could this be counted as a trilogy?
Dash and slash through a challenging platformer!
This game takes heavy inspirations from games like Celeste and Katana Zero. While the game definitely wears its inspirations on its sleeve, I'm really proud of some of the later mechanics and level designs I came up with. I hope you enjoy it!
XBOX and PS4 controller are both supported in addition to the above keyboard controls. If you plug in a controller and press a button, you should see the control prompts at the title screen change to match an XBOX controller.
- Hold R - Restart the current level
- Hold T - Return to title screen
- Hold K - Skip cutscene
Also if you run into any issues with the web version, please leave a comment and if you can, try the downloadable version. I recommend using Chrome if you plan to play the web version, though Firefox should work fine as well. Thanks!
If you enjoyed the soundtrack, feel free to check out my soundcloud!
My speedrun PB is 5:17.399, so if you want to speedrun this game, let me know if you beat my time!
Click download now to get access to the following files:
- Post-Armor Update!Feb 23, 2022
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overall opinion: yes
Ok, so I don't know what I did, but until I died my cape was yellow when should have been red. I couldn't recreate it though, so it might just be me.
My fibgers hurt b=ut i like this 5/5
I love this game. I honestly wish you could turn it into a full long game, because it's really cool to play!
I wish I had the time to make longer versions of all these games. I originally had more levels planned for this, but it's always tough for me to commit to a longer project. Glad you liked it, thanks for playing!
I love this, fantastic game!!
just wanna add that, I was expecting a little bit more story on the mission control, the narrative really got me hooked and I though there were something misterious going on, but in the end the guy was just frustrated with his job, still, the ending was satisfying and the game was so so much fun. Also, goddam, the soundtrack is awesome!
Thanks so much for the kind words! I definitely wanted to expand more on the mission control mystery, but I decided to go in different direction instead, I'm glad you still found the ending satisfying! Glad you liked the music too!
Love the flowing cape! Having your direction controlled relative to the enemy you are slashing is super neat!
(For anyone reading, this contains spoilerish stuff, so play the game first and then, if you are insane enough, read)
Alright so I have not even started the game and I know this is going to be one large ass wall of text. I'll be writing as I play, so it will probably be a bit unstructured and chaotic but you can probably understand my brainfuzz by now.
First off, I downloaded löve2d today to give it a peek and see if It would be a good tool to use, and hell yea. I totally understand why you like it now, and I've used it for an hour max. It really gets out of your way and just let's you go full ham and create. And after trying godot and constantly getting stuck with how to properly follow the structure that they have set up and so on. Löve just goes BRRRR instead and let's you do whatever you want to. So I'll be sticking with it a while longer for sure, especially if I manage to make typescript with with it (I'm not a huge fan of lua, then I'm set for life. There are even some crazy people writing a vr version of löve and I'm superhyped to try that out. Sometime. In short, I might make a game with löve, already have the idea for it and I'll bash together a prototype soon. (hopefully)
Also I saw the email from itch yesterday that you had released something and I basically bounced around for five minutes, and then went to bed. I was tired, long day, and I needed energy to play this properly.
Thank you for celestifying the controls I love the arrows + zxc combo, they work really well together. So I hope this will be a bit easier for me to play than last one was. Also congrats on getting on armored games! (I might have already said that memory doesn't exist today)
Alright starting the game now. The title is a bit out of place, being too blocky in comparison to the rest of the game. Music is really good I must say, it's really nice seeing how it has progressed. I will press space now promise. I did. Nice menu. I was expecting getting thrown right into the game though. Having some problems with putting the game in fullscreen but whatever. From now on I'll try to be a tad more structured ahhh.
Nice cape, inspired by celeste? Also the music here bops holy bonks. Font is pretty small and it's hard to see on my small screen. The slash is very very juicy. I didn't think I'd ever say this, but I think it's a bit much. It gets a tad hard to see what is in front of you.
It's kind of interesting that you go in the direction of the point you slash, I was expecting to go the direction I was holding with the keys, but this makes it wayy more interesting.
Btw the sprites look really good.
I think I've found a bug, at level 1-7 I slashed before the one at the wall, and I got teleported off screen. Now I'm stuck. I think what happened was that it thought I slashed through one of the points on a different level. Not entirely sure though. Saved by the reset button. Camera is too high up on when sliding down that last wall, I was a bit scared I'd fall into spikes.
In general the camera is way to slow to go downwards when you are falling. I guess this is to make it more stable and you aren't going to go down that much anyways, but you will bounce a lot. what I'm trying to say is that I fell out of the camera and it felt a bit wrong.
Those locks are super clever, I like them a lot.
2-1 and now shit's getting really really interesting. I would have liked to know a bit more about the other character though, other than other helmet guy mission control doesn't really care about. Also is the text because of that razbuten video? I remember they had problems figuring out you could dash in all directions.
I think that celeste had the dash on x, my muscle memory is kind of confused right now.
The spikes have a bit larger hitboxes than I expected.
I keep hitting x instead of c, and when I finally hit c, I glitch through the wall and head into the spikes on the other side. Damn it. Hehe made it.
Maybe a cue where you will go to the next level would be a good thing, I got a bit confused at 2-4 because I didn't see anything above me, and just had to assume I'd go up.
The canon is very cool.
I keep hitting the wrong damn buttons. HAHA MADE IT. hell ye. My mood is back on top.
OH BOSSFIGHT YEAAAA. I will die so much. That wasn't a boss was it. Just warmup. Oh well.
Switching the blobs up to just go horizontal is kind of odd, it feels like they should be marked or something.
The spades shaped monster (?) was really nicely presented, I immediately know what it does, and the blob was blobby enough that I recognised it as a blob.
Oh you die if you touch said blob. Damn it.
Making a two stage bossfight was fun, I was going to say a checkpoint would be nice but it felt really nice to beat them both right after each other. So maybe no checkpoint is best.
Alright just got through the last bossfight (I thought this was the end of the fight originally, future me speaking btw). Holy shit. That was hard. The last one took all my brain power not to bump into the damn purple blobs. Still, that was a lot of fun.
Level 4-4 feels a bit celeste inspired?
This will be hard, holy smokes. Nice checkpoint. Will need to eat dinnerrr. Back from dinner with new energy. And that break made the second half of 4-5 wayyy easier.
Have got to say, even though all of the cutscenes felt very celeste inspired I still liked them a lot, the last one caught me a bit off guard, and it was a super nice way to end the game. I really enjoyed that and it hit very close to heart. I think this is the most story you have a put in a game to date, and it's really heading in a good direction.
Anyways that's me finished. I think i fell down about 500 times, subtracting the times I died while I was away eating dinner. It was difficult but this felt differently from the other games. This felt more balanced, and while it was really damn hard, it always felt like I was improving and never losing progress. I was getting beaten down, but kept coming a bit further each time.
I still had a few frustrating moments though, like being just a pixel off a wall and not getting to jump, and slashing the wrong blob was something that frequently killed me. But those were quite minor, especially in comparison to older games you have made.
And I need to talk more about the art and the music, because holy shit it's good. The old music still had a vibe, but the music in this hit's a really sweet spot for me, being chiptuny and melodic but not overy chiptuny. It feels like a bit more modern take on it. The end and menu theme are my favourites (and also the only ones my brain had time to actually process). The art I've known you to have before is basically black and white or really basic sprites, this beats that by miles. While it does feel a tad flat, and the important elements could pop out more from the background the art still hits hard. It looks great and it really fits what you are doing. Must say you have gotten good at pixelart.
The juicyness is amazing, everything is oozing with it, and it makes everything feel so good to do. It looks really good in the pixelart style, everything feels like it has texture, and the black and white "flashes" feel even more punchy in that style.
So one thing I had problems with was just trying to see what was going on in the game. In the bossfight there was a lot of things going on, and I'm already pretty bad at filtering stuff out but that took that to max, which was quite frustrating. I did still get through, but it added to the difficulty in an unfun way that didn't really feel fair, since I couldn't really do anything about the things I could not see / take in. So maybe an option for just dialing down the VFX, or making the game from the start with the intention of keeping everything clear. Things I think might be helpful would be a darker background, outlines on all the enemy sprites, and the walls / ground being a bit less strongly colored. Walls / ground is still important information in platforming sections though, so there needs to be a good balance, while still keeping the visuals looking good. A bunch of stuff to balance really. Other things would be having a bit smaller VFX, and having them go away faster. This was a problem in the beginning when I were slashing the blobs, as I would have trouble seeing the other one and having time to react and press the key at the right time. A game I know does clarity really well is downwell (sort of pun I guess?), and borrowing from that might be an idea. The style is a bit basic compared to this though, so visuals and clarity will be a bit of a tradeoff. The clarity thing also applies to the text, it was pretty hard to read for most of the time, and with the text just scrolling on without any player input it can get really difficult for someone with dyslexia or similar. Alright that's that.
A note as well, I have not played katana zero so I can't do any comparisons from it, but I guess the slashing mechanic is from there? I have played my fair bit of celeste so I see that you borrowed a few things. Which is by no means a bad thing, people come up with good ideas and the easiest way to improve is to(ethically and in a way that respects the creators) steal the good ideas. And I think you did a good job, while I could feel that a few things were borrowed, it never felt like it was just ripping off celeste, and you did it really nicely.
Curious about the controls, is that taking inspiration from the guy that developed move or die and is working on mental checkpoint?
Last thing, I might get into speedrunning this, but considering my first try took a bit more than an hour, I think I'll get beaten pretty hard. Still worth a shot. And it might be really fun as well.
I think that is it (finally, this is an essay at this point. Did a check, it's just short of 2000 words. What the heck). I guess the wall of text is just a thing at this point, and I really enjoy both writing and reading them so ye. I hope you are up to something fun now that you have finished this, and that you didn't burn yourself out while you developed. Cheers!
I'm gonna write this as I read it as well cause I love this stream of consciousness stuff. I am vehemently pro-brainfuzz so this is all good for me.
(Update: oh god I typed up a wall of text as well, no pressure to read the whole thing)
Glad you're trying out love2D! I totally agree, it gets out of the way and just feels so fast to use. It takes a little setup to get the traditional game engine features but goddamn once you have your basic game systems written, the content just flows from your fintertips. Never tried love2d with typescript but I'm pretty sure there's a pure JS port of the api somewhere that you could use typescript with.
Glad you liked the title music, that was my friends' favorite track. The blocky title text is something I need to grow out of, it's kind of my lazy shortcut to making a title screen haha!
The cape is most certainly my Celeste obsession coming through, but also procedural capes are probably gonna be a staple in my games from now on. It makes the movement pop so much more, I feel like I'm gonna put capes and hair in everything I work on from now on.
Woof sorry you fell off the map in 1-7, that can happen in a couple places. The colliders try their best to shove you out but if you get too deep, you get shoved off the map. I really need to add some global killbox if you leave the map. Glad the reset came in handy here.
Sorry about the camera feeling slow when you fall, I feel that too. I usually have manual camera transitions wherever it matters, but 1-7 is somewhere I should have one of those so you don't fall blindly at the end.
Hahah 4-4 was 100% Celeste-inspired.
I'm glad you liked the cutscenes, especially the last one. This is definitely the most writing I've done for a game, and I wanted to tell a story that felt realistic and empathetic. I'm glad you liked the story!
I'm also really happy you felt the difficulty was manageable, I'm always paranoid that my games will be too hard for anyone to finish haha! I definitely hear you on the slash-related frustrations, related to slashing the wrong blobs.
Thanks a ton for the kind words on the music. I'm really happy with the way it all came out. Like you said, I think I'm starting to hit a sweet spot with my instrumentation; For a long time it felt like I'd just throw instruments at the wall and hope something stuck. Nowadays, my selection process for plugins/vsts is much more methodical and feels more cohesive.
Also thanks for the kind words on the art! This game was probably my hardest art project to this date (and my next game will probably be 1bit just to have a break from grinding aseprite haha); I think this is the first time I've ever actually shipped a game with an actual background and tilesets.
Thanks for the feedback on the clarity, I totally hear you. One thing I'm still trying to figure out is how to actually separate important things from 'background' things as far as art goes. There's also definitely a ton of VFX, a "low" vfx option is a great idea, something I'll definitely include in a future game (and maybe update this game with if I get time). I love downwell, I'll definitely revisit it to see how it does clarity! The text is another thing I need to work on too, I think the text scrolls pretty fast and I totally agree that it'd be hard for some to read.
I'm glad the game didn't feel like a celeste ripoff! That was one thing I was worried about, so I'm glad it felt like it could stand on its own. The Katana zero influence is mostly the slash visuals + some of the later enemy fights (Katana zero has 1 hit kills for the player and enemy, so a lot of combat in that game involves dying a lot until you come up with the 'perfect route' for a kill).
I haven't played move or die, and I'm not sure what mental checkpoint is unfortunately! The zxc+arrow keys controls were just popular requests from my last gamejam game.
Let me know if you give speedrunning this a try! My friends have had a good time speedrunning it; My PB is not deathless so there's definitely time to be saved.
Ah shit I typed up a wall of text as well.
Thanks a ton for playing and for all the feedback. I love hearing from you and reading your walls of text. As far as development goes, I crunched a little bit at the end of this game because I started getting sick of the codebase and wanted to finish before my classes got more busy, but it definitely felt pretty relaxed to develop!
Thanks again for playing and for stopping by!
More on music (music has become a big passion for me during the last two years), I think checking out DDRKirby might be a good idea. They have a 9-bit style, so it's pretty close to what you make, but with just a bit more modern instrumentation and use of FX. The sort of fit in with how chiptune sounds in my head. They have full on videos of when they make the songs, and they are super fast, most songs are done in an hour or a bit more.
Cape! I just thought it's funny it works so well, the cape is like the 2d equivalent of cloth and hair simulations, which generally work pretty meh. So it's cool it's working and that you might continue with it!
And about falling through the map, I guess that is more of a problem with löve than anything you can really deal with, if you used their system. I'm really happy they have it though, physics (mainly collision detection and handling) isn't something I think is fun to write, so it's a big plus. Will have to figure out how to actually use it first though. It's a nice change of pace compared to godot and unity where they are so complex it's hard to figure out where to actually start on a new system.
About move or die and mental checkpoint. I think they are called those awesome guys, and they have a big thing for button prompts, and making propts immediately switch to the right controller when someone begins using another one. That's why I was a bit curious.
Getting sick of the codebase, I feel that. That's a reason why a lot of games I make never get finished. Need to get better at structuring code in ways that don't end up hitting me in the back of the head. Also a big reason why I want to use typescript, it let's you write documentation right in the code, which helps immensely so you don't have to sit and figure out what the system you made 3 weeks ago does. So it might be worth a peek, it helps in just keeping you from making stupid mistakes like putting in a string where it should be a float and so on. Autocompletion and refactoring works really well in it as well.
And good luck on future projects, 1-bit art can be really cool as well, so I'll be eagerly waiting to see what you come up with heh.
I'll check DDRKirby out, thanks for the rec!
Also haha I actually wrote custom physics/collision for this game and TRYH4RD, because I was in gamejam mode when I first wrote my systems code and forgot to check if Love2D had physics already. I should probably switch to the Love2D physics/collision stuff eventually (I think it's just a wrapper around Box2D) since it'd be faster and better tested.
I feel like getting sick of a codebase for me is inevitable towards the end of a project. The cleaner my initial code is, the longer I can stave off that feeling, but so far with my projects they almost always end with pure spaghetti code. That could just be burnout too though, so it definitely varies.
Good luck with your future stuff as well! Always looking forward to what you put out!
Whoaaa this game is so good
You can just tell there was a lot of love and care put into this game. Fantastic. S+
Thanks for your feedback in the review! I definitely hear you on the 'slashing the wrong way' thing, it's definitely something I'm thinking of ways to improve. The 'slow down' idea is a cool one, I was also considering using the player's inputs to try and bias the slash a little.
I'll consider adding a black frame for the cutscenes too, or some visual indicator. Thanks again for the feedback and thanks for playing! Glad you enjoyed it!
(For anyone that's confused by my response, Ezra gave some feedback in the review for the game)
Guess I should have just put it here lol, I was trying to keep potentially "negative" feedback in a place that just we'd see it but I didn't think about not being able to discuss! Yes I think that biasing the slash with player input is a great idea. Glad I could help! It's a really solid game.