MY SALT LEVEL IS TOO DAMN HIGH!Title : Salt & Sanctuary
Genre : Souls-like, Platformer, Metroidvania, Action Sidescroller, REALLY FREAKING TOUGH
Yet another souls-like games in form of 2D sidescroller which I think one of the closest feeling. I heard a lot of praise about this games and I can see why it is it. I bought this as a complete metroidvania package on steam together with Dead Cells.
I will be honest that I was turned off by this games in the beginning. Something about the artstyle threw me off, and im only playing once i have run out of things to do in Destiny 2. As other souls-like formula, this have all aspect of it from tough boss battles, depressing environment, various different armor & weapons sets, customizing your build. Speaking of customization, I think i kinda like this style of skill tree progression where you choose your path in skill tree instead of blindly adding stats in souls games. Despite looking weird, the game is pretty brutal with its combat and crazy enemy design.
Map size are pretty big and I have to resort to using full map and game progression guide as I kept getting lost. Boss fight came in various forms from small agile type to big menacing badass. Granted that although there are many to discover within the games, I dont feel like I wanted to replay the game to unlock all achievement or getting true ending, since it is very contextual timing requirement (technically im playing semi-blindly). As for sanctuary concept, there are many factions you can choose depending on your playstyle, although generally the more powerful one are locked further into the games, basically designed for NG+ purpose. There some ability you unlocked to help reaching new area, but sadly I think it wasnt fully utilized much aside from maybe the super useful air-dash.
However, the game far from perfect though. The dodge-rolling mechanic rely heavily on very precise timing & you will be at mercy of hitbox. Because enemy are designed to be "dodge-through-able" at certain frame, there are many instance in the game where I died because the dodge refuse let me to go to other side of the enemy. Another my issue with game is the colour palette which FREAKING DARK around the corner. While I appreciate the darkness in cave area (emphasize on torchlight usage), there many times you wouldnt able to see enemy or their projectiles coming to you because it hiding behind the shadow. Lastly, WHY THERE ARE FREAKING JUMPING PUZZLE IN SOULS LIKE GAMES? Gosh, I have issues with platform because the game is not designed to be fluid like many other platformer, and yet some area required precise timing of it.
Should you buy the games? DEFINITELY. One of my "enjoyable experience" that I finished the games in just 3 days. Despite all the negative part, I think some people can enjoy it with "GITGUD".
Alternative : Vagrant Story, Valdis Story, Death Gambit, Hollow Knight, Blasphemous, Dandara. There are many gritty metroidvania / 2d soulslike on steam. For unorthodox suggestion : Unepic
Revisiting old friend
Title : Torchlight 2
Genre : ARPG, Cartoony-Artstyle, Hack n Slash, Diablo-like
I dont need to say more about this game. I played + completed first NG with engineer in hardest difficulty (Insane I believe) in one of the earliest patch. This time around, I have a friend where he played embermage. Needing another tank, so I choose Berserker which is kinda... not really a tank. My review here solely based on playing torchlight 2 in 2020.
This game is what I considered as casual experience than many other ARPG. While other games is pretty tricky to into especially on leveling part, I think the game have quite smooth sailing in the beginning. Despite you unlocking skill a bit slow to my taste, you get new gear and level pretty fast. The internet gameplay is pretty smooth, and i feel the playstyle of our combo pretty synergized. I did have difficulty in beginning, but with some proper gearing, I have ok time with it. While most boss are tanky, I just realized how forgetable them are.
Now the negative part. Despite only playing veteran (2nd hardest), the difficulty spike in NG is just ridiculous in Act3. I have no issue collecting gold in act2, able to upgrade all my gears easily. The act 3 is really the turning point for me. I cant survive even 3 normal mobs, keep running out of gold to buy potions and maybe it was problem with my berserker to survive on veteran difficulty. As usual, I also felt bored with TL2 skill design, boring to run through map system nor I willing to play NG+.
Torchlight 2 is a solid ARPG, but not a game I considered "enjoying" in term of discovering new stuff with it. Kinda like mindless fun. Perhaps we couldve install synergies MOD and respec tools to help with the flow, but having problem with difficulty spikes & problem getting decent gear is not something I enjoy.
Alternative : You really need alternative for ARPG in ARPG forum? Really? OK fine, here some unorthodox suggestion : Victor Vran, Van Hellsing, Grim Dawn / Titan Quest, Book of Demon & Forced Showdown.