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Author Topic: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike  (Read 2329 times)

Ygdrad

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Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« on: January 24, 2016, 07:26:55 am »

So I was looking through new releases on steam when I saw "Starward Rogue". Interested by the idea of a space or futuristic roguelike game I went to check it out and as soon as Arcen Games' name showed up at the start of the trailer I threw my money at the screen. Arcen Games have got to be my favorite devs and all their games are pretty creative and mold-breaking. I'm surprised nobody else created a thread for it yet, although the game came out of nowhere without warning(Edit: or maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention lately.).

From what I've gathered from the steam page and playing, Starward Rogue is an action roguelike/roguelite with a room system reminiscent of Binding of Isaac and the bullet madness of touhou. The room designs mixed with the various crazy types of bullets and patterns enemies fire mean that you have to quickly puzzle out a strategy to deal with rooms before you die. You'll have to use both your brains and bullet-dodging precision-reflexes. The music is also great and I've been having loads of fun so far. The game also has full mod support so you can have fun creating enemies, bullets, rooms, and then watch your friends despair.

You play as one the Hydral's(main character from The Last Federation) severed heads(they grow back) which has been put in a mech suit to save... Rodney, who claims to be paying your other heads handsomely for breaking him out of a giant tower... sticking out the side of a sun. wut?! o.O

The game claims the highest difficulty setting isn't finished yet but sounds promising and I'm fairly sure Arcen Games can deliver:
Quote
Misery difficulty:
Currently in preparation, and intended to be on-par with the Touhou-series in difficulty  and Boatmurdered in insanity.

To go along with the release, Arcen Games was giving away DRM-free copies and steam keys for their other mech roguelike, Bionic Dues. Unfortunately I missed out on the offer by 2 hours because I was playing the game rather than googling it. It was their only game I was missing too. :x
Link:
https://arcengames.com/starward-rogue/
http://store.steampowered.com/app/410820/

I don't usually start these threads so let me know if I'm missing or screwed up anything.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 10:29:39 am by Ygdrad »
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Aklyon

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 09:22:13 am »

Not exactly out of nowhere, they had mentioned they were taking a break from Stars Beyond Reach to make a smaller game, and now they've made said smaller game.
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EnigmaticHat

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 06:18:06 pm »

This game's title gives it the unfortunate quality where if you try to search for videos of it, all you get is videos for Star Wars Rogue.
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Blaze

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 06:43:36 pm »

This game's title gives it the unfortunate quality where if you try to search for videos of it, all you get is videos for Star Wars Rogue.
Use quotation marks when searching, this generally looks for the phrase word for word. Like so.
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Levi

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 06:52:24 pm »

I usually buy all of Arcen's games on principle, but I'm so completely useless at bullet hell games that I think I'll skip this one.   :P

Looking forward to their "Stars Beyond Reach" game though!
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Frumple

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2016, 09:07:47 am »

... checked out a gameplay vid. This... really is "arcen games does a danmaku roguelike."

Probably going to wait for a better sale, but... also probably going to get this, in due time. If nothing else, even though I'm at least as pants at bullet hell as levi, I really want to give the redshift a try. I may be junk at your normal bullet hell, but what amounts to a turn-based bullet hell? That, I think I can get behind :V

Also, for what it's worth lev, going by reviews and whatnot the lower difficulties are apparently very gentle compared to your average danmaku game, and the thing in general seems a lot more forgiving than a lot of 'em. Even if you're completely useless, you might be able to get some enjoyment out of th'game.
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EnigmaticHat

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2016, 03:39:07 pm »

Got the game.

My thoughts so far:
Graphically, most of the levels and enemies are pretty bland.  A bunch of samey looking robot enemies of differing sizes, and a bunch of samey spaceship rooms of different sizes.  Its hard to tell what anything is.  The music is nothing but techno (or something like it, I suck at music genres), which feels appropriate for the boss fights but not for wandering through empty corridors or easy fights.  The real star of the show is the bullets.  They come in all different colors and move in some pretty bizarre patterns; they richochet, fire more bullets, form walls around you, ect.

The starting mechs are decently similar aside from the game-pausing one.  They have different starting gear but once you start picking things up the difference mostly evaporates; for example one mech starts with a beam drone, but any other mech can pick up its own beam drone without too much trouble.  Speaking of which the game takes an odd attitude towards advancement; you've got 3 main slots (primary weapon, energy weapon, and attachment) and most of the time you'll find one you like for each slot and stick with it.  The equipment for these slots doesn't seem to get much more powerful as the game goes on.  But then you have a lot of pickups that apply permanent upgrades to your mech.  For example you can trade 2 energy (of which the average mech seems to have ~70) for 1 health (of which the average mech has ~9).  The level upgrades are this weird mix of Nuclear Throne style gameplay shifts (double the value of health pickups, skip the current level, fire speed increase on kill) with more conventional incremental upgrades (5% crit chance, +2 health, more energy ammo per room).

Overall I'd say its fun, but I doubt it will have the staying power that something like Binding of Isaac or Nuclear Throne does.  Game time is a few hours, which is fine for this kind of game, but the enemies, upgrades, and bosses start repeating pretty fast.  Maybe the higher difficulties or the Superhot mech will change my mind tho.

On the topic of the turn based bullet hell: the mech that allows that is interesting, and powerful.  But its also basically melting from Nuclear Throne (3 health!).  Fortunately this game is a lot more generous about max health increases than most games.  You really want a controller of some description if you want to play that; there's nothing more frustrating than pausing when there are bullets in the four cardinal directions and you have to awkwardly try to make very specific diagonal moves to avoid them.  The game in general benefits from a controller IMO.
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Aklyon

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2016, 04:14:49 pm »

Also if you really wanted a turn-based bullet hell you could just play TLF Obscura mode. Though you do have to do things there besides shoot guys and avoid guys.
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Crystalline (SG)
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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2016, 08:04:59 pm »

... sorta' kinda' not... really? It's definitely bullet hell influenced, but it's not really what I'd call a straight up bullet hell. Turns too long, sizes too large, precision too low, too much tanking, etc., etc. It doesn't scratch that itch at all, for me. It's got some of the bullet patterns, but that's mostly it, imo. S'not as... personal, I guess? Up close, in face, and so on. Too far out, too much floaty weaving instead of frantic/hair's-breadth dodging. I like TLF, but it's just the wrong system to really be raw danmaku, y'know?

This, though. This looks like it would scratch the itch for turn based danmaku. The redshift mech, anyway. Still need to find a video of someone playing the redshift, heh. Well, more than the one I've found so far that was...

... well, someone at-least marginally competent, anyway. Would be nice. Arcen's press-thingy of handing out copies to youtubers means there's a fair number of videos out, but, uh. I... don't want to watch someone get their junk pushed in on very easy. Y'know? And looking for vids I've seen that like five or six times already ;_;
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Levi

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2016, 11:40:17 am »

Well dang!   :(

https://arcengames.com/great-work-on-starward-rogue-team-now-youre-all-laid-off/ 

I hope they manage to pull through somehow.
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jhxmt

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2016, 03:31:19 pm »

Damn, Arcen seem to be permanently on a knife edge.  :(  Chris Park's right that the visibility of Starward Rogue doesn't seem to have been particularly high, and that's got to have hurt them.  Hopefully it'll pick up a bit now they've put the word out somewhat (and now Google is no longer auto-correcting searches for it to "Star Wars Rogue One"!)
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Darkmere

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2016, 04:07:14 pm »

Well dang!   :(

https://arcengames.com/great-work-on-starward-rogue-team-now-youre-all-laid-off/ 

I hope they manage to pull through somehow.

Well that's some candor right there. Looking on the steam store tells me I do get the 25% discount for Bionic Dues, and I'm sorely tempted to buy it just on their extensive support and rebalance of BD alone. It's not like anything else I'm following is likely to release this year, anyway. But I already have a backlog and less disposable income...
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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2016, 11:24:47 am »

Well dang!   :(

https://arcengames.com/great-work-on-starward-rogue-team-now-youre-all-laid-off/ 

I hope they manage to pull through somehow.
I'm not that well versed in game companies and such, but remembering the games these people make really helped me love the genre. ._. Also improve my humor by a lot.

Hope they get through this well...
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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2016, 12:08:42 pm »

Damnit, no, not Arcen. I love these guys and the passion they pour into their work, and they've always been strong about their Linux support. My brother's pretty big into bullet hell things right now, maybe I'll throw him a copy.
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Cicero

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Re: Starward Rogue - Arcen Games's new bullet hell roguelike
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2016, 12:15:15 pm »

Well dang!   :(

https://arcengames.com/great-work-on-starward-rogue-team-now-youre-all-laid-off/ 

I hope they manage to pull through somehow.
I'm not that well versed in game companies and such, but remembering the games these people make really helped me love the genre. ._. Also improve my humor by a lot.

Hope they get through this well...

Jeez, that is rough. Arcen is one of the more interesting companies out there.
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