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In our march towards joining the Canerdian Nation website next month, we present another review from a beloved contributor. Please enjoy Stephen’s review of the video adventure game “Rogue Legacy”!

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Charging into Castle Hamson with a sword raised to the sky, your quest is to vanquish the evils that dwell deep within, or to simply die and leave everything to your next-of-kin. As the name may suggest, Rogue Legacy is a take on the rogue-like genre, which are known for being punishingly difficult and trips to the game-over screen are frequent and necessary to progress further. Despite the unforgiving difficulty, the game is filled with humor and often reminds you of the fact that it’s just a video-game and should be enjoyed rather than taken too seriously.

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Every playable hero in Rogue Legacy is a descendant of your previous character, continuing their legacy to defeat the darkness that is locked away within the castle. You will have to make a choice of three randomly generated heirs, male or female, with a randomly picked class, spell, and traits to accompany them on their journey. Traits such as ‘ADHD’ which cause faster movement can benefit you on your quest, while others like ‘near sighted’ can be a detriment, causing parts of the screen to be blurry or worse. Other traits like gassy, baldness or gay are simply cosmetic or comical and have no effect on the gameplay at all. While the new character you now control will change, your stats and upgrades will remain the same, however all of your gold acquired will be forfeited to the castle guardian Charon as a toll to re-enter the castle. This pushes you to perform as well as you can within a single run for hopes that your money will go towards upgraded stats, weapons, armor, runes and new classes at your manor as opposed to further filling Charon’s greedy pockets.

Once within the castle, Rogue Legacy plays very much like a Metroidvania platformer where you hack and slash with your sword or cast spells to defeat the wide variety of enemies and traps that fill every room. Each entry of the castle will randomly generate hallways, dead-ends, secret passages, treasure puzzles, mini-boss challenges and the dreaded boss door itself. This is accompanied by a helpful dungeon map can be accessed to display all the rooms that have been visited, and will keep track any special or bonus rooms, but will not give away all the secrets of the castle as some hidden chests or passages will not be revealed. Progressing deeper in to the castle will reveal new areas with tougher enemies and greater rewards, but as the difficulty curve rapidly increases between these areas, these areas will require an amount of leveling up before they even become feasible.  Each of the castles four areas contains one boss, which unfortunately is an enlarged super-version of smaller enemies you may face in the castle. While they may look underwhelming, the bosses pack a nasty punch and usually serve as a level and gear check in preparation of venturing into the next area of the castle.

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To aid you in your journey, treasures chests encountered may contain new schematics for weapons and armor, or runes to enchant your equipment. These runes can either give you passive abilities such a life-steal, or active modifications like additional air-jumps, dashing or the ability to fly. Weapons and armor may also have traits similar to runes built into them, but usually at the cost of a health or defense penalty. While all equipment has its uses, vampiric items and runes seem slightly overpowered, as the chances of coming across health in the game are quite random, where these items will grant health on every kill.

Although difficult games might not appeal to all gamers, the cartoonish goofy charm of Rogue Legacy should help soften the blow. If you are able to brave the frustration losing many heirs to the doomed castle, Rogue Legacy is a game that rewards you with many small bursts of accomplishment and satisfaction. It’s important to remember that each death brings you one step further, whether it is that your character is stronger, or a valuable lesson was noted from a deadly mistake.

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Author: Stephen Spanner is an avid gamer working as a software engineer at Hellbent Media and can be found on Twitter at Twitter.com/StephenSpanner.

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