Jun 15, 2013I appreciate that this is a free to play game in development, and I understand that perhaps it may improve as time goes on, but at the heart of it this is a game that's a step back from Diablo 2 in gameplay. It's very basic and boring, but some may appreciate that it has no price tag. Worth checking out to people who value cheaper games and would sacrifice a bit of quality for saving their bank account.… Expand
Jun 14, 2013A crude Diablo clone that can't boast mob behaviors even as varied as Diablo II's and (at least for now) lacks multiplayer or any map randomization. A pity, since seldom has a game so sorely needed a map generator. Stats and skills are arranged in three broad categories representing very slightly different ways of clicking loot pinatas, but there are no class restrictions. Everyone's melee, but can attack at range with skills. There's next to no equipment customization you largely decide up front what type you want to be using and equip the best to fall out of a wolf until a better one drops.
The f2p scheme is particularly revolting. You can grind away at each area ad nauseam to buy access to the next as well as any upgrades to your murdery little woman/man or you can pay to bypass the tedium. I thought f2p games had been growing a little more sophisticated in how they convince people they actually want to be spending money. Perhaps this sort of thing is still commonplace in the browser game space where Spicy Horse has taken up residence, but it struck me as an embarrassing relic.
Spectacular tackiness was also evident in its launch on Steam with a store page that does clearly identify it as early access, but certainly doesn't strain to clarify that it's a free-to-play game a category Steam does explicitly support whose store price buys only a bunch of in-game gubbins.
It's alright to look at but has nothing else going for it. The PC-style ARPG is a tightly crowded genre lately. Even with internet celebrity name recognition propping it up, one this unambitious and uninspired will deservedly sink without trace unless it undergoes quite radical redevelopment before whatever passes for "release" in the age of kickstarter and paid alpha access.… Expand
Jun 14, 2013It's not really an ARPG in the traditional sense. What Akaneiro is, is a cross between Diablo and Sonic. Instead of scrolling horizontally and bouncing on things to collect rings, you attempt to blitz through levels to collect red shards which are currency.
Each time you complete an area it goes on cooldown and you move on to the next, you can pay shards to reduce the cooldown time or just wait it out. So it really has an arcade feel, and combined with the art style makes for a pretty entertaining romp through baddie stomping. This is also why you will see people complain about the AI, they are under the impression that they are playing Diablo, but like I said, it's more akin to Sonic going really fast and jumping on heads.
The gear is pretty snazzy, some of the particle effects are very nice, the abilities look good and feel fun to use despite a small selection. One of the cool things about the combat system is that it allows you to hotkey three abilities in three different sets. So one set can be all out damage, one for survivability and one for ranged damage or some hybrid. You can swap between sets with tab, it's actually pretty fun to see what you can put together when chaining harder mobs. Dash AoE Teleport AoE and so on.
Is it the greatest game you'll ever play? Probably not. But it's one of those games that's definitely worth a go round, even if it's just to see the sights.
Let's talk cash shop. You can buy gems/shard in the cash shop which are used for purchased items, skills, buffs in game. Of course, every mob you kill, chest you open, and zone you clear will give you shards. So it's a trade off between grinding a bit and paying money to avoid grinding. A pretty tame cash shop in the wider world of F2P games.
If you're thinking about giving it a go, I say do it, but don't give up until you've done the first four zones. Once you finish the tutorial and get to the town, talk to each NPC just to get acquainted with the vendors. I still can't believe professional reviewers didn't know that you could train skills because you had to purchase them from a trainer. It takes all of two minutes and you'll know where everyone is.
Remember, it's not a normal ARPG, it's an arcade game that's built as an ARPG.
Controls (10/10): Simple, intuitive, open to create your own skill grouping and chain combos. 1
Visual aesthetics (9/10): It's a beautiful game. It's Sumi-e meets comic book, kind of like Okami. Only thing that bugs me here are the text boxes which have this very generic and cold font like someone typed it out on a notecard. Hey Spicy Horse, any chance at some handwritten text in game? It's an overlooked detail at this point, but it sticks out like a sore thumb when everything else is so pretty.
Graphics (9/10): Mostly smooth, a few bugs here and there, but nothing that detracted from my enjoyment.
Audio (6/10): At first I really enjoyed the music, but it's the same track all the time. Hopefully they add some variation for each zone. The other thing you'll notice is that weapons don't seem to have their own sounds, abilities do, but attacks don't. It's really very bizarre to hear your sword go "Thud Thud Thud" when you hit things. Could use some work in this department.
Story (3/10): I'm going to go out on a limb and say that story isn't this game's main selling point. Dialogue? Pretty much non-existent. Plot? Anemic at best. It's just a step above, "bad things happen, stop bad things." I'm sorry to give it such a low score, but Green Eggs and Ham has more depth.
Fun (8/10): And this is really why I gave it the 8. I don't grade on aggregate from the other scores, I base my score on how fun something is. After-all, it's a game and I play games for entertainment. It is fun, it's not something you can sit and play for hours upon hours, but it's worth playing here and there. If you're wondering about "end game" it really is built into the zones, each area is basically a speed circuit that you come back to on higher difficulties to see how fast you can blitz through and get a higher score. Like I said, it's an arcade game at it's core.… Expand
Aug 11, 2013A very simplistic Diablo clone ruined by a greedy free-to-play pay scheme. Yes, it's f2p- except on Steam, where you spend $10 on in-game currency to play it. $10 should buy you the whole game, and even then it would be hard to recommend. It still isn't feature complete, despite a $200,000 Kickstarter and charging microtransactions on an unfinished game. Totally unbalanced atm, too. And again... even if it was not free to play, and was finished and balanced... it wouldn't be more than a 7/10. It's just too simple and bland. I loved the music and art style, btw... but they can't save it from the lifeless gameplay.… Expand
Jun 23, 2013Seems to have it's fair share of problems, but I feel like everyone is forgetting that this isn't retail... it's not even beta. This is basically a "work in progress" (early access on steam) version of the game.
I'm surprised this is even allowing scores this early. It's like looking at a pile of steel and claiming to know how the finished building is going to look and how ugly it will be.
Rating a 7 to keep the score even. I'll give it a true score when the game is "officially" released.… Expand
Jan 9, 2014As much as I love the work that Mr. American did on Alice Madness Returns, I can't recommend this game. I wanted to like this game, but I can't. The game feels unfinished. There is no multiplayer or Co-op mode or anything like that, which is basically the only reason why someone would play a game like this. The items are uninteresting, with very basic stats, and the levels are just boring. Most of the skills aren't interesting either, and some are very imbalanced. For example you can just use flame walk or whatever the name is, and just clear entire levels without basically taking damage. The talent tree, if you can call it that, doesn't make sense as some skills cap at the wrong levels, becoming too OP or just too weak to be viable in high level content. And about high level content, well... it's pretty damn hard to beat it on the highest difficulties, but guess what, that's because it's meant to be beaten only if you put real money in to the game. But hey, that's something I'm not that angry about actually.
I'm angrier at the fact that the game receives updates but at a very slow pace, mostly because Spicy Horse studios is small, and they keep spreading their resources in to making new games all the time, so you basically have 5 guys working on this game. Which is fine for Spice Horse, I guess. That's how they probabbly make their money, but it's terrible for us as players, who want the game to evolve and you just don't see it happening. Seriously, I started playing the game when it hit open beta, which was in january, and now it's 2014 and there still isn't multiplayer?
The only reason why I gave this game a 4, it's because the art style is good (even though it's using the Unity Engine which I just totally hate because of the terrible lack of graphical/game settings), and the sounds are also well made, and gives you that japanese vibe. But that's it. The game felt unfinished when it was released, and after a year of revisiting it, it's still pretty much feels like it's still beta, even though Mr. American considers it as released.
I say wait for one more year, and see how it goes. Right now, it's just a game that had so much potential, but got lost somewhere.… Expand
May 7, 2013A hack’n’slash that quickly turns into a grindfest on the same maps over and over again. Unless you’re willing to pay through microtransactions to save yourself a lot of time and effort. [CD-Action 05/2013, p.59]