Tuesday, June 9, 2015

High Strangeness Impressions


I have been a fan of action RPGs and Zelda games growing up.  Most games don't compare to the magic that I grew up with until now.  As the title implies, High Strangeness is probably the strangest game I have played in awhile. It meshes both 8-bit and 16-bit worlds into one game. The power to switch between both 8-bit and 16-bit is a game-play mechanic that doesn't get old!


All of this crazy power comes from the magical skulls that were brought to this world by The Keepers. The Skulls were meant to enslave mankind, but a prophecy told that one day someone would save mankind and use the skulls to banish The Keepers for good. This person happens to be a normal kid who loves metal music and attacks his enemies with CDs and a flash light. The story is deeper than that, but I am not here to spoil anything. This is just to give you an idea of what's going on. Also... did I mention there's a pompous talking cat!


Each skull you acquire to battle The Keepers contains a power. One lets you stun enemies and another lets your create blocks.  The most important one allows you to travel between worlds. What I mean by that is traversing from 16-bit to 8-bit and back. The majority of the game will be figuring out how to reach certain platforms by switching between worlds. In addition to this, certain enemies can only be killed in a particular realm (8-bit or 16-bit). By killing enemies you can upgrade your powers and acquire new ones. Each skill maxes out once you have upgraded it to level three.

The most impressive aspect of the game is the world it puts you in. Whether you are playing the game in 8-bit or 16-bit, it really feels like it is one cohesive universe in which you exist. Another great part of the game are the cut scenes explaining the back story. These portions have backgrounds hand-drawn like a teenager in high school.


My one gripe with the game has to do with the game-play.  At times I wish the game was more of a challenge in the action department. The enemies are varied, but it was lacking in the boss battle department. They have interesting concepts, but for most of the bosses all I had to do was drop dynamite and they would just run over it.  I could avoid getting hit at all times and was never really challenged. It wish I was forced to attack the bosses in some other way or with certain weapons. Thankfully the boss battles are not the majority of the game.

If you like solving puzzles by traveling through alternate worlds then you will probably dig this game. It's not the hardest game in the world, but the story is captivating and it has a few good twists and turns along the way. The game is available on Wii U and on Steam!

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