Pangeon (PC) Review with stream
Bad map design
Lack of content
In modern times, we have some of the most life like models that can fool the average person into believing they are real. We didn’t always have that though, in the past we had representations of beings call sprites, a loose amalgam of large pixels that vaguely gave the impression of the subject. It was a technological handicap that forced this depiction and yet it was beloved by so many that even now we go back to this art form even when we have the tools to make something far more lifelike. As an homage to video games past, Vegetable Games is doing it old school with a dungeon crawler that oozes 90’s FPS in a fantasy setting.
To complete the fantasy game requirements, you must choose a character from the traditional party makeup with warrior, thief, wizard, and archer but with the twist that they are monster themselves, e.g. the warrior looks like a lich. Once you start, those familiar with Wolfenstein will find a nostalgic feeling when running through the dungeons here. Every enemy is two dimensional, and when you try to go by them they will show off their paper existence in all its glory. The animations are very limited, so the attacks and enemies taking damage only move around a bit to show pain but it is nostalgic so it works.
The graphics might be crude, but the movement is wonderfully fast, giving a feeling of original DOOM speed. Whipping around the dungeon and strafing around enemies is nearly a lost art but it feel so right here. Each class gives a bit of a different play style with the warrior being up close damage, while the mage is deadly from a distance. However, there are some things that don’t make sense in this fantastical world, like mana replenishing. It’s easy to understand health not coming back, but you have to find a different source for magic too, so it tends to suck the fun out of playing the mage.
Even though this game is notated as a rogue-lite on the store page that’s a bit of a lie. The rooms don’t change like you would see in other games, and the sense of infinite replayability is just not present. The other limiting factor to replays is the absolutely wild difficulty curve. Some parts are so easy its annoying, while other areas are near instant death, with little range in between, and that’s all on the first level. I had to move to easy mode just to enjoy the first area, and that was using a tank build with the warrior. Things do get easier when you finally make it to the first store and can buy some armor and weapons, and the developers were fairly liberal with the money and drops so that takes some of the edge off.
The game might be basic, but the art is unique enough to be interesting, the character models are interesting, and it’s still just fun. However it’s still marred by glitches, bad level design, varying difficulty, and just lack of content on the whole. It would be difficult to properly rate this against Rogue Legacy, which is also a rogue-lite with 8-bit graphics, since the difference in quality is enormous. But if you have some extra dough, and gotta get that nostalgia fix, it’s worth checking out.