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Games The O.D. on Games

The O.D. on Games: Rogue-lite-like Part Two: Enter the Gungeon

After the very long cookies break, ROW and RH return to the conference room for the final game: Enter The Gungeon.

  • ROW: Let’s move on to the next game.
  • RH: Call Revowlver!
  • ROW: Wow, that’s a cool name, hopefully its someth…

[Revowlver bursts in through the door, dodgerolls to the side, flips a table and takes cover behind it]

  • R: RULEROFOWLS DO YOU LIKE ROGUE-LIKE GAMES WITH A TON OF HEART, CHARACTER, GUNS, ITEMS, REQUIRE SKILL AND WITS TO OVERCOME AND ALLOW FOR COUCH CO-OP?
  • ROW: Why did you break the door and flip over that very expensive table, you freaking mowlngrel?!
  • R: BECAUSE I’M HERE TO TELL YOU ABOUT ENTER THE GUNGEON, A ROGUE-LIKE WITH A FEW NEAT TWISTS ON THE ROGUE-LIKE GAMEPLAY TRENDS THAT GIVE IT A UNIQUE FEEL AND BRING A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN THE ENDLESS SEA OF SIMILAR LOOKING AND FEELING ROGUE-LIKE/LITES.
  • ROW: That doesn’t answer my question you mowlron! Why are you yelling?
  • R: BECAUSE I’M REPRESENTING AN ENERGY-FILLED GAME WITH BULLET-HELL ELEMENTS, MIXED WITH TWIN-STICK SHOOTERS AND ROGUE LIKES, AND I FEEL THAT THE BEST WAY TO BECOME AN ALEGORY FOR THOSE ELEMENTS IS THE STEREOTYPICAL BRASH AND LOUD ACTION HERO, WHICH COINCIDENTLY WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE AVAILABLE CHARACTERS IN THE GAME.
  • ROW: Okay, well can you tell me a little bit about the game and try to keep your voice down. We have neighbors and its 10 o’clock in the morning!
  • R: CERTAINLY YOUR ROWLYALTY. I’LL START WITH THE MOST INTERESTING FEATURE: THE DODGEROLL. UNLIKE MOST OTHER EVASION MOVES, WHICH MAKE YOU COMPLETELY INVULNERABLE FOR THE DURATION OF THEIR SHORT ANIMATION, ETG HAS A LONGER ANIMATION THAT MAKES YOU INVULNERABLE AS LONG AS THE CHARACTER IS IN THE AIR, GIVING THE EVASIONS A NEW FEELING. IT IS A SKILLCHECK, A LIFESAVER AND A TACTICAL CONSIDERATION, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THE BULLET-HELL INSPIRATIONS AND THE RELATIVELY SMALL MARGIN OF ERROR. WHEN PERFECTED, THE PLAYER FEELS LIKE NEO IN THE MATRIX, DODGING BULLETS AND KILLING BAD GUYS.
  • ROW: I’m always down for killing bad guys and feeling cool, but that’s down to the mechanics and the controls, so besides the dodgeroll, are the mechanics and the controls any good?
  • R: FOR THE MOST PART THEY ARE REALLY GOOD: MOVEMENT IS FAST AND PRECISE; THE GUNS HAVE GOOD TACTICAL VARIETY AND FEEL GREAT, WHILE ITEMS, BUFFS AND ACTIVE ABILITIES ARE VALUABLE AND DESIRABLE. I HAVE TO SAY THOUGH, THAT THE CAMERA IS SOMETIMES VERY BAD AT KEEPING ENEMIES IN THE SCREEN OR THE CHARACTER MAY BE MOMENTERALY LOST IN A CORNER, WHICH SUCKS ASS. ALSO, ALTHOUGH THE STYLE AND LOOK OF THE GAME IS VERY PRETTY, I OFTEN FOUND MYSELF LOST IN THE MAYHEM OF PIXELS, BULLETS AND ENEMIES THAT CAN OCCUPY THE SCREEN AT THE SAME TIME; OBVIOUSLY THIS IS DOUBLED WHEN PLAYING IN CO-OP, WHICH MAKES THE GAME UNPLAYABLE IN THAT MODE, IF PROGRESSION IS WHAT YOU’RE AFTER. IT IS A LOT OF FUN IN CO-OP THOUGH, ESPECIALLY WITH THE RIGHT COMPANY.
  • ROW: Well, that’s a point in its favor, since the other two games don’t have couch co-op options. What about the guns though? They are satisfying to shoot with, but are they stock-standard guns like hand-guns and semi-auto rifles?
  • R: THERE ARE THOSE ARCHITYPES, BUT THE MAJORITY IS WACKY GUNS THAT FIT WITH THE WACKY AESTHETIC OF THE GAME; THERE’S A T-SHIRT CANNON, A GUN THAT SHOOTS FISH, A SNOWBALL CANNON, A GUN THAT SHOOTS LOWER-CASE LETTERS. PLENTY OF WACKY AND INTERESTING STUFF.
  • ROW: You keep mentioning the aesthetic of the game? Do you mean the artistic style, or the overall character of the game?
  • R: BOTH! EVERY SINGLE THING IS A GUN PUN, FROM ENEMIES TO GUNS, ITEMS AND BOSSES. THEY ARE ALSO ACTUAL GUN RELATED OBJECTS IN VISUAL DESIGN AS WELL: ENEMIES RANGE FROM HAND-GRENADES TO BULLETS AND KNIGHTS WITH A GUN PUN NAME. IT’S REALLY FUN AND THE LORE SECTIONS REMIND ME OF THE LATER DOOM (2016) CODEX ENTRIES, WHICH WERE KNOWINGLY ABSURD AND FUNNY TO READ.
  • ROW: How are the rogue-like elements? Is it a rogue-like or a rogue-lite? Is there progression, besides player’s skill?
  • R: IT HAS ELEMENTS FROM BOTH LIKES AND LITES. THERE IS NO ‘PERNAMENT’ STATS PROGRESSION, BUT YOU CAN UNLOCK THE ABILITY TO FIND SPECIFIC GUNS AND ITEMS DURING YOUR RUNS. ALSO, YOU FIND PEOPLE IN THE GUNGEON YOU CAN BRING BACK TO GAIN ACCESS TO SHOPS AND SHORTCUTS-THOSE ARE THE ONES I FOUND SO FAR, THERE ARE OTHERS OUTHERE STILL.
  • ROW: That sounds okay, although I do like a bit more progression in these types of games! How’s the difficulty?
  • R: IT’S ROUGH! I FOUND THE SPIKE BETWEEN THE FIRST LEVEL AND THE SECOND TO BE QUITE HIGH. HOWEVER, THIS IS ONE OF THOSE GAMES THAT REQUIRES THE PLAYER TO UNDERSTAND AND MASTER ITS MECHANICS IF THEY ARE TO PROGRESS; IN THAT SENSE, I FOUND THE PROGRESSION AND DIFFICULTY TO BE SATISFYING AND CHALLENGING, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
  • ROW: Well, that’s all I wanted to know; I think I can now make an informed decision on which game to buy. Unless you have anything else to add?
  • R: I WANT TO BRIEFLY MENTION THE SECRETS IN ETG. THEY ARE DESIGNED AND ELUDED TO IN A WAY THAT GENUIENELY REWARDS CURIOSITY, SPOTTING WEIRD ADDITIONS IN THE MAP AND BACKGROUND, AND A BIT OF WIT AND “LOGICAL” THINKING, ALL CONTRIBUTING IN CREATING A VERY SATISFYING “EURIKA” MOMENT. ALSO, EVEN THE LOADING SCREEN IS A GUN PUN, AND YES, IT SAYS ‘RELOADING’ AND IT STILL MAKES ME GIGGLE EACH TIME! REVOWLVER OVER AND OUT!

[Revowlver exits the room (with a dodgeroll of course) and can be heard dodgerolling and breaking through various doors and antiquities on his way out]

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