Lineage. Genetics. Growth. Choices. (Specifically between glaucoma or being color blind). These are the defining pieces of Rogue Legacy, the quirky Cellar Door Games 2D platformer that landed on PlayStation a short time ago.
I’ve got to admit, I can’t really remember when I first heard about Rogue Legacy. I know I was just doing some general surfing on the web, checking dates for different releases, and the name continually came up. As you may well know, the Vita doesn’t have the glorious game library we were hoping it would have by now, and outside of Disgaea and Dynasty Warriors 8, I really couldn’t find a reason to play my little slice of Playstation hardware. I was afraid (like so many others) that it would become a $200 controller for my PS4. That was until I saw a little IGN podcast on Rogue Legacy (To which they gave a 9/10) that emplored every Vita owner to go pick up the 16.99 title. And I thank them. I thank them 1000 times. Because more than any other game I’ve played so far, Rogue Legacy has been the embodiment of what a Vita Title should be.
Since picking it up less than a week ago, I’ve already sunk over 36 hours into the game, and I’m nowhere near completing it. in fact, I haven’t even finished the first play through, so I’ve still got new game plus and new game plus plus to delve into after that! The thing that’s so addictive about this game is the random replayability. It’s like playing an entirely different game every fifteen minutes. How did they achieve this? By mixing up everything over and over. The premise is that you’re a rogue who is exploring a haunted castle for gold and treasure, and on occasion you happen to, well…die. Except the game doesn’t pop you make to the title screen and force you to start over from your last save. Instead it accepts that death, and makes you choose one of your rogue’s offspring to take up the unfinished buisness of their deceased mother or father. You’re literally the Rogue Legacy! (Imagine that!) So as it usually is with offspring, they’re a little different. They have different classes, like knight, mage, spelltheif or shinobi, all of which have different skills and stat modifiers. As if that wasn’t enough change after each death, each child has different traits, like glaucoma (which makes the entire game darker, vertigo (which flips the screen upside down), or irratible bowel syndrome (which simply make your character fart each time they jump). So, even if you find your favorite class, you might choose not to play it because that character also has muscle spasms regularly, while a different offspring has ADHD, which doubles movement speed.
So you pick your character, and upgrade your overall skills in the manor with gold from the last character that died, and then you head into the castle. But it’s not the same castle you were just in…It’s a completely different random castle, with different room layouts, monsters and treasure. IT’S A COMPETELY DIFFERENT GAME FROM THE LAST LIFE YOU JUST PLAYED! And that’s what makes it so awesome. It’s especially awesome on the vita, where you can pull it out, play a quick life, die, shut it off and pull it out again the next time you have 5 free minutes…or hours, like me. I’ve played a marathon 7 hours, the longest streak thus far on my vita. I’m not alone either. Pretty much everyone who’s played has alked about the addictive nature of the game. they talk about playing Rogue Legacy for hours on end, just because they can’t put it down. It’s just hard enough, just random enough and just repetitive enough to warrant a 7 hour streak.
And while jumping into Rogue Legacy was fun before, when it made the jump to Playstation it came with new Remixed bosses, which are played with set characters, so there’s no way to grind and make it easier. It also came equipped with trophies, with one in particular standing out. That’s Thanatophobia, or the fear of death. Thanatophobia is almost a new game in itself, where you have to complete the entire game (kill the final boss) in less than 15 lives!! Because Rogue Legacy carries multiple saves, you can attempt this trophy over and over, which is a major plus. The creator o the game says he’s done it in only 6 lives, so it’s definitly doable. But that knowledge doesn’t make the prospect sound any less daunting for players like me, who have gone through over 100 lives already and as I stated earlier, have not completed the game! If it weren’t for the brutal difficulty in the beginning, which was like a wall that I didn’t know was there, i’d give Rogue Legacy a perfect score. There are also a few people that complain that it’s too repetitve, and that it can make you feel as if progress isn’t meaningful early on. But for the rest of us, Rogue legacy is a timeless game, made all the sweeter by the cross buy/save capabilities that more Vita games need. This is a game you can’t miss on the Vita.