Monday, May 16, 2022

Rogue Legacy 2 Review - Generations Of Greatness

Reviewed on PC>Also Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One>Publisher cellar door games>Developer cellar door games>ReleaseApril 28, 2022Rating All 10+> Rogue..


Reviewed on PC>Also Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One>Publisher cellar door games>Developer cellar door games>ReleaseApril 28, 2022Rating All 10+>

Rogue Legacy 2 isn't the most popular sequel. At first glance, it's difficult to see the changes made from Rogue Legacy 2013 to Cellar Door Games' Rogue Legacy 2. It retains the same aesthetic as the original game, despite switching to 3D rendered worlds from 2D sprites. This lack of departure from the original's template is a hallmark of Rogue Legacy 2. However, there are many changes that make it a better and bigger version of the original.

While everything may be rendered in 3D, Rogue Legacy 2 still retains its 2D platforming roots. You are an heir to a tragic and long line of blood. As such, you can run, jump and attack with the weapon of your character's inherent classes. Each heir can add to their combat arsenal by having a special class ability or a random spell tied with separate buttons. A spin kick is used to bounce off dangerous objects or enemies. This skill is essential to master in order to get into the dangerous dungeons. Jumping and attacking are easy with the precise controls. It is simple to learn and easy to return to once you've been away.

You choose an heir to your line with certain hereditary traits. This character's generation is their own, for better or worse. These traits are amazing and you get rewarded for choosing someone who has "bad" genes. This adds depth to the roguelite concept. One fighter may have the ability to tower over their peers and be called a giant. One might be colorblind and change the presentation to greyscale. Unfortunate vertigo can flip the world upside down for this run. A significant modifier is a trait that makes the game more difficult. This allows for more gold to accumulate over the lifetime. These modifiers provide more wealth than the extra effort.

You can use that gold to build the castle and port below the bloodline's castle. After each run, skills can be bought to increase your strength, intelligence, health, and other stats. You can also unlock more classes. You can also craft new gear in town. This will give you stat bonuses and allow you to buy a complete set of armor. Once your cash is gone, you can go on another adventure. Although I am glad to see persistent upgrades back, there are some issues with the system. The price of the next rank increases as a flat stat increase is purchased. This means that character improvements are less valuable as the upgrade cost skyrockets. You will also find a lot of the same upgrade nodes that offer similar stat boosts, but costing you more gold. The castle building menu becomes cluttered by redundant slots in the final game. It ends up being far more complicated than it should be.

Rogue Legacy has greatly improved the class identity system. Each heir's class now determines the weapon type and additional abilities they have. Knights are equipped with a large sword that can block attacks with shields, while Mages can fireballs from their wands at a distance. They can also use two spells in addition to one. Rangers can fire a bow from a distance and make leafy canopy platforms that they can fire from the air. The Pirate can fly in an airship and fire cannonballs at foes within its reach. Even though I didn't find half the options feasible for me, I loved each class identity. The Ronin, a katana-wielding Ronin, and the Boxer are my favorites. They have quick combos and can finish off targets with devastating haymakers. I find classes like the Bard, where you create music notes and then explode with a spin kick, and the Gunslinger, who fires a volley from their pistols, a little too complicated for me.

Cellar Door Games made the same visual style as Rogue and decided that the gameplay loop was not going anywhere. This is great, because it's something I would never have done any other way. You will need to use your heir platforms to traverse ever-shifting and increasingly difficult areas in order to defeat six Estuaries, which are the big bosses that guard each biome. You'll likely die during these battles. Then, upgrade your castle, gear, and then go back to square one. Every trek to the citadel offers you the chance to make progress, find gold and treasure, as well as search high and low to find ability-enhancing Relics that will increase your survival chances. Every time you die, the world's layout changes. This makes every Rogue Legacy 2 life unique until you learn how it populates.

Each area has its own unique feel and aesthetic. The area you will be exploring is the Citadel Agartha, a stone structure. You can then move on to other areas such as Axis Mundi (linear and waterlogged) to the east or Kerguelen Plateau to the west. To reach the Estuary at its top, there's a tall tower that must be climbed. It offers fun and challenging platforming, but I enjoy the challenge it brings. Below the citadel, you will find a dangerous and deadly area. Each area can be explored to earn armor blueprints that you can use in your town, as well as important mobility abilities that allow you to access the next biomes. There are many types of dashes and double jumps. You also have abilities that interact with puzzles in the world to halt your progress. It was incredibly satisfying to be able to explore the world and not only gain power from castle upgrades. These moves make it much easier and more enjoyable to move around, so I was thrilled to find one. These little joys only come up a handful of times during a playthrough. But what keeps an heir's day interesting is the persistent items called Relics that have an effect on attacks, abilities or stats.

Relics, which are part of each class's arsenal, add another dimension to the Rogue Legacy formula, making each run more enjoyable. Relics can be found in special rooms throughout each area. Some of these are minor adjustments, such as increasing critical hit chances for attacks or giving maximum health at the cost some HP. Others alter the way you play.

Items like the marble statue, which causes a small projectile-nullifying shockwave whenever your feet touch the ground, are a blast to find and strategize around. To add some zing to each attack, I also like the poison and fire effects. Relic collecting comes with a downside. It will reduce your HP. Relics are dependent on a stat called resolve, which is tied to the vitality of a given heir. Your max health will drop if you have enough Relics. This is in proportion to the cost of the magical item. This is a risk-reward system, which I can understand. However, I was disappointed that you cannot use every enhancement as freely as other rogue-lites.

Even after spending hours exploring the dungeons in Rogue Legacy 2, there is still much to do beyond finding the Estuaries and the final challenges. The story rooms contain diary entries that give backstories about the Estuaries, the region they rule over, and are fascinating, but not essential for enjoying the game. You can also find enemy gauntlets and boss encounters with enhanced bosses in your seaside port. There are also class challenges that will test your abilities beyond the ones found in the core exploration areas. I know that I will be returning to find out more and attempt to solve these more difficult situations.

Despite my minor nitpicks and blunders, every discovery, skill, and boss defeat wipes away all grief and gives me deep satisfaction. Although there are many things to do to improve the progression system, I have enjoyed spending most of my time battling through the many generations of my silly little family. It is a joy to see that this series has a rich and entertaining history.

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