Baroque: Not the genre you think it is, but great if you like this type of game.
First of all, it should be known that Baroque is not a true RPG or a "Zelda"-ish game. A lot of people jump into this one thinking that that's what they're gonna be getting, and that's just not true. And then they get all disappointed and annoyed at it. Baroque is a Roguelike. Roguelikes all carry forth the tradition and style of the old PC ASCII game "Rogue". They generally contain a lot of the same ideas; randomly generated dungeons, super-dangerous enemies, items that can kill you if not used properly, and an extremely high difficulty level. There are actually quite a lot of Roguelikes; Chocobo's Dungeon, Shiren the Wanderer, Azure Dreams, Izuna: the Unemployed Ninja, and even the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, are all Roguelikes. Any fan of that type of game, is probably going to enjoy Baroque quite a bit. That being said, Baroque isn't quite like other Roguelikes. Almost all Roguelikes are turn-based; where every action you take counts as a turn, and then all enemies and NPCs take a turn, and so on. But not so with Baroque; Baroque is one of the very, very few Roguelikes I've seen that is action-based, not turn-based. So the basics of the combat do end up feeling a little like a Zelda title, where you must run around, dodge enemy attacks, and do your best to destroy them.The controls for the game are basically pretty simple; it's easy to move around, swing your weapon, and select items and things from the menus. The only part that can be a ltitle confusing for new players is the odd way that you "throw" items; when you go to throw an item, you hold down the throw button, and a little green arc appears, going from your character to wherever the item is going to land; you manipulate this with the control stick while still holding throw (meaning you cant move while aiming), and then release to launch it. It's definitely a bit awkward at first, and one of those things that will likely lead to many early deaths; but it does eventually begin to make perfect sense as you play further into the game.The game has a very heavy emphasis on item usage; every item you find, be it swords, coats (armor), bones, or whatever, is going to have multiple possible uses. For example, a simple Antidote syringe does just what you think it would if you use it normally; it cures poison. However, if you throw it at an enemy, it will poison them instead. Or perhaps you've found a Coat with protection from fire, but dont need it; chuck it at a foe, and it's like hurling a small firebomb at them. Learning to throw items is very important in Baroque, and quite often, it's going to be one of the only things that keeps you from being dead. Thrown items can have all sorts of crazy effects..... though some effects are bad..... and as odd as the throwing system seems at first, it must be learned if you are to advance to the later areas of the game.Both swordplay and item chucking are very important to the combat system in the game.... and combat is DIFFICULT. As with any Roguelike, even the most common enemies can be extremely dangerous. Almost all foes can use some sort of nasty status attack... oftentimes, multiple types of status moves.... as well as elemental strikes. Enemies tend to hit HARD, wether it's from a distance, or up close and personal. And what's more, there's usually ALOT of foes. Is just one of those creepy slug girls causing you trouble? Well, try fighting 15 of them at once.... which will happen. Frequently. And you're expected to find a way to handle such fights, as the game only gets more insane later on.There are 2 main parts to this game; the first is the Neuro Tower, where most of the actual storyline takes place. It consists of 40 floors, some of which must be unlocked by completing certain story events (look at an FAQ for help with that). Once you've beaten the Tower..... which is very difficult..... 9 other "bonus" dungeons will open up. Each one is 99 floors deep, and makes t
Would you like a Challenge?
Then this is your game. Baroque will remind you of the classic DnD games. Baroque is a third person dungeon crawler. You will spend your entire time in a Tower called Neuro, you will fight monsters called meta-beings, collect items/weapons, and teleport to other levels. Rinse and repeat. The game throws you right into the action, with no help on what to do. After dying the game starts where the main character has no clue about himself or the past, but he must answer for a sin he did that helped out the destruction of the planet. So he heads to the tower. The story is a little tough to follow at times since you have to speak with people in town to find clues about places within the tower to visit. This will get tough since you only get a little bit of the information and have to search every area in the tower to continue the story. Also the main character will have to die at times to have the story continue too. Music is alright it adds a nice atmosphere to the game and changes during different parts/scenes in the game. The music feels eerie with a techno/industrial vibe to it, but nothing outstanding from the music. The controls are slow, but work. You have two buttons for attacking one that's a standard attack the other a little stronger. Both are just about as fast as the other which makes the combat slow. There is no counter or dodge button, but you can strife but it's more of a slow walk. Once you pick up items you throw them at enemies or use them, also you can lock onto the enemies, I don't recommend have the game control the camera fixture or you'll lock onto enemies and get confused on what you want to do. The menu screen is simplistic and easy to move around on. Alright now for the challenge of the game. You have Vitality - VIT, and Hit points - HP. VIT will slowly count down to zero and the only way to keep it up is to eat hearts, either from enemies, or finding them on the floor. Once VIT is gone your HP starts to count down to zero. Fighting the enemies can get hard on the lower levels and with you VIT, and HP ticking down it adds to the fast past of looking for items or monsters to keep VIT, and HP up. Leveling up is very fast, and here's why. Once you die you lose everything. Your items, weapons, and levels gained, and have to start back at the beginning of the tower. the nice thing is you save at every level just in case you don't want to do everything over, but you will have to die to have portions of the story to move forward. Also you VIT, and HP decrease in town too. You can get back items starting a 5 then up to 10, from beating up the collector in town.
Time Will Tell
Well I've read about this game and i think it could go either way with the public. Atlus does have a good track record of making some killer games, but all this monotonous dungeon crawling might turn off some players. I'm gonna give it a shot though when it comes out just because i like Atlus style,game play and story lines, so time will tell with this one.