zephie's game journals
i was undecided for days on whether i should buy this game, even though it's only $5. the true price is much more than a purely monetary one.. i felt like i was going crazy when this game came out and i saw everyone praising it!! especially when i heard the developer used to make slot machines, because it was very apparent from the gameplay. i've become all too wary of games like these the past couple years. people don't see it but i do.... it only took me a few thousand hours of playtime in RuneScape to start going "hmm wait a minute"
this game is getting a TV series. it's getting a TV series and the title screen still has blatantly plagiarised Bayonetta art. that was another thing that made me feel just a little bit insane last year. i tried out the game back then when i had covid, because every other part of my body was getting brutally owned may as well submit to letting my brain get owned too. now i'm thinking, i can let a game take advantage of my evolutionarily-stunted brain chemistry for a little while - i've even started opening up my Cookie Clicker save every once in a while again (it's at 1 octodecillion cookies). at the end of the day isn't that just video games in general. isn't that everything. see i need games like these to distract me from these existential trains of thought
i've been in a roguelike mood lately. i don't know if this game even qualifies as a roguelike, i actually hope not because i hate the term and the less games i have to use it with the better. heard the name "bullet heaven" thrown around and i think that's a good one. anyway i bought Hades a few days ago and refunded it because of technical issues, ones i also had with this initially. decided i need to figure it out once and for all if i was having performance trouble with a game that looked like this, and i learned it was because my computer was deciding to see how crazy high a framerate it could run games at. it was just getting in the "numbers go up" mood
i got to 30 minutes on my third or fourth run, and was disappointed when Death appeared and killed me instantly because i didn't realize that was supposed to be the end. even though it says "STAGE COMPLETED" which i somehow didn't notice. kind of wish it was wave-based instead of time-based because can you really tell me i won whilst also telling me i just played this round for a half-hour. after this i unlocked a 15-minute level that was just stationary plants with seemingly no threat
i've taken so many screenshots of this game to try to use the best Pandemonium Shots here and it's so hard to decide on one. it is just a big folder of vomit. i thought i'd be a little more immune to the "one more run" syndrome but runs always gets absurd way quicker than i'm expecting, so it never feels too much like having to take a step back, which was a big reason i couldn't get into longform games like battle royales
there's also the fact this game just isn't very difficult, so i don't get the sudden disappointing end to a run. so far it doesn't seem like there are many ways for it to be difficult? i basically complete every run now. the only nagging trouble i ran into was on one stage, Gallo Tower, where i would always instantly die around minute 16, and i don't know if you've seen how this game looks but carefully examining the cause of a death like that is not really an option
turned out that was a glitch. saw people saying "don't use garlic on this stage it's broken" so i stopped using garlic and then i completed it with ease. weird! garlic is sort of, as far as i can tell, an obvious top-tier weapon so i feel like if it were really a glitch it'd be fixed by now? like there would be a way bigger hubbub about it. well whatever i much prefer getting the black bird and the white bird then marrying them into a rainbow bird
"so much content for $5!" i don't know. i don't know if you can really call a lot of this stuff "content". seems pretty easy to add in one tiny thing that pads out the 100% completion time another ten hours, which i've definitely noticed the game doing in a few areas. granted i'm only nine hours in so far so maybe there's a big opening-up point i haven't reached yet! there are expansions that i'll probably buy eventually, except for maybe an Among Us-themed one that's coming out soon because i don't know anything about Among Us, and i think i'd be behind on lore. the credits said this game had a "lorekeeper". no way there's any lore besides "one time a game dev saw some Castlevania sprites and said 'what if he was epic'"
i don't know what the hell happened here. i stopped playing last night when i got this and it's totally possible this was the "opening-up point" i was talking about. i played a stage that allowed me to pick up every item then at the 15-minute mark it started doing some indie-game-that-came-out-after-Undertale-type stuff. my screen went wigglywoogly then it transported me to a long bullet-hell hallway, then the game clapped at me and fake-crashed and now there's a bunch more stuff in the menus.. fun funny cool sequence but now i'm scared to play again and see just how much more this game wants me to play it
it apparently always says "thank you [character]," i just happened to be playing someone with 'mario' in their name the first time i saw this
i did a lot of surviving vampires this weekend (there are not actually any vampires in the game so this was an easy task). i've picked up a nasty caffeine addiction since going off medication and i'm trying to take weekends off to level it out, submitting to being totally useless the entire time. i think i said this before about another game actually but i realize this is these types of games' true value; keeping me awake when i cannot simply turn to substances. doesn't do jack for the headaches unfortunately
this was the first real challenge i faced that involved even the slightest strategy - a giant rolling skeleton katamari that gets bigger as it rolls over enemies. at its seemingly biggest point i spent 10+ minutes standing right beside it until i eventually got reapered. it was only afterwards i learned that it regains health with each enemy it rolls over, so by the end when the whole screen was skeleton vomit i was likely making zero headway. so the plan was to become as strong as possible before going down there and triggering it, but even that didn't work out for me a couple times. eventually the only way it died was at the 30-minute mark when everything died and i managed to freeze the reaper for long enough to go down and pick up the relic it dropped
so the game has kind of opened up but not really in a way i would have liked. i unlocked a few new modes that are basically "be stronger go for longer", and there were a couple more cool sequences. but i've realized, and am a little glad for my productivity that, there doesn't seem like there's much to work towards aside from unlocking certain things for the sake of unlocking them, like different characters or weapons that aren't necessarily better, just different. the appeal of these games is progression, but i was almost immediately obnoxiously powerful anyway and the only reason i'd start a run is to fulfill a task, always completing the run in the process. i unlocked Endless Mode and went for a whole hour, and i'm not clamoring to go any longer than that
i also unlocked Adventures which are apparently a new feature. they have their own rules and self-contained progression so i'll probably mess around in those for a while, and i'll try out the expansions since combined they're only another $5. but for now i'm staying hopeful that i'll bounce off this game soon