StarBreak (Episode 90)
THE GRINDSTONE TRIBUNAL:
Ragers gonna rage. Almost no one in Grindstone was around for this one, save for our common work crew of Dreskar and Karochi. So we all offer up something, though it’s more or less been said in the video.
This will be a really simple one for me. Don’t bother. The game just screams lazy design all throughout and poor decisions in terms of combat, feel, pacing and design just make it a chore to get through. There was little thought put into the system and frankly it just isn’t worth anyone’s time to actually slog through this mess. Save your sanity and play something, anything else as it will be far more fulfilling than this waste of space.
I can’t even think of anything interesting to say about Starbreak. It’s fast-paced in the dumbest way possible since you’re forced to chug along at whatever pace everyone else decides to go at else the game’s impossible. It’s “roguelike” in the worst possible way as well, there are never any amazing, fun or interesting combinations that happen with the gear you get. You find a new gun, it shoots a little different, it’s numbers are a little higher, there ya go. The game doesn’t even make sense as a multiplayer experience. The other people are only needed to make sure the bosses die before you pass out from boredom.
I would say I might enjoy it if it were rebalanced for singleplayer, but they’d still need to redesign most of the levels. The game has approx. half it’s shit straight with the damaging objects in the stages. They made sure the objects that hurt you are brightly colored and therefor stick out from the background. The problem is that there’s also a bunch of other shit that doesn’t hurt you that is brightly colored and sticks out from the background. Then again maybe it would be possible to see where you’re going if the game were singleplayer. Overall the game doesn’t feel entirely bad and it isn’t nearly the worst thing I’ve ever played, it’s just extremely incompetent.
Is this going to be a pattern now?
Ok… quick version: I don’t hate this game, but I get why others might.
Design choices in this game border on incompetence, and yet get defended by the “get gud scrub” crowd. My personal favorite “out of game” example being on the official forums when someone illuminated many reasonable problems with the game’s visual clutter, and some fanboy defender came in to decry the guy’s well illustrated point with deflected arguments like:
“if you died you died its your fault not everything can be blocked with IC [Ironclad].” despite the original post not saying anything about the Ironclad.
“Thats why when you see a bullet either move out of the way or stay if you know its not gonna kill you otherwise” ignoring everything about the original post explaining that the whole point is that he CAN’T see the bullet.
I was cursing at this game. A lot.
I was cursing at the cheap crap, the BS spawn points (The Strands run that spawned me in a room full of bouncing spores knocking me to the abyss and causing me to lose my best Wildfire can choke on its vomit in its sleep.) and even some of the incredibly douchey players in this game. Unless these asshats think spamming “RIP” and “HA HA HA” upon player death is some sort of endearing tradition, it’s merely the kind of thing that makes me want to escort them to a boss room and portal out just as they enter alone. This game is an insufferable ball of stress.
And yet… when it’s going good I really like it. I see what they are trying to do. I’m afraid they aren’t going to fix the things that are absolutely REQUIRED to make a game like this work, because too many sycophants might just be used to them. I had to LEARN what allied projectiles looked like, and even then I still can rarely be certain if the glowing orb sailing past me is from an enemy or yet another Fabricator spawned sprite.
But every time I think about how mad the game makes me, I hop right back in. I was ready to write and script up the whole thing a week ago, but refused to stop until I tried out the Fabricator for myself.
Hell, even today, for the purpose of screenshots, I noticed Fire Forest was gone and replaced by a new Tier 1 stage, so I decided to run that. (Footage of that stage did make it into the review.)
Is the game well made? No, not really.
Is the game fun? It can be if you put up with it.
I still like it far better than Realm of the Mad God.
Recommended?: YES, with great caution.