Thursday, July 30, 2015

Would I have bought: Unepic?

Hello one and all! (So one) The famed blog series you’ve never heard of is back for more, so welcome to Would I have Bought Season 2! As always this is a first impressions series, it’s not a review of the game, I play stuff I got in humble bundles and forgot about for a bit (around a half hour) and describe why I would or wouldn’t have bought the game on its own.
The visual style is definitely my favorite aspect
Unepic is a platformer / rpg hybrid that takes very obvious cues from action platformers in the metroidvania style. And for the most part it succeeds at what it’s doing. I found myself easily able to familiarize myself with the controls, and the castlevania like aesthetic drew me in right away, so it seemed like a promising start for me.

However, problems start to arise in the gameplay, with no real way to block or dodge outside of jumping and crouching (this is normal for this style of game but bare with me there’s a point here), and your attacks essentially stunlocking any enemy you com across in the early game, combat quickly turns into one of two things: a boring slog where you’re in no risk of even being hit, as such with any one on one encounter, or a clusterfuck of shit happening you can’t react to, like a battle in which 6 bats and three goblin things swarmed me and prevented any escape as I couldn’t move fast enough to flee.

Here’s the main reason for this, every action you take, be it walking, jumping, or attacking, is very slow and methodical, think a 2d dark souls if you will. You have to be very sure of your actions as they’re so slow and hard to recover from, a massive problem when you’re faced with tons of fast paced enemies at once. With jumping being your only dodge I’m aware of, and your jumps being incredibly stiff and realistic for this kind of game, I found myself getting hit far more than I would like.

So that’s my problem with the platformer parts, but what about the rpg parts you say? They might as well not exist, so you level up after killing enough enemies and get some stat points, and you use them to make your weapons do more damage or get more health, there’s no interesting progression here, it’s just pure stats going up.

Let’s talk about the story for a bit, as there’s dialog everywhere in this. The first thing of note is the opening cutscene makes fun of videogames for letting you break barrels or fight skeletons with swords, then shows you exactly why videogames do that. When you switch weapons you play a slow animation for a second, then you can act, so every single time you want to break a barrel and get at the loot, you have to switch weapons, an utter nightmare when playing on a controller. I just realized this is gameplay complaints again but I digress.

The story is taking the parody route of comedy, and by parody I mean, let’s reference pop culture and be done with it. The references are kept mostly to the player character, thankfully as none of them are very funny, I hate this style of comedy and if I had seen a trailer or video featuring it I would have never bought this game because of it. and that there lies the answer, I would not have bought this based on the comedy.
This boss looks pretty cool, too bad I didn't get that far before this post

One of my favorite parody games is Dungeons of Dredmor, which also does the reference style of humor, but instead of just having a character say “my name is Dark Helmet” in reference to spaceballs, they would add in dark helmet’s helmet, give it a funny description and wouldn’t directly mention what it was, that’s how you do parody.

Despite these complaints I did find myself drawn in to the game, before it crashed after 45 minutes and I decided to write this, I’d probably play it again, but would I have bought it?

Nah, probably not.

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