trashmustache's Sequence (PC) review

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Sequence is an engaging rhythm game first and foremost but it employs basic RPG elements in key ways that trigger just the right amount of loot driven behavior.

You'll spend most of your time beating bosses in order to recieve the loot you need to learn spells. To cast the spells against your foes you'll use your keyboard's directional arrows within a spell column. Arrows will simply drop down from the screen and it's up to you to hit the correct directions in time with the rhythm. What makes it deep though is that at the same time you'll need to defend yourself from incoming boss attacks, you do this by switching to another column available to you and playing the necessary rhythm in that column. It's okay if you miss some of the rhythm cues, and in fact this will most likely happen to everyone who plays the game. I found that the tactic is to pay attention to the color of the arrows. Green ones hurt you and if you don't defend against the red ones you will take a large hit, but gray ones for instance, are acceptable hits so while they drop down you can focus on your other column.

After a while you will run out of mana, which is the stuff you need to cast spells, and guess what you need to do in order to fill it? You need to switch over to a third colum to play the rhythm needed to refill it. The dynamic of constantly switching between the three columns may be a bit intimidating to some but It's an engaging experience I just loved. As you progress, in classic RPG fashion you will acquire better spells and feel quite strong, though I never felt too weak to handle any bosses in the first place, so the game's well balanced.

Each boss drops three items but the game shows you the drop rate percentage. If there's a 30 % chance that the item you need will drop, prepare yourself to beat the boss again. Once you have the loot and the necessary recipe you can use it to synthesize or craft it into a weapon or amor. This process is equally tied to a percentage of succes. The synthesizing process is a weird and overly complicated mechanic but it's an interesting effort in that it allows you to manually increase the succes rate up to a hundred percent at the expense of XP. Winning XP can be done by desynthesizing items that you don't need or don't use anymore.

I didn't pay much attention to the story at at first but the fiction ended up taking me by surprise. So how is the music? In any other rhythm game I probably would have mentioned the soundtrack before now. It does the job but most of the songs sound a bit corny and generic, so as a soundtrack on its own I wouldn't exactly listen to it, but in a game of this magnitude, which is to say, a humble title, the music adds to the charm and definitely contains the rhythm to make for solid gameplay.

I finished the game on the Hard difficulty which took me about 20 hours. For a game under 5 dollars I'd say that alone is a value proposition worth checking out, but Sequence is so much more than just a bargain or a good deal, It's not the best rhythm game and it isn't an extremely deep RPG but the efforts it makes to combine the two elements of said genres result in an immensely engaging game that gave me a rush I quite simply haven't felt in years.

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