- Oct 25, 2017
Oh my man, I kind of wish you had finished the mansion, it might have alleviated some of your concerns RE: Saves/continues, I agree, stopping that chapter 1 early sucks because it killed the run, but more unlocks happen after that first chapter. You get a hub etc. It helps, I think they intended the mansion to be the tutorial area.For people like Arturo and The 8-Bit Raider , asking how is 'Lovecraft's Untold Stories', here are my impressions.
First thing, the Switch port.
In portable mode, the size of the sprites is really small. Instead of creating two adapted resolutions, one with a bigger screen size for the docked mode, and one zooming the camera for the portable mode... they have used the same resolution and zoom.
This is disappointing, because they are using a completely different size and camera zoom in the screenshots of the eShop, that are indeed adapted to how the game should be displayed in portable mode.
In these eShop screenshots you will see bigger sprites, a readable map, you can distinguish the small objects... it's like they have created an adapted resolution for the portable mode, but they haven't implemented this in the final build.
So this is by far my major complaint of this version: not having a zoom button to have a closer view in portable mode.
My second complaint is how poor is the implementation of the save function for a game designed for a portable console.
The game is divided in chapters, and they are really long. Much longer than your normal floor in other roguelites such as 'The Binding of Isaac'. Also, the game has a much slower pace, because the developers have put a lot of attention in creating a setting which feels close to the Lovecraft's universe. In a way in which the exploration and the investigation parts have a bigger weigh than the combat. Plus in each chapter's map there is a lot of backtracking. If for example you reach a distant corner of the map and you want to explore other zones of the chapter, you will need to go back through the previous visited rooms.
I was at the end of the chapter 1, with only a few rooms to explore in a distant corner of the map.
Exhausted, I decided to pause the game. I selected the option of returning to the menu.
In the menu, there are two options, one for a new game and the other one to continue your previous walkthrough.
I selected to continue... and instead of saving my actual run, the game took me back to the start of the first chapter.
So this continue option will always take you to the start of the current chapter. And you never should return to the menu or closing the game if you haven't finished the current chapter, if you don't want to lose your progress. But this is never specified by the game.
And how about the implementation of HD rumble or any type of rumble? Nope. There is no rumble in this game.
Outside of the quality of the Switch port, the game is okay.
The roguelite part is redundant, and it's a game that should have worked much better without randomized parts. Because the only randomized part is the layout of the maps, with the prologue of each chapter being fixed.
And the permadeath is not as punishing, because after each death the game will give you an option to start from the beginning of each chapter, with the same stats and objects that you had in your inventory after completing the previous chapter.
I miss more randomized parts. There are events tied to the exploration part that can randomly appear in each chapter. But they always have the same scripted events. So at the end, it's only a question of memorizing through subsequent runs which is the correct option to select in the menu. For example, you find a voodoo doll, the game gives you various options to interact. One will decrease your life meter, the other one will increase it. But always having a fixed solution for this will eliminate the risk-reward part that is essential in a good designed roguelite.
The combat is by far the worst part, it works in a similar way to 'Hotline Miami', with the difference that giving how dark is the map, there are not as much strategies that you can use to fight the enemies. So at the end, you are shooting cultist in dark corners of the room, and when you receive damage or you kill them, you never will have a sense of accomplishment or of being good playing the game. Nothing to see with the superb combats in games like 'Nuclear Throne'. And how confusing can result the combat is only accentuated by how small are the sprites in portable mode.
To be fair, the combat doesn't pretend to be the main focus of the game. A lot of the rooms are empty and without enemies, and it's a game more about how you manage your resources and items to survive.
The development team has been smart enough to understand what are the strengths of the game, and with a limited budget and resources they have been able to create a roguelite with a distinctive flavor, much more centered in the exploration part. And they have really nailed the Lovecraft setting. With a lot of references and homages to his stories. With a really ambitious use of its pixel art, including an overwhelmingly variety of assets. In which even the more small and subtle details have been taken into account to construct each scenario.
Nothing revolutionary, not a genre defining game. And a game that it's much more enjoyable in docked mode, due to the too damn small sprites. But it's also a game with its own personality and nailing the Lovecraftian setting. Until a point in which this will result in the only objective audience for the game: people who are super into Lovecraft's novels.
I thought it was okay in portable, but do agree it is a little too pulled out, and even when you go in to smaller rooms, where it should zoom in it doesn't enough.
I agree combat is not the key to this game, it is all the interaction with the world, there is a ton of it, and it can go in a lot of directions. Especially if you like that Lovecraftian flavor.
The game overall, is attractive they do add in a lot of good lighting and technical effects for being a "2d rogue lite", reflections, smoke, candles, windows all kinds of neat effects.
Watch some more videos, especially if you like the style/Lovecraft. Combat isn't the focus, but each character has a unique ability and items, and all the world interactions can cause a lot of stuff to happen. So what happens to the Detective can be completely different from the Professor, even though it was the same "world event". This is because they each have unique skills.
I am actually pretty damn happy with the purchase other than the portable mode being too far pulled back, but I am going to check that in the second chapter to see if it was just the mansion. There is a lot to manage in the game, and since it is a Cthulu/Lovecraft game combat shouldn't be the focus and I think they leaned in to it a little too much. They even give you a classic invulnerability item on purpose because of it, I mean, if you have ever played Call of Cthulu in any form, PnP or card game or even the Xbox game or any of the other Lovecraft spinoff games you should know going in, you can't fight the madness, just hope to survive with your sanity in check.