Monday, August 25, 2014

Game Review: Wizorb (PC)

Wizorb is a game that came bundled with Humble Indie Bundle 6 over a year ago and based on it's premise of a conglomeration of Breakout and a Dragon Warrior/Final Fantasy NES era RPG, this game should be right up my alley.

First off, I am not particularly great at Breakout and its many clones.  No, this does not mean that I suck at video games.  As it happens, I apparently do not have the stamina to play multiple levels of Breakout with a limited number of lives.

In Wizorb, you take on the role of Cyrus, a wizard tasked with saving the kingdom, or the world, I am not too sure on that point.  Once the story portion is completed, you are sent out to reclaim what was rightfully, someone elses, I think.  The plot, as far as I can tell, is a pretty generic JRPG plot but instead of playing a strapping young lad kicked out of his respective village, you play as an old man wizard/sorcerer/mage.  Maybe you have to rescue your daughter?  Suffice it to say, I do not expect any significant plot twists to occur.  Maybe the main villain is your son?  We will have to just wait and see.

After the not too long/deep story/exposition part of the game, you are then taken to the level where the Breakout-ness happens.  As you break blocks to clear the stage, you are often awarded with either nothing, gold, gems for store purchases, extra lives, vials that refill your magic meter, and eventually magical bits that can temporarily slow you down or reduce the size of your wand/paddle.  Magic is used to cast spells, the first two being a wind spell that moves your magical projectile (the ball) in the opposite direction and the other spell being a fireball that causes damage just like your blue ball of magical goodness.

So far, the game should not be too difficult, but often completing a stage requires additional support.  Throughout the stages, you can find shops to purchase temporary upgrades to your staff/bar-thing, extra lives or vials to refill your magic meter.  One time I bought a staff upgrade thinking that it would be permanent, but it turned out to only last the length of the stage and my staff was back to its normal size (after four hours) at the beginning of the next stage.  All the other times I have purchased extra lives in the store as I have found them to be much more valuable.  Apparently there is also a magnet of some-sort, but as I have never purchased it, I could not tell you what its application is.  Maybe it does not bounce the ball but just grabs and holds on to it instead?

So keeping all of this in mind, my initial impression was that I did not like the game.  I loved the visual aesthetic and the newish take on Breakout, but I found the level to be comprised of too many stages to be able to progress through to and defeat the level boss.  Being able to make it through I-do-not-know-how-many stages in each level and defeat a boss was too much for me the three or four times I tried out the game.  A few months later I came back and decided to give the game another go.  This time I used a controller and I noticed that if I did not make it to the boss, I did not have to start back at Stage 1 of Level 1, but I started whatever stage I was currently on, but with all of the blocks back in their original starting position.  I believe the game must have updated at some point, for which I am very thankful.  

It is also highly probable that the game has always operated this way and I just did not notice, but which is sad because since finding this game-saving-fact out, I have put in two hours into the game.  I find that I play a lot better with a controller and not playing through out TV set.  Something about the distance away from the screen seems to give me less time to react to where the goody magical blue ball is going to land.

So after as semi-disastrous first impression of Wizorb, I definitely plan on giving the game the time it deserves.  At least until I become so frustrated/aggravated/annoyed with my general lack of skill in the game that I give up entirely.

Happy Monday!

Igniting the Paralyzed Soil

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