Jul 21, 2014Abyss Odyssey is a 2.5D brawler brought to you by the developers of Zeno Clash.
The games core aesthetic, the core mechanics and even the core design, are done exceptionally well. The concept itself is nothing new, it's merely Rogue Legacy with a new lick of paint, a fresh style on a genre that was in serious need of innovation, but unfortunately, the most innovative design feature inAbyss Odyssey is a 2.5D brawler brought to you by the developers of Zeno Clash.
The games core aesthetic, the core mechanics and even the core design, are done exceptionally well. The concept itself is nothing new, it's merely Rogue Legacy with a new lick of paint, a fresh style on a genre that was in serious need of innovation, but unfortunately, the most innovative design feature in Abyss Odyssey is also the thing that cripples the entire experience. That is the combat system, this game opts out of conventional brawler style combat system and instead opts in for a rather bizarre Smash bros. style combat system, which not only feels out of place, it's also the cause of most of the frustration and issues I have with the game. You see in a normal brawler, you are essentially a god, each enemy twirls and flips to your every attack like a rag-doll on ecstasy, which in turn makes combo-ing attacks together very easy as the enemy spend most of their time being juggled around in the air by you. The problem is with a conventional fighting system is that the "God" motif is completely missing and each and every enemy is a challenge, I like this idea, but the execution is completely brain dead, you see, the style isn't adapted for this kind of game at all, the core of the problem is the way attacks function and how enemies react to said attacks, the attacks function like a normal fighting game(If not anywhere near as in-depth)You essentially have a single combo, and 4 directional strikes that can also be used while jumping, these are all fine, but they do feel slightly clunky at times, for example, because this is based on a fighter, you will often hit situations where you hit nothing but air for an entire combo because the enemy has dodged your attack, during this, there is no way to stop, this leaves you open to be attacked, this feels incredibly clunky inside of a brawler, simply because of how many enemies are currently fighting you and how often you are required to change the direction of your attacks. This makes the fighting become incredibly tedious, but wait, it gets worse, because it's based on a fighter, the way enemies react to your attacks is also similar, they don't get juggled, instead they will fall after a few subsequent attacks like in Mortal Kombat for example, this is fine in a brawler, but what Is NOT fine, is the enemies having to finish whatever animation they are currently doing before your attack registers, this can happen in a few situations, 1. You attack after an enemy has been knocked over 2. You attack either as an enemy is attacking or he attacks as you are attacking(He WILL also interrupt your attack if his is faster) This leaves the combat feeling really rough round the edges, because it feels like half the time, my attacks don't register. This combined with the horribly jumping physics leaves the games combat system feeling a bit sore,
Combat system aside most of the games other mechanics are fairly solid, except for the rogue lite mechanics, which seem to be mostly non-existent, the game tries it's hardest to NOT let you die, so much so that it even gives you an extra chance to play as a soldier character in an attempt to revive yourself, a character I might add is about 50-60x better than all 3 main characters, they have no mana, so power attacks can be used an unlimited number of times, they seem to take less damage and all their directional power attacks seem to be much faster and more responsive than the normal character's attacks, these characters are just better, at least for the first few hours of the game, you are seriously better off using them, I've progressed more as the soldiers than any of the main characters.
So we're left with an ambitious brawler that tries too hard to blend two genres together that simply don't need to be, if you can grin and bare the combat system, what's left is a fairly beautiful, pretty varied experience. Unfortunately I simply cannot recommend it based purely on the combat system as it has completely ruined the entire experience for me. It's just clunky and unresponsive, if you like games like Dust, Shank or any 2D fighter, chances are you will have trouble enjoying this.… Expand
Aug 1, 2014The style/combat system of Abyss Odyssey is utterly wasted on a very short, very limited game.
Character design is great. Every monster is beautifully crafted and animated. The music is fantastic, and the voice acting is very good. The dungeon itself is bland, and has very little to interact with or look at. Save shops, an NPC that dispenses generic fortune cookie lines and a smallThe style/combat system of Abyss Odyssey is utterly wasted on a very short, very limited game.
Character design is great. Every monster is beautifully crafted and animated. The music is fantastic, and the voice acting is very good.
The dungeon itself is bland, and has very little to interact with or look at. Save shops, an NPC that dispenses generic fortune cookie lines and a small xp boost, and the occasional breakable wall. Sometimes you can purchase a continue point that will spawn soldiers that will help.
The procedurally generated stages only vary by a few factors, and only ensure that you'll vacillate between getting screwed on the above listed points of interest, or blessed. Each floor's layout is almost exactly the same with very little changes. The backgrounds are interesting but quickly become repetitive as there are only a few and they're all variations of "cave" (i.e. fire cave, ice cave, etc.).
There is no story, save the fact that warlock who we've never heard of is asleep, and his dreams are becoming real.
Standard friendly fire is unbelievably frustrating in a game whose combats take place in cramped areas, against several enemies at a time. Turning this off, the game basically tells you, you aren't good enough to progress the overarching goal of the game. So forget about your Warlock kills counting.
Each character is interesting and well designed and animated. Voices are great. However special skills are woefully limited, and many fail to provide any worthwhile advantage over basic strikes (pretty much all of Pincoya's specials are outdone by her forward and up strikes.)
Capturing souls is arduous. Having to build up a mana bar on enemy, 'breakables' drops and the rare potion. Then activate a special attack spell. If the enemy hit is killed fast enough, the monster may drop its soul. Die and lose all your mana. The much touted feature is less involved than advertised. It's a piece of equipped transformation. It would have been more enjoyable to me, if you simply unlocked monsters to use in place of the mains, but we get a temporary skill set that are frankly outdone by the main characters most of the time.
Enemy A.I. is cheap. Often activating dodge the moment a projectile attack is registered.
Turning is stiff and needlessly involved. Having to do nothing and press the opposite direction while grounded just to face a different direction is archaic gameplay and frustrating for no good reason.
Each attack is slow, sluggish. Well animated, but still very stiff and deliberate. In a one on one fight this may not be an issue, but when you're surrounded, enemies psychically dodging through your attacks and blocking, while being pummeled is the opposite of fun. 9 times out of ten you have to "cheap out" and just juggle/knockdown lock enemies and hope they don't just roll through you.
The game is short. Very short. Like '20 minutes short' if you're experienced. Its made to repeat over and over but the levels are so uninteresting that it becomes a chore. I've killed the Warlock about 4 times now and I just don't care anymore. Especially since there is no story. This is an amazing game world and ACE does nothing with it. This would have made an amazing Metroidvania style game, or RPG. But instead all the art is wasted on a quick grindy arcade game… Expand
Jul 16, 2014I feel Ace team tried to cram too many different genres into one game and ended up with a decent game that happens to be a bit lost.
Combat is probably the main problem, as it feels similar to Super Smash Brothers, but not as responsive or varied, actions feel static and interrupt your movement flow too abruptly. It's also extremely difficult to chain together effective combos with theI feel Ace team tried to cram too many different genres into one game and ended up with a decent game that happens to be a bit lost.
Combat is probably the main problem, as it feels similar to Super Smash Brothers, but not as responsive or varied, actions feel static and interrupt your movement flow too abruptly. It's also extremely difficult to chain together effective combos with the required timing, although there hardly seems any reason to really use combos outside of pvp.
The difficulty is also irregular, as solo combat seems very hard, as you can easily get juggled by enemies, but co-op on the other hand makes the game feel too easy.
Likewise, the platforming feels imprecise, being hard to tell when you'll grab on to a ledge or slide off The exploration is always good, but the procedural generation mars how interesting each section really is, and many core gameplay mechanics are poorly explained ( or not at all ).
Visually, the game is interesting, with some really weird and fascinating art style, but not very well executed. Oddly enough, the main character lady (forgot her name) model and textures look rather bland and washed out, while some other characters appear more detailed. The backgrounds are the highlight in this sense. They seem to have been made by another team as they have much more personality, brimming with life and stylised detail.
Animations are another mixed bag. While some attacks look decent, most of the character animation is stiff and robotic. Particularly the male soldier "falling" animation looks unintentionally ridiculous.
All that said, the rogue-like structure ( that I find more similar to binding of Isaac than Spelunky although this does have the side scrolling aspect ), works very well, and a lot of the lack of explanation makes up for intriguing secrets, which makes for a very addictive experience.
Likewise, levelling up, and unlocking characters and moves keeps you interested even when you are not making much progress..
Other small issues are input problems where they should wait for your button press, but the press registers too fast ( like when speaking to characters and being given a dialogue option)
All in all, I know I'm being quite critical of it, but its just that it could be a GREAT game, but it doesn't do anything particularly well. If you find yourself liking the combat, you will get a lot of value for it, as it s designed around replayability (specially since it's pretty cheap). But I cant give it my wholehearted recommendation.… Expand
Feb 10, 2016Extremely average game. Interesting concept, and can be quite enjoyable. RPG elements such as skills and different equipment and loot seem like they were added on the last minute, they serve no real purpose. Combat is bleak at most, literally no combos. It's either 2 or 3 combos max (if you're lucky). Only mechanic that I enjoyed was the choice in how you approached the final boss, andExtremely average game. Interesting concept, and can be quite enjoyable. RPG elements such as skills and different equipment and loot seem like they were added on the last minute, they serve no real purpose. Combat is bleak at most, literally no combos. It's either 2 or 3 combos max (if you're lucky). Only mechanic that I enjoyed was the choice in how you approached the final boss, and kept me playing for the most part. Adding to that, it's a fairly short game, but there is room to get 100%, but doesn't seem worth it.… Expand
CD-ActionOct 22, 2014An interesting way of spending a couple of evenings, but there is not enough content in Abyss Odyssey to keep you engaged until morning. [10/2014, p.58]
PC PowerPlayAug 27, 2014Beautiful to look at and stunning to listen to but lacking any real depth when it actually comes to play. [Sept 2014, p.52]