A Quasi-Review: ‘Rogue Legacy’
I say “quasi-” because I haven’t finished it yet.
That being said, I still want to bring this game to your attention, dear readers. I’m in no way motivated to tell you about it now as opposed to after I’ve finished it because I’m fairly certain my terrible skill in video games will prevent me from getting to the end. (Definitely not the reason at all.) In any case, “Rogue Legacy” is a platformer/RPG that’s sorta roguelike. Think a less macabre “The Binding of Isaac.”
Your character is a hero! And as a hero, you’ve been charged with a quest: enter the castle and find the magical cure for the king’s illness. To do so, you must defeat four bosses within the castle to get past a magical door at the start. There’s only one problem–well, two problems. The first is that the castle layout changes every time you enter it, and that’s going to be an issue because you’re going to die.
But never fear, dear readers! Your death is expected. (That sounded much creepier than I intended.) Whenever your character perishes, as they inevitably will, you get to choose from one of three successors to carry on the quest, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, thus explaining the “Legacy” part of “Rogue Legacy.” Some of the characteristics only affect the player, like Dyslexia causing all the game’s txet to look a ibt dfirenfet. Vertigo flips everything upside down. Monochromatism turns everything greyscale. But there are good perks too, like Hypergonadism, which allows your character to knock enemies back farther than normal, and P.A.D. (Peripheral Arterial Disease) which means no foot pulse. That may sound bad until you learn that trap spikes only trigger when they detect a living thing on them, i.e. not you. The combinations are almost endless, and that’s without getting into all the different classes and special abilities you can have.
Throughout the castle, and then the other areas you can go, you’ll be killing monsters and opening treasure chests (and destroying every piece of furniture you can reach with your sword), gathering coins. Once you’ve died (and you will die), and you’ve chosen your successor, you get to upgrade your manor.
Upgrading your manor in turn upgrades your character. Spending gold nets you better health, different classes, special abilities, etc. Thing is, every time you enter the castle, you have to give all your remaining gold to Charon, the gatekeeper. So make sure you spend it all. You can’t take it with you (until you purchase the right upgrade), and I can’t tell you how many YouTubers I’ve watched play who could have bought something but didn’t, then lost their gold to the gatekeeper two seconds later.
If you like the layout of the castle, you can (once you’ve unlocked him) pay the Architect a significant fraction of whatever money you make inside to lock it down, which is nice if you’re trying to beat a boss or get to a specific chest, but not worth the reduction in gold payout otherwise.
All in all, I’d have to say that “Rogue Legacy” is a game I’m comfortable recommending to anyone who enjoys platformer/RPGs where you die a lot. (And I mean a lot. It’s linked to a central mechanic, after all.) “Rogue Legacy” is funny, clever, has some stuff I’ve never seen before, and as frustrating as it can be sometimes, death is something I found oddly cheerful after a while. Because you never know what powers your next character will have, right?
Anyone out there who’s played “Rogue Legacy”? What’s your favorite class/power? I’m a fan of the Lich/Fire shield combo myself. Be sure to let us know in the comments below!