I don’t usually buy videogames the month they come out, but I made an exception for this game. Check out its tagline:
Did you read that? It’s a hardcore experience. That’s probably the gutsiest game description I’ve ever seen. Naturally, I knew that I had to buy this game, play it, and bask in all its hardcore glory.
Now that I’ve played the game for three or so hours, I have to ask: What is it about this game that’s hardcore? I’ve narrowed it down to these two things:
- The lack of an intelligible plot: Plots are for wusses. Only hardcore players can handle a game that doesn’t let you know what you’re supposed to do. Am I supposed to do something at this part of the dungeon? Did I miss something on an earlier level? Should I restart the dungeon, or keep going? Who are all these nonsense-spouting characters? Why doesn’t the main character have a name? Only the truly hardcore player can ignore such questions.
- No pre-set dungeon: The game’s only dungeon is randomly computer-generated, so the levels are different each time you go through it. This is good, because you’ll die a LOT and often get forced to repeat the dungeon. Which is hardcore. Only wusses want to play dungeons that are beatable.
But hey, don’t take my word for it. Check out the game’s opening sequence:
Does it make sense? No. Does any it have anything to do with the game? Not really. Is it hardcore? Hell yeah.
Right, I think that I’ve sufficiently proven that this game is hardcore. Is it any good? It depends on what you mean by “good.” If you think that games without any real sense of purpose are “good,” then you’re in for a treat.
Basically, all that happens in this game is that you wander around the levels looking for the end-of-level warp point. You won’t want to waste time fighting, because the fighting system is “press B to punch” or “press C to throw things,” which gets boring fast. Wandering around the levels also gets boring, because they’re randomly generated, so you never have any idea of where to go or what to do. Also, you need to move quickly while going through the dungeon, because this game has an unfair “keep moving or die” system.
I’m told that there are people out there who will love this game. The idea of a randomly-generated dungeon is pretty cool. And not everyone cares about games having a sense of set purpose—just look at the original Final Fantasy. That game gave you almost no information on what you were supposed to do, and people liked it well enough. Plus, having a confusing plot/characters lets you have the fun of inventing your own.
Concluding…this game is made for a very specific group of gamers—the hardcore gamers who don’t mind hours of pointless wandering. If you can put up with that, then you can put up with this game. I’m not in this niche of players, so I don’t like the game that much.
But am I still going to try to beat it? Yes. I will beat this game. Because I am hardcore. And so is Baroque.