27/07/2018

⚔️πŸ§™πŸ»‍♂️ Review: Nogalious - "A tough cookie rooted in the early days of 8-bit gaming" ⚔️πŸ§™πŸ»‍♂️ #GameDev #IndieGame #PixelArt #Retrogaming

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Game Title: Nogalious
Developer: LuegoLu3go Studios
Platform Reviewed: PC (Steam)
Nogalious is very much intended to evoke that very specific sense of platforming that was rife in the 8-bit days, especially on the Amstrad CPC. 
With its chucky visuals, chiptune music and unforgiving game play, it does indeed feel like an accurate representation of that time but it also comes with the various mechanics that should perhaps be left in the past. 
It’s definitely not a game that will appeal to everyone, mainly those of us who remember the 8 bit home computer days fondly, although if you get riled up playing games like Super Robin Hood or Cauldron now, with their level of difficulty and strict amount of lives and continues, this may not be up your proverbial strasse.
There have been a lot of games that have recaptured the magic of the 8-bit home computer era with games taking the platforming formula and smoothing it out with infinite continues, forgiving design choices and essentially polishing things in order to modernise the game play. Nogalious goes more for a faithful representation of those games as opposed to trying to improve upon them. Released in limited numbers for the Commodore 64, MSX, Amstrad and various others, Nogalious is a tough game that doesn’t hold your hand and even doesn’t allow you to use a controller, so you’d better get key mapping!
The basic gameplay is to collect the key hidden on each screen in order to progress to the next stage. You can pick up weapons, items and other things to assist you as the titular character works his way through the world to rescue his daughter. Featuring a one-hit kill system and five lives with three continues, it’s a game that is designed to be learned from. Quite often you’ll walk into a screen and be killed by a collapsing bridge or a falling vine but get slightly further on each subsequent play-through and it is quite satisfying but bordering on irritating as the challenge starts high and only goes up from there.
It’s a game about patterns, deadly rain drops fall in a constant stream, birds chew through vines which reappear after a few seconds only to get chewed through again, thunder clouds roll across the sky striking the moving platforms below, it’s all about timing and feels authentic, taking me right back to the many similar games that I played on my Amstrad back in the late 80s and early 90s.
As much as the chunky pixels reminded me of my trusty Amstrad, the music was very NES-esque in its delivery, a jaunty chiptune repeats over the action and gets stuck in your head as you try again and again to progress further into the castle (although it’s quite a short piece that can get tiring after a while). As previously touched upon, the controls are keyboard-only and so felt slightly unnatural (and yet nostalgic) as I’ve spent so long controlling these types of games with a game pad of some sort. It makes the jumps feel awkward, clunky and result in some teeth-grinding…but absolutely identical to how it was playing these challenging games thirty years ago.
Summary
I don’t think that this is a game that newcomers will take a shine to, its feet are firmly planted in the past and every aspect is designed to make it feel like a lost game from the 8-bit era. How much of this authenticity transfers into enjoyment is directly related to how much you still play original 8-bit platformers, for me it was time spent fondly remembering my early days of gaming, but will I plug hours into the game in order to completely finish it? Doubtful.
Billed as the first in a trilogy of games from the Spanish developer, I have to say the Kickstarter list was expansive with numerous levels and packages that looked quite cool. If you are a lover of Nogalious, there are two more games to look forward to in the near future which will be in the same vein, if you don’t have a particular fondness for the early days of gaming, this isn’t the one for you, if however you still boot up Monty Mole? Tuck in.
Right, I’m off to play The Curse of Sherwood.
πŸ’§❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️πŸ’§
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Review By Britt