Recently I was invited to test a upcoming game called Roche Fusion. The idea behind it is to have an old school top down arcade space shooter but with the graphics of a much newer style of game and I think they are well on the way to their goal.
First off, I love the menu controls, there is no mouse control and I really like that. At first it threw me off but after thinking about it, an arcade game wouldn’t have a mouse.
This is the first sign of its arcade driven style and sets it apart from most normal flash, top down shooter games that litter the internet.
Once you get into the game you’re presented with a view many gamers have seen before, your little ship comes into view at the bottom of your screen as a background flies underneath your ship. You test out the controls up, down, left, right, W, S, ,A, D. Then the bad guys show up.
Allow me to clear something up now, this game is hard. Very very hard.
At first I thought It was just my play style. I play Half-life, Portal, Planetside 2, All games where you can move in three dimensions and take cover.
I dont normally play 2D games, so I assumed that is why I was getting creamed. But then I played some other top down games on Kongregate [a large online game site] and I beat them with ease.
Yes, Roche Fusion is tricky, but yet again it harkens back to older games. Have you ever played the first sonic game? you get a few lives to get through the whole game and no save points. Though, granted some Sega Gen games had passwords.
Like the classics Roche fusion gives you a few lives, then slams you with aliens, arcade style.
The only assistance you get is the power up screen where you can pick one of three power ups to give your ship, my favorite so far has been the black hole gun, just beware you don’t shoot a target to close to your ship or you will be pulled in as well. Thats right, even your power ups can kill you … figures.
And about the aliens.
Almost all of the enemies you will come across look like they could have come from an older game, the shapes remind me of 8 or 16 bit baddies but with some shading and much better resolutions. Not to say their textures couldn’t be improved.
Now lets talk graphics,
To sum them up, Flashy, but not the kind of flashy you are thinking of.
I dont mean to say hey are overly impressive, infact most of the game art is very simple.
Expect lots and lots of glowing neon teardrops flying everywhere filling the game.
Sparks and light are everywhere, your eye never wants for more action.
So a solid platformer that definitely reminds one of older years of games, but what is it missing?
1. Something I would list pretty high is sounds. The games music fits it pretty well, but when playing this early version I felt the absence of really good laser or ship sounds. Sound effects in games can really help sell the atmosphere of the world, just think about all the sounds Mario made while jumping on goombas and going down pipes. It can bring a game from good, to iconic.
If the next step Roche Fusion takes is some reworking of the sounds i will be one happy camper.
2. You might think after my rant up above about its difficulty I might like it to be easier, however I really enjoyed a game whose high score plays hard to get as it makes the leader boards really mean something. I say, keep it hard.
In a recent update they unveiled a new screen that takes you out of the fight and into a screen where you can get power ups. That screen is a very cool looking warp effect, somthing I was very impressed with.
If they keep the level of graphic quality hinted at in the newest update, Roche Fusions player base will expand quite a lot.
3. Lastly for improvements, in the game, once you do beat up a bad guy and turn him into a wave of pixels they drop these little green specks at the spot where they blew up. If you can pick them up they grant you a valuable bonus. However, retrieving them often means making a suicide run into falling enemy ships to retrieve them, something you are desperate to do to get a hand up in this game.
A possible solution is to have them drift to the bottom of the screen, or then again maybe it is part of the gaming mechanic, making the player balance risk vs. reward.
Like I said the game is hard and at the moment you can download the game free from it’s website.