ReviewsReview: Vagante

Review: Vagante

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Gaming is supposed to be a calming and relaxing pastime that helps you to unwind. However, there are a niche bunch of players who break this mould. Instead of enjoying their time with a title, they’d rather be put through their paces and punished repeatedly. This small group is responsible for Dark Souls-like games and the rogue-like genre. Vagante sits heavily in the latter category, but its brutality and gritty ways are reminiscent of Dark Souls.

Developed by Nuke Nine and published by Blitworks, this is an adventure-platform rogue-like title. It’s set in a dark fantasy land where you contend with procedurally generated levels and permadeath. With failure all but guaranteed, this isn’t a title for the faint of heart. You’ll scream, cry, and quit many times in this blend of rewarding and heartbreaking action.

Keep out of his way.

Greed will always better you!

Rumours have circulated around the kingdom about a cave that is hidden at the edge of the woods. Legend has it that it’s filled with treasure but also deadly monsters. The deeper you explore, the greater the rewards, but also the larger the risk. Mankind is greedy and they only see the allure of treasure. Many adventurers try to make it to the end, yet they fail. Can you and your hardy group succeed where others have not?

At the start of each adventure, you must select between an array of classic RPG characters. Each hero has strengths and weaknesses that you must master to be successful. You start each journey with basic equipment and limited skills. As the game unfolds, you’ll find new weapons and equipment that’ll help you to survive. You’ll find melee and ranged tools as well as spells and potions. Furthermore, you’ll level up and your skills will increase according to your class. These RPG elements were a fantastic way to make you approach the game in different ways. Subsequently, you can opt for stealth, brute force, guile, or more.

Each area has oodles of treasure and weapons to find and a shop to spend your gold. Moreover, Demi-bosses hold keys to the best treasure. Overcoming these monsters isn’t easy but to progress, you must have the best equipment. Like its peers, Vagante demands that you weigh up risk and reward. With the possibility of losing it all, it would be foolhardy to rush in. You soon learn that a patient approach is necessary if you wish to stay alive.

Why is everything so expensive?

Vagante is tough.

The rogue-like genre is extremely divisive. Because of its elements of luck and skill, combined with undoubtedly tough mechanics, it has a tendency to break most players. Vagante is no different, as its random maps and horrendous monsters make each playthrough unique, but eye-wateringly tough. However, Nuke Nine isn’t all bad, as they’ve incorporated a cooperative mode to make it slightly easier.

Tackling this grim monster with friends makes the idea of failure a little more bearable. You must work together to find treasure, slay creatures, and delve further into the abyss. The ability to play with friends adds a layer of tactical nuance that many of its peers sorely miss. As a team, you can combine each hero’s strengths to annihilate your foes and stay alive for longer. 

Vagante is too dark. 

The developers clearly like the idea of a moody and seedy atmosphere, and that’s what Vagante delivers. However, its use of sombre colours and poorly lit rooms makes it tough to navigate. This is compounded further still because of the pixel art style. Consequently, the level of detail is vastly reduced, and this makes it hard to identify traps and obstacles. Sadly, this issue makes a hard game much more difficult as you’ll repeatedly fall into spikes or get shot by arrows. This issue could easily have been resolved with better lighting or brighter colours.

The audio brilliantly complements the oppressive imagery. With its heavy and depressing music and hard-hitting sound effects, you instantly feel part of the action. I enjoyed the combination of songs and loud aggressive sounds, however; they were reminiscent of many retro games and therefore lacked originality.

Feel the power of my lightning spell.

A good UI makes it easy to play.

With a selection of combat approaches, many potions to consume, and lots going on, it could have been confusing. Fortunately, though, a combination of an excellent UI and a straightforward tutorial makes this easy to play. It’s true, however, that the opening moments lack direction. But once you overcome this hurdle, only the brutality will hold you back.

This is a genre renowned for its addictive nature and horrible longevity. Vagante doesn’t let you down on either score! Thanks to its selection of characters, RPG mechanics, and cooperative gameplay, it’ll keep you busy for hours.

Vagante is a fantastic indie title. 

Though I despise losing hours of hard work, there is a part of me that adores the high risk. The genre pushes you from start to end and Vagante will test you because of its solid and tough mechanics. It’s a gem of an indie title that stands out from the crowd. Disappointingly, its graphics weren’t as strong as I’d have liked, but this is a minor complaint. I enjoyed it in a sadomasochistic way, and I recommend you to buy it here! With untold treasures to find, it’s time to get rich or die trying. 

SUMMARY

Vagante is a dark and grimy rogue-like title. It has solid and tough mechanics and will test the hardiest of fans. Can you avoid traps, search for treasure, and take down every foe you face?

+ A wonderful pixel art style.
+ Oppressive and atmospheric audio.
+ Addictive.
+ A simple concept.
+ An excellent UI with great controls.
- The graphics are too dark.
- It may be too tough for some.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: VaganteVagante is a dark and grimy rogue-like title. It has solid and tough mechanics and will test the hardiest of fans. Can you avoid traps, search for treasure, and take down every foe you face? <br/> <br/> + A wonderful pixel art style. <br/> + Oppressive and atmospheric audio. <br/> + Addictive. <br/> + A simple concept. <br/> + An excellent UI with great controls. <br/> - The graphics are too dark. <br/> - It may be too tough for some. <br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>