Friday, March 16, 2018

Next on Epic Rap Battles

I may or may not have purchased Tesla vs Lovecraft just because the name made me laugh. This has worked in the past as Tembo the Badass Elephant was not bad at all. Tesla vs Lovecraft is by the same developers as Neon Chrome, a game I bought because it runs in native 4K and enjoyed enough to play a few times but not to completion. Both games are twin stick shooters, which is always good, and both have a Rogue Legacy like progression, which is not quite as good.

The difference is in the progress lost. Death in Neon Chrome can steal thirty to sixty minutes of progress and in Tesla vs Lovecraft the loss is measured in seconds. Sure, that sounds good, but it is because the areas in Tesla are much, much smaller. It is an arena based shooter, more akin to Smash TV or Robotron than anything else. Some sections are no more than a few screen wide and get quite crowded as the enemy count rises.

Much of the artwork for Tesla vs Lovecraft centers around Tesla's mech. It sports twin mini-guns and a rocket powered dash that squishes stygian frogmen in a most satisfying manner. Yes, the mech is cool, and you start every area in it, and then it is taken away, exploding into six pieces. Tesla himself starts off very weak with only a pistol and no special abilities. Weapons are scattered around the level and perks are chosen from a random pair that are presented when he levels up. And this is where the Rogue Legacy bit comes in: those levels are lost at the end of each level. All the perks, all the health, all the weapons are taken and you start over.

There are about eight weapons and several dozen perks. It did not take long to pick out the best of each which leads to every level having the same formula for success: assemble the mech as quickly as possible while avoiding the shotgun (it's terrible) and hoping for the right perks.

A run can be ruined by the wrong pickups. This is tolerable because a run is around two minutes, maybe, so if you get screwed just killing yourself to start over is a viable option. I never felt too invested in an attempt at a level to keep from cashing it in and starting over.

This does get repetitive. Fast. I powered through the whole game last night and unlocked the next area which is exactly the same as the first, just with more powerful enemies. The difficulty jump was significant and I tapped out about half way through.

I want to like the game on premise alone but it is not something that I will be able to dump a ton of time into. It's just as well, Far Cry 5 is soon.

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