Monday, July 15, 2019

Failed homage

I have a few breathless moments to type. Time to make the best of it.

Warhammer Chaosbane is the third Diablo variant I have played this year. It is almost the most straightforward it its plagiarism. This is not necessarily bad, though it does expose a game to more direct comparison to Diablo 3, which is never a good idea when you are either A. actually Diablo 3 or B. Torchlight 2 (yes, you should all play Torchlight 2 when it finally hits consoles. It's that good).

In that light, Warhammer Chaosbane is spread very, very thin. Yes, there are a lot of loot drops but everything looks th Balzie same and provide nothing more than incremental, and barely noticeable, upgrades. There is no way to sell unused items, they are simply donated to a shop which in turn unlocks static effects of varying degrees of uselessness. The environments themselves are repetitive, with maybe two tile sets per chapter. Yes, finally get to the realm of chaos looks cool, but then you play it through several times and that coolness wears off.

Chaosbane does do bosses up well, just like Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor Martyr did (I think I am obligated by law to type out the whole name). They are large, fun to fight, and have gigantic pools of health to chew through. There is just nothing new or unique here. Better than playing nothing, but not much.


Blazing Chrome is another 'homage' that manages to be much less than the game it is trying to copy. The victim this time is Contra III: The Alien Wars, a stone cold classic from the SNES era. Remember when Konami made good games? I hesitate to call Blazing Chrome too hard for its own good but it has a very questionable design decision that slows down the pace of the game: enemies that appear on screen do not leave until they are killed. You can't run past them and until the disappear off screen. The follow you, and they will not stop until you die. And then they wait around to kill you again.

This makes inching through a level until enemies spawn, killing them, and then inching forward some more the safest way to play. Hardly the balls out action that was present in Contra III. It is also less colorful, the music isn't is good and the bosses are boring looking. Contra III came out in 1992 and this is the best that can be done as a tribute?

Actually no, the good games based on that mold are all called Metal Slug. Time to see what Game Pass has to offer.

1 comment:

  1. The problem with games that are spiritual successors to classics is that they tend to have, y'know, 30 year old game design.

    Oh Hollow Knight. You are too good for this world.