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Rogue Legacy

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Matthew Maravilla

A game designer/developer who's only trying to make sense of all of the things he's doing through writing about those things or just plain doing them.

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This summer was a pretty crazy time for indie games. One of the biggest games to come out this
summer was Rogue Legacy by Cellar Door games. Rogue Legacy’s a rogue-like action-platformer RPG set
in a humorous medieval setting with odd twists that will definitely keep you engaged.

Your goal in Rogue Legacy is to beat 4 bosses and defeat the mastermind of the castle where
your (fore)father rests. Of course, since this is a rogue-like, you only have one go at the entire castle. You
die once, the castle resets itself and your progress through the castle is lost. The way Rogue Legacy
whacks at rogue-likes is intriguing, though. You’re essentially going through your entire family line.
Let’s forget the story, right now, since it really isn’t that deep. The biggest feature about Rogue
Legacy is the legacy system. When you die, normally in rogue-likes, you’re supposed to lose everything.
Well, Rogue Legacy makes it somewhat easier for gamers and allows them to upgrade their manor, which
could lead to new playable classes and stat increases.

Another aspect of the legacy system is the heirs. You see, when you die, you get to choose what traits
and class your next character are going to have.

This is the biggest highlight of the game. You’ll be hooked trying out all of the different classes with
some of the crazy traits like Irritable Bowel Syndrome to Tourette’s Syndrome, as these do affect
gameplay. Some affect it graphically, other traits give players access to a wide variety of new play styles
and options. Of course, soon, you’re going to know what traits you want, but what’s not funny about a
paladin that can’t help but fart every 10 steps? How about a wizard who has a fear of fried chicken, and
every time they see some chicken, it’s a fight to the death? The possibilities are endless with the various
heirs you can beget.

Rogue Legacy wouldn’t be a rogue-like if it wasn’t hard. Death happens a lot in this game. Be it
from those painful spike rooms to enemies that don’t know when to quit, you know you’re doing it
wrong when you aren’t getting killed. Enemies turn seemingly simple rooms into life or death situations.
With the aforementioned traits, this could create an insane concoction of difficulty. When you find
yourself to be so skinny that enemies essentially throw you off them into a giant pit of spikes, it’s not a
happy moment. The best parts of the game are when you find yourself in a recognizable kind of room
and enemies are everywhere, bullets are flying in every direction, and mini-bosses make an appearance
to make your run a living hell. It’s hectic at times but it always remains to be fun.

Bosses are predictable but still hard to beat. As a slight spoiler, the first boss made me feel like I
was playing a bullet hell without having anything to shoot with, so I was stuck avoiding an onslaught of
magic sludge balls. The way every boss deals with you is tense. You aren’t sure if you’ll make it past the
next onslaught of projectiles they’ll throw or if they’ll go for a mad dash at you. With every second, the
bosses seem to get harder, which makes your trek all the more difficult, but that’s a massive plus. So, we all know that I like this game. That brings me to the fun factor. Rogue Legacy just feels fun. There’s this ever-growing sense of anxiety because of all of the enemies trying to kill you and because of the spike pits that want nothing more than to puncture you. There’s this weird rush for gold
as you break all of the boxes, crates, and everything else. You also have the craziness which can only
come from the legacy system.
Bottom Line:
It’s hard enough that every run makes you a bit anxious to carry on but easy enough that you
want to continue your quest. With the legacy system, Cellar Door Games definitely gave gamers a little
extra kick of humor, especially when most of the traits are actually pretty bad. To be honest, this is more
of a seriously un-serious game wrought with dangers alongside having a girl wizard (wizards by the way
have giant white beards) who’s a colorblind, savant dwarf. As hard as this game can get, it doesn’t take
itself seriously.

A game designer/developer who's only trying to make sense of all of the things he's doing through writing about those things or just plain doing them.