is that you always have a ranged/gun weapon equipped aside from your sword. And combat on ground or in air using melee with intermittent gun fire transition between themselves seamlessly. So not only is aerial combat done well and feels right in the melee aspect, you can spice up your attacks with some bullets too!

For many players, it's inevitable that you will compare Dead Cells to this game in terms of combat flow. This game may not have as much content and as much variety, but the combat does not feel inferior to Dead Cells in anyway. And its aerial combat mechanics is really nonpareil--to me anyway.

Relying on reflexes is important in this game, but so is an additional knowledge about the game through repetitive motions of playing and replaying. This gets down to the replay value of such a game, which seems to me to be pretty good. The rooms are pre-made although the way that the zones spawn their rooms are randomized, thus making it important for the player to explore each game. The other aspect of the game that increases the replay value is the skill/passive tree that you can unlock progressively by playing and beating mini and main bosses.

Sure, the game has its flaws, mostly in the variety category. You can expect 1 of each special room to show up in each zone, shop, altar/pillar for the Gift of Blood (choice of 3 upgrades for that run), mini boss, and main boss (room can only be opened after the mini boss is destroyed). The individual rooms are pre-made so you do start getting used to them over time. In addition, the shop items and Gift of Blood choices seem to repeat and cycle through a fairly small number of selections.

All in all, I am very much looking forward to seeing where this game will go from here. I think the developers really did a great job at hammering out undesirable details before releasing it into Early Access. I have, so far, found absolutely no problems or bugs so far.

Are you on the fence? Definitely check this one out!

Controls
Plays great with a gamepad, as I prefer to play almost all of my 2D platforming games. Kudos to the developers for giving the players functional movement with boy D-Pad and Joystick.

Graphics
The 2D pixelated artwork is rather well done, the game is quite beautiful to behold. V-sync option available.

Music & Sounds
The soundtrack sounds awesome, with the right pacing to accompany the rapid movement and action.

Audience
For people who enjoy a good 2D action platformer, you will not be disappointed with ScourgeBringer.

Pricing
$14.99 launching into Early Access is perhaps a bit high for some people. But I am telling you right here and now that these developers did their homework, and the game plays beautifully and is really fun. There will be more content to come, so expect the price to go up a little with additional updates. (Early Access page indicates plans to keep it below $20 overall.)

There is a launch week 10% discount and additional 10% for folks who own Dead Cells that is still going on. So I encourage anyone thinking about it to jump in on the action! Worth the price I say!

Positives
+A combat system that stands out as being very well polished and super tight
+Interesting platforming mechanics that feel right
+Progressive unlockable skill/passive tree to change the way you play as you get more or more used to the game
+Excellent music
+Fantastic 2D pixel art
+Nice in-game seamless feedback system
+Accessible to people who may not wish to play the game at the intended pace with speed-adjustment options
+Most importantly, this game is just so much fun

Neutral
=Current content has 3 zones, which is enough for me, but can feel really short to some people. There are a few more planned, so this is just part of the growing pains of a game in Early Access.

Negatives
-Variety of items found in shop is a little lacking (I saw the same items over and over again)
-Similar to above, Gift of Blood choices could use some more variety
-Very limited trap design and use in the individual rooms

Conclusion
ScourgeBringer brings quite another nice addition for people who enjoy action platformers. While it may be in Early Access, the game already has excellent movement and combat systems in place to make the action platforming feel oh-so-good. If you are on the fence, definitely take a look at this game, for you will not be disappointed.

With such a solid foundation, ScourgeBringer will surely realize a brighter future.

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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3 Comments
YQMaoski Feb 12, 2020 @ 9:52am 
missiloon, thank you.

Kemo, thank you as well. I think with the quick runs and smooth action, more variety would turn it into a game for longer sessions, which hopefully will be a focus for future updates. I look forward to seeing where it will ultimately end up.
Kemo Feb 12, 2020 @ 8:45am 
Nice write-up. I'm really hoping they'll address those negatives, those are pretty much the same issues I've found with it
missiloon Feb 12, 2020 @ 8:23am 
thank you for a wonderful review :D