Justice Playthrough #76: Swung

The pieces are all there. It just didn’t work for me.

Page 35, Game 24: Swung by Extra Nice

The princess has been kidnapped — funny how often that happens. The prince has been dispatched to save her!

Pure hero

Problem: the prince is a useless imbecile.

Solution: the wizard has created a magic sword — namely, you — to “aid” him. Which means you’ll do all the work. Slay whatever needs slaying, drag him along whenever he needs dragging. Which is damn near always.

This is basically a kooky twist on platforming, one that weaponizes your mouse pointer. It’s of the “precision platformer” variety, a game where you’re perpetually one wrong move away from the level ending with the prince’s messy death.

And that’s where I think it goes wrong for me: for a “precision” game, it feels sloppy as hell.

Dragging the prince around feels weirdly clumsy. Eventually, I stopped trying to snake my way past the fireballs and instadeath spikes and just tried to do it QUICKLY, so that if I fucked it up I could redo it immediately.

There are monsters and such to stab … sort of. You can only stab things if you hold down the left mouse button; otherwise, you exert no physical presence. That’s weird to me. If I’m a sword, stabbing shit really ought to be one of my core competencies. And even when I do have Stabbination Mode activated, I found the collision detection to be much iffier than I preferred, particularly near the bottom of the screen.

There’s also just a lot of conceptual sloppiness. Check this out:

Ignore the cowering idiot. See that light green platform he’s standing on? Compare it to those slightly darker green platforms to the right.

Those platforms are BACKGROUND IMAGES. YOU MAY NOT LAND YOUR BOY ON THEM. Try that and you’ll plummet, possibly onto spikes.

The game has four chapters. I made it through one (capped by a boss fight that I found more annoying than exciting) and most of the way through two before I finally just got too frustrated with it to bother.

I really, really want to like this game. It’s clever and inventive. But it just wasn’t fun for me.

If you’re into platformers and want an interesting twist on the genre, maybe you’ll dig it.

Maybe I’ll dig this next one:

Page 42, Game 14: The Red Door by yunglads25

“Escape a serial killers home before you become his next victim”

So, basically Animal Crossing?