It was announced by Tribute Games not too long ago that they would be bringing their own brand of beat ‘em up to the market and it’s titled Curses ‘N’ Chaos. This 8-bit game features two main characters to choose from including Leo and Lea, the bounty hunters. This title is playable on both the PlayStation 4 and Vita with cross-buy, cross-save and cross-play available; it will also be buyable on the PlayStation Network for $9.99.
The gameplay for Curses ‘N’ Chaos (CnC) is 2D and reminiscent of Double Dragon from the good ol days. The player runs across the screen with one of the two characters while jumping, double jumping, dodging, punching, and kicking a variety of different enemies. There is a run option as well, in order to get away from difficult situations. By combining some of these moves you create moves that hit for two points instead of the regular punch of one. For example, if the gamer jump kicks it’s worth two points or combining a sprint and punch together also does two points. This gameplay is simple enough and makes it quite easy to get used to, it’s mastering these techniques that will help the player to beat the flurry of enemies that will come.
Curses ‘N Chaos: Mac, PC, PS Vita [REVIEWED], Playstation 4
Developer: Tribute Games
Publisher: Tribute Games
Release Date: August 18th 2015
Price: $9.99 [Review copy was provided by Developer]
During gameplay you’ll also notice a lot of items that are dropped, these can be picked up and used as weapons such as the catapult or cannon. There are a large variety of these weapons, and some can even be mixed together from the main menu to create a new item or just bought from the Shop before starting another round to have them in your item slot from the get-go. These items increase your chances of winning and can be utilized at great advantage, making the game more fun than expected. The fun part comes from using these all in conjunction with the simple gameplay, avoiding losing five hearts (which make one life) and three lives. The gameplay is actually quite beautiful in the way that it’s so simple to understand yet the game throws so many enemies with different styles of fighting that it’s difficult.
Throughout each level there are eleven stages including ten waves and a final Boss Battle. Each wave has a preset amount of enemies that will emerge including frogs, goblins, ghosts, witches, wolves, and many more creatures from various tales and lore. These creatures each have their own pattern of attacks that they do, which is easy to fight alone, but when combined with others’ unique style can start to get overwhelming. This is not a bad aspect of the game, this is a typical thing in beat ‘em ups that makes them so good and Tribute Games was able to capture that well in CnC.
The waves have you utilizing your techniques along with dropped items in order to beat your enemies, with increased difficulty each level after another. Once players get a hang of the gameplay it’ll become more fun and less frustrating, although frustration is going to happen many times throughout playthroughs. There will be many times when the player will need to put the game down and have a quick breather, frustrated when a phantom materializes in a spot you happen to be occupying. However, although the frustration can cause some rage quitting, the game does well in keeping the gamer coming back with its addicting gameplay.
CnC also has a multiplayer mode where two players can enter a co-op mode with both Lea and Leo. This can be done either through two of the same system or through cross-play. This allows both players to be on the screen at the same time, fighting the same creatures while weaving through dangerous attacks. Players will find themselves challenging one another to beat more creatures than the other, or simply trying to beat the game in an easier fashion.
It just starts to get frustrating when you’re not coordinated with your partner, such as trying to hit an enemy when your partner does, throwing off your mojo and causing you to accidentally lapse and not plan to escape from another approaching enemy. Another thing that was upsetting was that, even though it’s a simple 8-bit game, there wasn’t a way to connect to random players online. You’ll have to invite someone you know who has the game, as well, making it difficult to test out the cooperative aspect of the game.
The soundtrack and art for each level is unique and easy to distinguish from one another. It varies from levels like Forest all the way to Grimmalcore, in the Chaos Realm. Not only that but character designs for the heroes, their allies, enemies, and Bosses are quite unique. Each level will make you wonder what’s going to come after the ten waves that you fight through, trying to guess how the Boss will look and be the leader of. Such as the first level when a gigantic ghost holding a lantern pops out, spitting out three ghosts every now and then to clutter the screen. All of the enemies are quite random, taking from different types of stories and fantasy, making for some of the most craziest encounters in any game.
While this game is one of the most challenging players can get their hands on out there, the most difficult aspect is the Trophies that accompany it. Simply beating the game is a reward in itself but beating these Trophies will be a miracle. These challenges include some easier ones like getting 100,000 points in each level, where each level after the last gets more difficult, or beating 100 enemies with only one heart in your health bar is left. For hardcore gamers out there that love the genre and love getting Trophies, this game is highly recommended; however, for gamers out there looking for an easy completion it’s recommended that you steer clear of this one to avoid ruining your completion percentage. Keep in mind, however, that these are only Bronze Trophies, which is pretty disappointing as they’re harder than most games Gold Trophies.
In conclusion, this is a game that is great to pass time for casual players but something to try and break records for hardcore gamers. It’s addicting in the way it drags you back every time no matter how frustrated you get, almost as if it’s mocking you to try again. Designs for enemies, environments, and the heroes are quite unique and interesting, actually enveloping you in the world and making you feel like everything from all types of fantasy have been mashed into one game. The Trophies are extremely difficult but are manageable with persistence and a keen knack for figuring out patterns in the enemies’ attacks. Multiplayer can be fun but only with someone who you’re coordinating with, either locally or online, but doesn’t allow you to connect with random players
Curses ‘N Chaos was reviewed on the PS Vita
Disclosure: Game copy supplied by publisher