Rogue Legacy is actually not a game from any previous console cycle. In fact it is a pretty recent game that found its footing on Steam’s Greenlight service. But if you were to delve into it’s RPG systems and 2D platforming action the line between new indie title and a game from the 80’s is blurred. Obviously inspired by gaming’s vast history, Rogue Legacy takes great the great traits of old platformers such as Castlevania and Contra and puts a modern twist on some of it’s mechanics.
The most obvious “modernizing” comes in the form of traits. When you die there is no respawn, that knight is dead. But you then play as his ancestor and each ancestor comes with it’s own genetic traits that affect gameplay to a pretty noticeable degree. Things such as blurring the screen around the character through his Far-Sighted defect or by taking away turning animations because the character can’t see 3D, creating a very Paper Mario like avatar. Games like the ones Rogue Legacy was inspired by didn’t have the technological prowess to pull off these interesting and randomly generated traits.
Let it be known that just like RL was inspired by games like Castlevania for platforming, equally it was inspired by old “roguelikes”. This is evident in the gameplay device of the castle. You never step into the same castle twice. It is always randomly generated, forcing you to stay on your toes and expect the worst. Levels don’t exist, instead replaced by a single area with four environments that always change. It fits the game perfectly and all of the systems complement each other making for a great experience.
I haven’t finished many AAA games like Assassin’s Creed Revelations and the first Borderlands, but Rogue Legacy has eaten countless hours of my day due to it’s gripping a satisfying gameplay. Just play it. It will be the best 15$ you have spent this year.