Friday, August 14, 2015

Big boy pants upgrade applied

They didn't help. I still am not a fan of Galak-Z. It's still a roguelike that could have just as easily, and preferably, been an exceptional Metroid-vania.

I did make it past the first chapter on the next attempt but I was not left with any feeling of satisfaction because the cause for my success was what random upgrades were available, not anything I myself did differently. If I wanted to play games of chance I would go to the casino. At least there the drinks would be free. Or I would be in Canada and Chance would be buying me drinks.

The randomness was especially annoying when, after picking up a new blueprint, the corresponding part was not available in the shop because that would be too easy and make sense. No, they may or may not show up later, and if they do show up it will when you already have something better or don't have enough money. Maybe random is the wrong word. Maybe designed to screw the player is better.

At the end of the first chapter my ship was undeniably pimped. Shields, health, missiles, plasma core, bouncing bullets, I had it all. Consequently I was not worried about diving right into chapter two because I made the logical assumption that, having not died, I would get to keep all my stuff.

Oh, no no no. Galak-Z punishes the player for failing and succeeding. How avant garde. I did get to keep my coins but none of the good weapons that I had unlocked and used were available for purchase at the start of the next chapter. My new load out was decidedly not pimped and I died.

This is not a chance occurrence. The game is designed to force the player to fail, the purpose of which is, I don't know, to extend game time and build up player anxiety by pushing satisfaction further and further off.

I have no desire to be blue balled by a game when there are myriad examples of games, games mediocre in every other way, that handle death and player failure more gracefully. Take the Gauntlet reboot as an example. I took my elf onto a floor with the wrong weapon and died, quickly. Did I loose all of my progress, unlocked weapons, and money and have to start over from the beginning of the game? No, it is no longer the mid 80s and there is no quarter slot on the front of my PS4. Games have grown beyond such punitive measures. I had to start over from the beginning of the floor but could change back to a previously purchased weapon. A reasonable consequence.

17 Bit stays on Chamberlain's shit list for taking a game that I really want to play and twisting into something that I have zero patience for.


  1. Awwww :( well at the very least I laughed my ass off at "how avant garde."

  2. Oh, one more question - was beating season 1 fun?