Aside from being one of the harder video game titles to pronounce in causal conversation, Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel – or RF for short and the sack of sanity – is the follow up to the previous Rosen title that was released in America earlier this year. As with the previous title it is a love letter to the classic Mega Man games, with a mixture of NES game references mixed in. From the graphics style, to the difficulty, this game was designed to be something that would have fit in if it had come out in the early 90s.
If any enemy sprite in the game was downgraded into 16 or 8 bits, they would feel right at home in most classic games. While they aren’t anything that is going to shock someone with the power of the PC, that was also never the point. Many of the enemies are homages to other encounters from series; goombas from Mario, bats from Mega Man, and a scattering of others from iconic series. All of them done tastefully enough that they don’t feel like direct rip-offs, but more like the creator was paying respect for the games they came from.
Watch our stream of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel here:
As anyone who grew up in that era will tell you, though, is that those games were insanely difficult. This has been cared over here as RF is classic NES game hard. It isn’t something that cannot be completed with some time dedicated to it, but that it what it takes, time and dedication to learn patterns and boss weaknesses. It is refreshing to see a call back to this, but it is also something that probably isn’t for someone who has grown used to the general ease at which current games can be completed.
Probably the only flaw with this entry is that it just doesn’t feel as good as the first title, maybe because the shock of how enjoyable that was came out of nowhere, maybe because the “gag” level just felt entirely more unexpected and enjoyable. It isn’t that the game is bad, as it is still very good, it is just that the shock of the first game seems to take some of the thunder away from the second. Like the series started the show with the show stopper.
For anyone who is a fan of the classic Mega Man series they should check out both games, although the first game should be played through before this one. RF is enjoyable, and good. The problem is that when you are expecting nothing at all and get so much, the next time around you sort of expect so much. Sadly, that is what happened here, a good game that is just overshadowed by what came first. It also should be pointed out that the game sort of expects the player to have played the first game to know what is going on from a story perspective.
So, even with all the caveats that might come with the game, mainly buying and playing through the first, it is worth the investment. For anyone who misses the classic titles from days past, this title is directly made for you. The title might be hard to pronounce, but it definitely a series that is worth looking into.