Let’s take a look at … – Razenroth

Razenroth is a top-down shooter with a bunch of roguelike and RPG elements thrown into the mix. Perma-death, random levels and a multitude of enemies will put you to the test as you try and find out what happened to your missing grandad. Developed by Enitvare and released on Steam late August, the title offers a lot for a low price of £3.99/$4.99. Let’s take a look.

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Razenroth starts with an opening narrated-slideshow that gives context to the journey that you’re about to undertake. Your grandfather mysteriously went missing and whilst looking through his old notes you stumble across something interesting. You find the name ‘The valley of Whispters’, and identify it as a possible location of your grandfather so you head off in search of him. Deep in the woods you find a wooden cabin with a single note that reads ‘Run Charles’ and your journey begins.

The intro does a good job of introducing the game, but I can’t help shake the amateur feeling it gives off. The writing isn’t bad, but has some awkwardly worded sentences. The art is also not too bad, but again gives of an amateur vibe. Since it’s the first you see of the game I think it would have benefit from some TLC, and more production value would go a long way here.

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Once the opening cutscenes ends you get right into gameplay. You start in what appears to be the abandoned cabin in the middle of the woods from the opening cinematic. There’s no introduction to your surroundings, and no hints as to what you should be doing. It’s up to you get stuck in and work it out for yourself which I liked. Razenroth is a top-down shooter, so the mouse is used to aim and rotate your character, the arrow keys are used to move, and the left and right mouse buttons use the magical abilities that you seem to have gained from a book in the intro.

The controls are somewhat floaty, and I’m not sure if I’m a fan of it or I simply go used to it. You character carries inertia, so if you run in one direction and release the key you’ll carry on moving for a little while. It felt a little like walking on ice the whole time.

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Though the graphics are in the same style as those in the intro, the in-game graphics feel to be of much higher quality and the game looks quite nice with its hand-drawn aesthetic. Killing enemies produces some cool blood effects, and likewise the use of your abilities creates nice light effects. One area that could have used more work is the UI. Same reasoning’s as my comments regarding the opening cutscenes, it just felt underwhelming in places.

The meat of gameplay is exploring the procedural woods you find yourself lost in, finding and killing everything to gain loot, and finding the various items and destructible spread throughout the map. As you kill monsters you gain EXP, and each level up provides you a skill point to increate one of your characters stats and buy abilities. This is where the RPG features lie. You can kit your character out in the gear you find through your travels, level up certain skills to suit you play style, and purchase different abilities to make yourself a more formidable force.

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Spread amongst the normal enemies are tougher enemies that have a skull above their head. While tougher, the rewards are much greater as they drop gear. Alongside these tougher enemies are also fully-fledged boss creates. These are accessed via finding their portal in you level. Step inside it and you’re whisked off to another area to have a one-on-one showdown! It was at this point that I learned that Razenroth features perma-death!

There is also no manual save, and the game will only auto-save each time you beat a boss character. Once you die that save is removed and you’re back to start at the beginning! If you do manage to defeat the boss you’re taken to an entirely new area, with a different environmental theme and aesthetic and your journey stars once more.

Razenroth started slowly for me, and it took a few runs to get into it, but once I did I really started to enjoy it. The only area in which I felt let it was production value, and it would benefit from some more overall polish. Maybe it’s just the hard-drawn aesthetic that gives me that impression? The game is also priced very fairly at just £3.99/$4.99 so is a great cheap pickup.

Tl:dr – Razenroth is a top-down shooter with rogue-like and RPG elements thrown into the mix. While slow to get going, after a few runs I found my stride and enjoyed my time. With repetitive gameplay, I’m not sure how long it would hold interest for, but for £3.99/$4.99 you’re sure to get your value out of it.

Rating – 7/10

Purchase – Steam £3.99/$4.99

Trailer –

Let’s take a loot at … – Loot hero DX

Loot Hero DX is a casual ‘RPG grinder’ indie title from VaragtP. Starting life as a free flash title on Kongregate named just Loot Hero, the game found its way to Steam earlier this month under the new title. It’s a cheap, fun little grinder, so let’s take a look.

Loot Hero DX won’t be for everyone. If you’re a fan of the grinding nature of Clicker Heroes then it’ll be right up your alley. If you think Clicker Heroes is a waste of time, which it most certainly is, then you’ll probably want to give Loot Hero DX a miss.

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Gameplay is devilishly simple: Hold left or right on you gamepad or mouse, and smash through waves of enemies. At the end of each level is a bigger, tougher boss character, and after a set amount of levels you face a dragon. Kill the dragon and start the process again, working your way up to the highest level you can. As the levels get higher, the loot gets greater and so does your strength. But after defeating the first dragon, which takes about ~5/10 minutes, the only gameplay left to be found is with grinding.

Loot Hero DX utilized force feedback on the gamepad, so as you run into the enemies you can feel the weight of them. Bigger enemies will make your pad vibrate more, and as you grow more powerful the feedback becomes less as you power straight through them. It feels great, and makes smashing through lines upon lines of enemies less tedious and satisfying.

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Enemies have a small range of items that they can drop as you plough through them. These are: health potion, invincibility potion, and loot. Invincibility potions are great as it means if you’re stuck against a wave of particularly tough enemies and you get one you can plough straight through them anyway!

Between waves there are shops, so you can spend the loot that you’ve earned. There are four upgrades in total that you can level up indefinitely. These are: attack, crit, defence and speed. You can only amass 99999 gold, so at the higher levels you visit the shop multiple times per level. When you die you lose both exp and loot, so you do have to pay attention somewhat!

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As you get to the higher levels things get pretty crazy. By this point you will have upgraded your speed a fair few times and you move incredibly fast! Everyone becomes a complete blur, loot everywhere, and it’s the force feedback of the pad that gives you the best indication of what is happening.

The aesthetic of Loot Hero DX is nice, but it could certainly look better. I like the design of everything, but the graphics seem stretched and not totally in focus. I’m playing on a 1920*1080 monitor and it just doesn’t seem crisp enough for what a PC game should.

Now the music. This is one of my favourite aspects of the game, I love the soundtrack. There a few different tracks and I think all are really good. Despite there not been many I didn’t find them to get repetitive, although I only have 3 hours into the game and have completed everything, achievements, of which there is 20, and trading cards included.

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Loot Hero DX is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a cheap griding rpg that you can throw a few hours into then forget. Given the title costs just £1.99 that works out at ~70p/hour of entertainment. That’s fine by me, I had fun just turning my brain off and smashing through wave upon wave of enemies. One thing I will say is, I checked out the Kongregate earlier version Loot Hero, and am not sure what the Steam version brings to the table. It seems the £1.99 gets you an almost identical experience but with 20 achievements and trading cards. If you’re not sure about it I’d check out the Kongregate title first.

Tl:dr – Loot Hero DX is a small, RPG, grindey title that you can throw a few hours into then forget. With satisfying feedback, nice aesthetics, and a pleasant soundtrack, it’s easy to turn your brain off and lose a few hours in the title. If you think Clicker Heroes is a waste of time, which it most certainly is, then you’ll probably want to give Loot Hero DX a miss.

Rating – 7/10

Purchase – Steam £1.99 | Kongregate (Free Version)

Trailer –