The new game from the Zeno Clash people is out now!

#1 Edited by Pie (7099 posts) -

I have played this for 2 hours according to steam and am loving it so far.

It has a ton going on it. The combat system is fairly similar to Super Smash Bros (the jumping physics also feel like SSB) where each character has a basic move for every direction, some basic combos to perform and then 3 special moves on top of that. It's structured like a pretty standard "roguelike" game where you are making your way through a dungeon collecting loot and eventually meeting a final boss. The game has an element of permadeath where you lose all your equipment but keep your level, oh yeah, the game has a leveling mechanic and some RPG stuff thrown in as well. You unlock 3 core characters that you can play as and then you can also play as any enemy in the game by capturing their soul. Some really nice looking art and character designs (yes, they continue their weird anthropomorphic bird obsession) as you would expect from the ACE team.

Anybody else played it?

#2 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3405 posts) -

Yeah I've played it for an hour. It's pretty cool though I don't know how useful the soul mechanic is considering that you get used to how the main characters play and the enemies have really weird timings (or atleast Pudataur does).

How do you unlock the other non enemy characters?

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#3 Posted by Pie (7099 posts) -

Yeah I've played it for an hour. It's pretty cool though I don't know how useful the soul mechanic is considering that you get used to how the main characters play and the enemies have really weird timings (or atleast Pudataur does).

How do you unlock the other non enemy characters?

I have only unlocked the second character but I don't know how I did. I presume it is just a progress/ time based thing with no special requirements. The soul mechanic is really useful because it lets you keep your main character alive for as long as possible. It means that if your main character is about to die you can quickly swap to your enemy character and play as him for a while whilst trying to find health potions and that kinda thing, you can just view it as an extra health bar really.

#4 Edited by Brackstone (66 posts) -

I'm really loving it so far. The soundtrack is especially amazing. Somehow I didn't know that souls had separate health bars, but the game's going a lot better now that I do know that. I fought the Final boss once, but died, and that was on the first path. Each path definitely seems harder than the last.

As far as the utility of different characters goes, I find some are actually more powerful than the main character in certain circumstances. For example, the two mummies seem pretty good at dealing with multiple enemies, since they have a lot of area denial and can escape pretty easily. Also looking on the steam forums, there seems to be a way to trade souls with people online, so if you have trouble getting specific souls, you could always try that, especially since a good chunk of them seem to be multiplayer characters.

#5 Posted by Slag (4409 posts) -

Downloading it now, looked really interesting.

#6 Posted by csl316 (8693 posts) -

Kind of looks like Muramasa? And I loved Muramasa.

#7 Posted by Karkarov (3109 posts) -

This game is freaking hard and really random. You get lucky on the rooms you could have a cake ride all the way to the end (I literally got to the end on my second run) you get poison pits with no jump points and swinging pendulums and flame plants room? You aren't getting to the end sorry.

It is fun so far, but each character handles REALLY differently and takes a ton of practice. You unlock the other two characters by finding their "phantom" versions and taking them out. Also as you progress and restart other starting points and different features open up. For example there are some optional bosses that aren't even in the dungeon on the first couple runs.

#8 Edited by malice16 (16 posts) -

The controls really took some getting used to for me, but after a couple of practice runs I am really starting to enjoy this game for what it is. The exploration is fun and the combat feels good now compared to when I first picked it up. I can't wait to see what else there is to discover in this game.

#9 Posted by konig_kei (618 posts) -

I was real indifferent after my first try at it but after I unlocked the monk I powered through it and straight up finished it on my "second" attempt at the game. I really like it but that last set of levels with the thwomp things is a real bitch. Pretty sure it has Mary Elizabeth McGlynn doing the voice of Katrien, and if it turns out it does.. 10/10.

#10 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Can I play it with a 6 button arcade stick? Or does it require the greater number of buttons/analog inputs that a controller has? If the first is true, I'm going to buy it right now.

EDIT: After asking on the Steam forums, it seems there are too many inputs required for a basic 6-button stick thanks to the d-pad being your items. However an 8-button stick might work once they implement the ability to rebind controller buttons, which is supposed to come in the first patch.

#11 Posted by Pie (7099 posts) -

After playing it some more I do really like it still but it feels like it might be lacking in content maybe. Each playthrough will be fairly similar with not much variance and the game seems pretty easy with people reaching the last boss on their first and second tries

#12 Edited by Brackstone (66 posts) -

@pie: I'd agree with that. There are the 3 difficulty "levels", but those are really just different paths through the game, with mostly the same enemies and tilesets, just better AI. The devs said, though, that as more people beat the final boss, they'll change his form and add new enemies to the environments, so it could change a good amount in the long run.

I think it's worth the price though. The singleplayer is really fun, and the multiplayer, while I haven't played it yet, has a large amount of characters and character combinations, so it could be quite good. Playing around in the training mode, it seems like the fighting system is rather robust too, so I could see it becoming a popular couch multiplayer game. It's a more robust package than say, the equally priced Samurai Gunn or Nidhogg (both of which I love), though the gameplay is less unique.

#13 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

So bummed. I procrastinated too long and the price went back up to full. Guess I won't be getting it yet.

#14 Posted by Brodehouse (9951 posts) -

I've played an hour of it and I'm really liking it. I wish I wasn't using a 360 controller though, maybe I should look into motionjoy or whatever so I can play this game with a d-pad. I agree with the OP about it playing like Smash Bros, between the block-roll mechanic and the floatiness of the jumps, it hit me almost immediately. I have to get used to the recovery on attacks, I'm used to relatively brainless mashmash-turn-mashmash-jump-mashmash games. The first girl will continue attack left while you hold right if you're mashing.

I really love the art style and the tone of the storytelling. It says its based on Chilean folklore, I wonder if the tone of the dialogue and stuff is rooted in folklore or comes from the developers themselves. It's awesome. The protagonist lady is definitively fey, in the 'wise but alien' sense. She's so far above everyone around her and yet consigned to being a part in a seemingly eternal story. She's functionally numb and yet constantly alight with righteous vigor because that's what she is. DAS WHAT SHE DO.

I paid the mysterious man with a guitar. He offered me advice if I paid him. He told me fools spend while wise men save. Fuckin guy eh.

#15 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

I paid the mysterious man with a guitar. He offered me advice if I paid him. He told me fools spend while wise men save. Fuckin guy eh.

Cool. So the game itself offers philosophical affirmation regarding my reason for not buying it yet. Guilt lifted.

#16 Posted by Humanity (9279 posts) -

I love all the art for it but the actual in-game graphics are really putting me off.

#17 Posted by Jaqen_HGhar (898 posts) -

Damn... from reading this, and reading the RPS post about it, I regret not buying it when it was cheaper. Looks cool, has cool mechanics, and I really like the developers. For instance, seems the devs are going to make it harder for those who think it is easy and make it easier for those who think it is hard...
Also, the whole "when enough players beat the boss additional stuff unlocks!" seems kind of awesome.

#18 Posted by Pie (7099 posts) -

I've played an hour of it and I'm really liking it. I wish I wasn't using a 360 controller though, maybe I should look into motionjoy or whatever so I can play this game with a d-pad. I agree with the OP about it playing like Smash Bros, between the block-roll mechanic and the floatiness of the jumps, it hit me almost immediately. I have to get used to the recovery on attacks, I'm used to relatively brainless mashmash-turn-mashmash-jump-mashmash games. The first girl will continue attack left while you hold right if you're mashing.

The devs are very straight up on the steam forums basically telling people that it plays the way it plays because they emulated SSB. So, yeah

#19 Edited by VioleGrace (48 posts) -

Played a little bit of it and i must say , it's not as good as i expected , however it is good enough to give it a second chance .

#20 Edited by Brackstone (66 posts) -

I played a bunch of multiplayer with about half the roster unlocked, and it was fun, but I think it has some balance issues. Projectile seem really strong given the generally flat map design, and some characters are really quite a bit more powerful than others. Characters with short range melee attacks seem to have a lot of trouble dealing damage, whereas characters with long range melee attacks, or good projectiles, can be really powerful. I think part of this might be the amount of recovery on rolls, and part of it might be the stages. Hopefully this is all stuff they iron out in coming patches, but for now, it's fun but certain characters really dominate the game.

#21 Posted by strings19 (23 posts) -

I am going to give this game a shot. I'm looking for something that I can play for short bursts and can keep me busy until Binding of Isaac and No Man's Sky.

Fake edit - question before buying, my PS+ account went out a couple of days ago! is that going to be needed to get access to the changes as game evolves? I don't care about multiplayer so I am not worried about losing that part of the game.

#22 Posted by CorruptedEvil (3405 posts) -

@strings19: 1. No Man's Sky is a Holiday 2015 release at the earliest. 2. You don't need PS+ for the game updates.

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#23 Posted by strings19 (23 posts) -

@corruptedevil: Thanks. I keep forgetting how far away No Man's Sky actually is! I will try this out today and let my Plus membership slide for a few months at least.

#24 Posted by DoctorDonkey (265 posts) -

Picked this up from GoG for 10 bucks after seeing the quick look. I got all the way to the end and beat the final boss on the first try, my main character dying maybe 3 times. Really wish it's difficulty was more like Rogue Legacy. I had to sink 25-30 hours into that game before I could beat the final boss. The controls feel pretty good, I wish they were a bit tighter though, turning in mid air and dodging on the ground feel kinda bad. Looking forward to trying the Ghost Monk.

#25 Posted by BisonHero (6536 posts) -

@doctordonkey said:

Picked this up from GoG for 10 bucks after seeing the quick look. I got all the way to the end and beat the final boss on the first try, my main character dying maybe 3 times. Really wish it's difficulty was more like Rogue Legacy. I had to sink 25-30 hours into that game before I could beat the final boss. The controls feel pretty good, I wish they were a bit tighter though, turning in mid air and dodging on the ground feel kinda bad. Looking forward to trying the Ghost Monk.

My issue with Rogue Legacy is that it didn't incentivise actually learning how to adapt to the bosses.

Nearly everyone I've ever talked to beat the giant eyeball (Khidr, I think?), for example, by grinding out a bunch of upgrades, choosing a Barbarian King/Queen, then just tanking all the hits and slashing the eyeball nonstop. Or choosing a Hokage and just having a DPS race to see who dies first.

I tried the challenge mode Khidr, where the stage is slightly different (more dangerous) and they force you into a particular build at a particular player character level, where basically you can only take 4-5 hits before dying, but you have a bunch of double jumps and air dashes. It took me like, 2-3 hours of attempts, but I actually got to the point where I knew the boss fight inside out and exactly how to respond to each pattern (my execution on the air dashes was poor because of my shit reflexes). It was actually really rewarding, but also nothing like how I played the rest of the game. That challenge boss fight forces that build on you, whereas for like the whole game all the runes I chose were just for life regain (vampirism) and gold farming (bounty).

Where I'm going with all this is: for that 25-30 hours it took you to beat the final boss in Rogue Legacy, was it gradual skill accumulation, or just grinding out a zillion gold until your character was properly leveled/overleveled to take on each boss? Most players I've talked to, it was generally the latter. Abyss Odyssey may have its own difficulty issues if it's that easy to beat on your first go, but I don't think Rogue Legacy deserves that much more praise for just drawing things out by making you grind for a bunch of character upgrades to the point that players don't even really learn the boss fights like you would have to in a Mega Man or Castlevania game.

Granted, that's one of the only fights that actually has interesting attack patterns. Two of the other boss fights were simply a giant flaming skull/fireball that would just chase you around a giant room.

#26 Posted by DoctorDonkey (265 posts) -

@bisonhero: I was talking about Rogue Legacy's general difficulty, not the overall meta-game of it. I never tried any of the challenge modes, I got plenty out of that game from the normal mode alone. I think that game did a great job of playing the balancing act of upgrades and individual skill. Yes, you can grind it out until you are way overleveled, but once you have double jump and air dash, you really don't need much else if you are good enough. Once you get those 3 runes, and you play well enough, nothing can touch you. I know a few dudes who beat that game in about 10-12 hours, because they were just really good at the game.

The other reason, is that Rogue Legacy just has tighter controls, straight up. It is a smoother, faster playing game in every respect. Abyss Odyssey controls like a slower, clunkier Smash Bros Melee. I make that comparison because this game is trying to replicate Smash Bros' controls. The 'bubble guard' style of defense in this game doesn't feel nearly as snappy as Smash Bros, and the controls suffer because of that. Hopefully nightmare mode is more interesting, and not just tweaked numbers, because I am not even very good at this game, and I beat the final boss on my first shot. That just shouldn't happen in a game like this.

I still really enjoy it, I just think this game needed more 'time in the oven', so to speak. I'd like to see what the post-release support is like, because if they can fix the two main issues I have with it, I'd totally sink a lot more time into it.

#27 Posted by mattgriffin (63 posts) -

I want this on Vita.

#28 Posted by Slag (4409 posts) -

So I played this a bit a last night, really diggin' it. Haven't finished it yet, but it might be a contender for my personal GotY list (probably not number 1, but decent shot at top ten)

Not really crazy about weapons dropping, but it has just enough carryover of progress that I don't mind the roguelike elements it has. The combat feels nice though with it's Smash influences and I dig the setting, Katrien and

The one problem I've had with it, is I've experienced frequent screen tearing in the towns no matter what graphic settings I put it on.

#29 Posted by TheHT (11296 posts) -

Started playing it earlier tonight. Had a good time!

Feels like Smash Bros like as I expected from the videos, but there's a tension to the combat unlike Smash. I was hoping it would be a Spelunky level of challenging, but I ended up beating the Warlock on my second run without dying. So maybe it's measured instead of tense, strictly speaking. Although, I did enter a room with a big devil icon and fought some crazy giant ghost skeleton king with like 5 crowns. He promptly kicked my ass, buuuuuuuuut then I beat him on my next run. :\

Apparently the Warlock not being that tough doesn't matter though because the game's about beating the Warlock over and over? Doesn't sound all the great, but the combat's real fun and playing as the enemies adds some variety. Would be great if you could unlock more characters to level up with. I'm hoping there secretely are since the versus mode has 9 slots for champion characters, but from the looks of it in trailers and screenshots, they're just bosses or characters like the Jackal (guitar skeleton), the Shopkeeper, and Paganini (violin skeleton). Doubt they'll have the same treatment as the main 3 with unique weapons and more than 3 special attacks.

I already unlocked the third character after about 3 hours with it, and it's easy to see them updating the game with similar other rooms where you can unlock other levelable characters. I certainly hope that's the sort of thing they intend to do with the game.

It's got beautiful art, great voice acting, and an intriguing premise, but it really does feel a bit bare-bones at the moment (no pun intended). They've spoken about content updates and the community unlocking stuff, so we'll see if they can deliver on all that, but I'll definitely keep playing it. The combat and movement make it fun enough to just run around random-ish environments beating up on weird nightmare characters.

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#30 Edited by Humanity (9279 posts) -

Something to be said about the power of persuasion. I was kind of on the fence about it leaning more towards a pass rather than a buy - then I saw Jeff tweet that he has been playing it and thinks it's pretty cool and I just bought it. That makes me feel kinda bad, like I don't have a mind of my own, not to mention that I haven't even played it yet. I did need something new to play so I hope all these positive responses will mirror my own!

EDIT: Ok after playing some I have one major gripe with the game. This happened to me mostly during the mini boss fights and it's when both character are occupying the same place, clipping into each other, and your attacks just woosh. I was fighting the monk dark shadow I guess (I'm not sure what anything is in the game) and there were plenty of times when I'd wind up my attack and he would step into me and poof my sword just wooshes. There should be slightly better hit detection on that as it gets ridiculous after a while.

I'm mainly salty cause I lost that seemingly pretty easy fight.

#31 Posted by Loafsmooch (349 posts) -

To anyone who's already beaten the warlock and worried about the game being too easy. ACE Team is constantly talking to players on the steam forums and they're saying they will balance the game according to how players are handling it. Also a nightmare mode is coming.

Though beating the warlock doesn't really mean you have "finished" the game, since it's designed with replayability in mind.

#32 Posted by The_Ruiner (1060 posts) -

This game is quite a pleasant surprise.

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