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Riptale Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Riptale is the perfect example of an incredibly tough game that is hard to put down. Every time I died, I wanted to jump back in and see if I could go further. Between buying new weapons, finding weird power-ups and taking on the difficult challenge rooms, there's a lot here that will make each playthrough feel a little different. But that's just the icing on the samurai cake, because I couldn't get enough of the speedy action and satisfying sword play. Riptale is not only one of the best action games to come out this year, but also the best roguelike I've played in a long time. Rating: 85%
Riptale
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Zatoichi. Ogami Itto. Sanjuro Tsubaki. These are the names of just a few of my favorite samurais. Despite not having a name or anything witty to say, I would like to add the hero of the new game Riptale to this list. From the way he scrapes his weapon against the ground as he runs to his gravity-defying sword play, there's something about this guy I can't get enough of. Of course, it helps that he stars in one of the year's most exciting action games.

This is a man on an important mission. When dragons and undead monsters threaten The Land of the Old Sea, everybody turns to a nameless samurai with a long scarf and a large hat. Aside from his memorable appearance, this skilled warrior uses the power of the "astral gems" to bring down the source of evil and save the land from certain doom. It's going to be a tough mission, but I have a hunch you'll love every second of it.


What I love about Riptale is how it handles combat. I don't mean to shock anybody here, but this is far from the first 2D action game to hit the market. But what sets this game apart is the speed and precision of the combat, especially when it comes to chaining kills together in the most satisfying way possible. Our scarfed hero doesn't just run and jump, he literally lunges at the enemies to exact a one-hit kill. It's fast and furious, the kind of attack where if you blink you'll probably miss it.

We're able to string together three of these strikes in a row, even if the samurai is in mid-air and needs to change directions. This creates an insanely chaotic hack and slasher that doesn't feel like any other game on the market. There's just something addictive about the way the character moves and fights, and Riptale has one of my favorite sword swings of all time. It's right up there with the original Strider.

The structure of the game will feel familiar to anybody who has played a roguelike before. We start out in a randomly generated location and then advance through levels like the underground forest of the Mistwoods, the Proving Grounds at the crypt and the Fungi Fortress in the Mushroom Caverns. Each area is filled with challenging monsters that are just looking to get slashed in half. But be careful, because you'll need to come at these various enemies in different ways, so memorizing your foe's patterns is essential.

Riptale (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Like most roguelikes, the game is over the moment you die. This means starting over from the very beginning. With the exception of unlocking new scarfs and animal companions, there isn't much continuity between the different rounds. You won't earn experience points or money to buy new items; you just start over and hope for the best. Normally, this would annoy me. I like making progress from one game to the next. But there's just something about the way the game plays that made me want to jump back in and try my luck again. And that's what I did. Over and over. I never got to the point of being so frustrated that I had to stop playing, and that's mostly because the action is so much fun and the rounds were only a few minutes long.

That said, there are a few quirks that keep this from being the perfect roguelike. While the action is fast and constantly exciting, there are times when it doesn't work exactly like it should. Part of the problem is that the character lunges forward at such a quick speed that when he doesn't hit an enemy it leaves you vulnerable to a hit. This would typically be fine, but sometimes the hero doesn't make contact like he should. He'll be great 90% of the time, but every so often he'll miss the enemy I'm targeting. It's also possible to exhaust your three strikes without actually performing three moves, which will leave you as a sitting duck for a few moments.

Riptale (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

What I can't complain about are the visuals. This game is absolutely gorgeous, both in the pixel graphics and the animation. It moves so quickly and smoothly that I just wanted to sit back and marvel at what Super God has been able to accomplish, but I can't, because that would lead to a speedy death. My only real gripe is that the boss fights aren't as exciting as the rest of the game; though beating them will give you an extra bit of health and unlock new items, so I can't complain.

Riptale is the perfect example of an incredibly tough game that is hard to put down. Every time I died, I wanted to jump back in and see if I could go further. Between buying new weapons, finding weird power-ups and taking on the difficult challenge rooms, there's a lot here that will make each playthrough feel a little different. But that's just the icing on the samurai cake, because I couldn't get enough of the speedy action and satisfying sword play. Riptale is not only one of the best action games to come out this year, but also the best roguelike I've played in a long time.
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