Eating a Bag of Candy
I was about as excited to play Rogue Legacy 2 as I’ve been for any game in a long time. To the point I made it my chillaxing go-to game on some planned time off.
All this pressure despite doing the exact same thing with the first Rogue Legacy years earlier: a long Winter break that I enjoyed immensely at first, and then by the time the credits rolled on the game, I was feeling a little queasy and questioning my choices. Like being on a swing in your 30s.
So what happens? The. Exact. Same. Thing. Of course it did. Because while Rogue Legacy 2 is a lot bigger than Rogue Legacy, it’s just ‘more’, not ‘different’. It’s not weird enough to be truly interesting.
My enjoyment with these games is a reverse parabola, it shoots up at the beginning, before plummeting back down at the midpoint. By the time I walk away, I’m gutting out the last bosses and ignoring a creeping guilt about not spending more time with my family.
So why does RL2 feel different from other rogue-lites (Hades, the obvious standard bearer)? I don’t know, it just feels a little off. If I had to try and attribute it to something, it’s that progress feels more akin to an RPG grind than a skill-gating curve. All rogue-lites are just the illusion of skill-gating, and with RL2 that illusion is as subtle as a brick.
There’s a lot of positive qualities to the game (feels great, looks good, nice humor). It’s objectively a good game. It’s just this particular live-die-upgrade-repeat cycle that’s not sitting quite right with me.
Memory: The Pirate Class