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Rogue Legacy (Video Game Review)

Rogue Legacy is the newest release from developer Cellar Door Games and yet another successful indie game release that received a good majority of its funding through a Kickstarter project. The game obviously contains plenty of Rogue-like elements that gives players a unique experience each time through the game while unlocking plenty of new items, character classes and abilities with each new session as well. The game will take most players 10-15 hours to complete, depending on their skill level, but the game offers nearly unlimited replay value and holds plenty of secrets and unlockables that make this a title that is well worth the price for admission.

Rogue Legacy begins with an interesting backstory where a warrior battles his way through a dangerous castle, eventually becoming the assassin of the king hidden away within the castle. The player then awakens as an ancestor of other great knight warriors that enters the cursed castle to find and rescue the king and acquire plenty of gold and other treasures along the way. The game continues at infinitum with the player taking control of an entire warrior lineage that continues desperately entering the castle, as the walls of the castle continue to shift and rebuild itself with each new game. The unique narrative allows the player to find random journal entries made by the family within the castle walls to continue the story until the final boss has been met. Needless to say, Rogue Legacy features a great storyline that should be experienced by every fan of the indie genre of games.

What makes Rogue Legacy such a unique title is in the game's randomly generated characters and dungeons. Each character descends from the same lineage and can receive traits from earlier generations of the family. There are a great variety of traits associated with characters that give off a wide range of affects from being gigantic or a dwarf, having O.C.D. that gives bonuses for meticulously destroying every item in a room and Irritable Bowel Syndrome that obviously gives the character random poots with no negative effects or true benefits beyond laughing at its absurdity. Characters also fall in a variety of different warrior classes including the beefed up defenses of the Paladin and the hard-hitting Hokage. There are also plenty of character classes and upgrades for each class ready to unlock in the game as well. More randomness is thrown into the mix with each new session, since the walls of the castle changes each time it is entered, though each of the four unique areas of the castle always reside in similar locations.

Battling through Rogue Legacy is a grind much like old JRPGs of the past. There is a level of progression in the game, though leveling up the family's lineage isn't nearly as important as upgrading characters outside of the castle. Players begin the game with little more than a sword at the ready, but a manor unlocks after the first session that can be built from the ground up to unlock new benefits to the character, new character classes as well as a blacksmith, enchantress and architect that grant additional benefits to the player. The blacksmith offers up new weapons, and likewise, the enchantress offers up new runes for each layer of equipment, but blueprints will need to be found inside of the castle for each new item. The architect is a unique ally that, for a fee, locks down the layout of a castle, which is incredibly helpful for taking out bosses throughout the game. All of the items and upgrades are purchased outside of the castle, and it's important for the player to spend all available funds, since entering the castle resets assets back to zero each time.

Unfortunately, Rogue Legacy's one weakness is in the game's presentation. Fans of older games from the SNES genre will likely be able to overlook weaker visuals and bad animations though. The game also introduces few enemies and chooses to recycle old character models with new color schemes and sizes instead. The game's controls aren't perfect either, and navigating some of the more complex puzzles can be a nightmare before additional movement runes are unlocked later in the game. There is also a weird jumping platform mechanic in the game that controls awkwardly and can lead to some frustrating deaths, since damage absorbed is so costly. The game does feature a timeless soundtrack that is just as entertaining now as it could've been if the game was released several decades ago. Though the game has its flaws, Rogue Legacy is still a fun title that packs tons of bonus content including hidden artworks, mini-games and mini-boss battles that make it a truly entertaining experience.

Rogue Legacy is a great new game that extends to many hours of fresh gameplay for a low price. The game offers a completely different experience with each playthrough, and the game can be completed more than once with a more difficult challenge in New Game + for added longevity. Rogue Legacy is sure to be a hit in the indie game community and already has a huge following on Steam and with Let's Play series on YouTube. Rogue Legacy is the perfect example of what happens when great ideas meets good game design, and fans of old school gaming should definitely try this one out for themselves. Enter the world of Rogue Legacy on PC today!

Rogue Legacy is now available exclusively for PC via Steam and can be purchased for $14.99. For more information on the game, check out the official Rogue Legacy website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • Unique Characters and Traits
  • Randomized Dungeons
  • New Game + Features
  • Achievement Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer & Publisher: Cellar Door Games
    Available exclusively for PC
    Release Date: June 27, 2013

    Score: 7 out of 10

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