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Cover your hair and your eyes, this is about to get ugly.

Pixel Brady: The Dungeon Crawler, a review by Killer Wolf

I am not even sure where to begin. For starters, my usual review criteria feels missaplied here. This is not a comeplete game, or even a fleshed out demo. This is a tech demo, at best, and while it does bring some interesting things to the table, ultimately it is a very flawed experience. I'm going to treat it like a normal review, but officially, I'm no-scoring this one on account of its incomplete nature.

I didn’t “finish” the demo, that I know of. I got to a certain point and it just stopped. After a chasing a character referred to as a Sephiroth look-alike and fighting a monster that posed no threat due to the forced leveling I did while trying to navigate a maze where each exit is, apparently, randomly assigned, I was no longer able to move my character, attack, or open the menu.

Okay, I guess two paragraphs is enough stalling. Lets get on with the evisceration.

Gameplay : 1 out of 5

- There isn’t even a readme manual, or anything in the game to tell you what button does what. If you feel like trying the game out, here’s a hint: The (A) key attacks. Not sure if this is common VX button mapping or not.

- The sword is very picky about hit detection. Sometimes it can hit two chips at a time, most times one. Sometimes none at all, especially if you happen to be moving or pressing a directional key at the time.

- I’m not sure what the MP bar was for, since I didn’t see any skills become available. They might have been there, but by that point, I didn’t care enough to open the Skills menu again

- The pixel based movement was a bit sensitive for a game this loose. It was easy for the character and enemies to get stuck. When there is a one pixel margin of error for dodging fireball hazards, and you’re bucking up against serious framerate issues thanks to the glitched torch light sourcing, you’re going to get bounced around from hit to hit.

+ The game WAS playable…ish.

+ The shop that you can luck into is VERY helpful, allowing you to save, trade your useless gear (90% of what I got as a warrior did not apply to my character) for gold, and trade your gold for health potions and new gear.

- unfortunately, you won’t see it very often. I saw it twice over the course of an hour of playtime, not counting my first two deaths and ressurections.

- It crashed/hung/stopped before I could finish it up.

Innovation : 2 out of 5

+ A dungeon crawler with randomly assigned rooms…

- …and a clunky active battle system

+ The torch’s lighting effect looked nice…

- but it was glitched. If you died in a torch room, you had extra lighting effect filters on for the rest of the game, causing a noticeable hit to the framerate.

Graphics : 2.5 out of 5

+ Everything seems to fit together

- considering it is probably all VX RTP, this makes sense

- One of the main reasons I avoid VX games is that I do not care for this graphic style

- the sprite’s cloak kept clipping into the wall tiles

+ the lighting effect from the torch was nice

Music and Sound Effects : 3 out of 5

+A number of music tracks were used for different levels

+They all seemed to fit the mood of the rooms they were used in

+The weapon, spell, and trap sound effects didn’t make my ears bleed.

- I realize it is probably all VX rtp

Replayability : 0 out of 5

+ The game starts off as an interesting little diversion

+ The Skinner Box mechanic of grinding for levels, gear, and gold helps distract you from how limited and broken the game is…

- for a few minutes…

- When the game died on me at the end(?) I felt no desire to reload a save and trek through a random maze. By random, I mean that it seemed like it was a maze where every door/exit from the current room randomly moved you to another map in the maze. I gave up trying to navigate at all and just picked doors at random until I progressed.

- I have no desire to try the other class.

Overall – 1.7 out of 5

The game started off as an interesting little diversion, but very quickly descended into that special class of game that I would only continue playing because I publicly declared my intent to review it and I wanted to give it every chance before I rendered my verdict.

The verdict is in. In its current state, there is no real reason to play this game.

Here are the notes I took while playing-

No manual, how do I even attack?
Enemies get stuck on walls
monsters who can’t “see” me become alerted
Fire displays over message boxes

lighting effects were nice with the torch
torch glitches when you die so that the next map has the same lighting effect

starting maps are bright enough to see, but the lighting effect is still “on”. Area seems slower now.

Need to illuminate a little bigger area around player.

Sometimes sword hits failed to detect if button was pressed while moving.

Sometimes sword his a two chip range vertically, but not horizontally

Vertical reach is greater than horizontal

Frame rate really chugged with torch effect + flame projectiles

Can’t hit “mages” in black

Couldn’t pick up a pile of gold next to a breakable plant/ice thing

Maybe trigger the shop every set number of rooms?

Sprite’s cloak clips into walls

Duplications in the descriptions make Champion’s Sword evil?

An area’s exits looped to itself three times in a row

The Maze really kills the pacing. Enemies are no threat, but still take a couple hits to kill, even when dealing 140+ damage per swing. Going in circles is boring.

The Warrior can carry two, two handed weapons. Intentional?

Can’t tell if there IS a right way out if the exits are random? Especially since a couple tend to loop to themselves.

They are random. ^&*( this game.

Pauses in “cutscenes” where you have no control make me think the game crashed.

After beating the monster and starting to chase the Sephiroth lookalike (referred to as such in game), it froze. I’m not spending another half hour looping that dungeon (and going from the lvl 9 of my last save back up to 16 just killing skeletons that were phyiscally blocking my way to the next random door in the maze.