The Weaponographist Preview | MOUSE n JOYPAD

The Weaponographist Preview



It just doesn’t pay to be a selfish creep. Sure, you may amass all the wealth you’ve ever wanted, but what happens when a witch who sees through your megalomania strips you of everything you hold dear? Well, that’s the premise behind Weaponographist, a new game developed by Puuba and published by Mastertronic.

The game stars the cocksure and arrogant demon slayer Doug McGrave, one of the many flashy characters you’ll meet in this game. The opening cinematic shows you strolling through the woods of Hellside with your faithful companion Bardtholomew Bardcakes. Suddenly, a woman runs up to you, begging you to help her demon-infested village. After discovering there’s no gold in town, you decide to mosey onto the next more profitable venture. The woman suddenly glows green, enraged by your greed, she decides to curse you of your power and possessions.

You enter the town of Hellside to find shops to help you upgrade your effectiveness with weapons, magic and skills. The shops are owned by a wide assortment of weird characters, including “John Smith”, Cumberbund Rosepatch, Chester and Gertyl Buildertrude. There’s also a dark looming cave for you to enter and explore.

The game plops you in the middle of a dungeon system, where many will make comparisons to The Binding of Issac, however this game does things differently. For one, the game rewards you for being quick with its combo system. As you take down enemies, you add to a multiplier, making you stronger if you keep the killing spree up. If you hit a point where you’re running away, swinging your fists as you look for a weapon, that bar will deplete, and so will your strength. Death usually follows.

The game provides an interesting degrading weapon feature, where you battle with the items dropped in-game. There’s going to be around 30 weapons in total; including ranged and melee weapons, spells and other advancements. It’s hard to have favourites though, considering many will be gone within a minute, so upgrading all of your abilities is a must.

The enemies are an odd assortment of characters each with their own unique weapons; the lion tamer has a whip, hockey-masked psycho has a chainsaw and the 70’s gangster has a tommy-gun. After a few hits, you’ll be looking for a new weapon so you don’t end up defenceless in battle. This can provide some real tension, as you use up the last of your weapon, hopeful they will drop just one more.

You battle inside a variety of rooms where a door will only open after you’ve defeated all the enemies. It feels like the developers were heavily inspired by the arcade classic Smash TV. There’s even random chests that scurry onto the battlefield, offering character upgrades like immunity and the ability to run faster.

When you die, you wake up back in town, ready to spend your Demon Goop- which you collect by killing the aforementioned villains. You can only build your character by returning to Hellside, and purchasing upgrades to your weapons, or increasing your speed and resilience. Bardtholomew Bardcakes, your trusty igor-esque assistant is also there to provide you with an in-game guide to bad guys and strategies.

After that, you can continue the journey from an obelisk near the cave, where you can return to a checkpoint you’ve reached. The game offers three continues from these checkpoints, so make sure you’re powerful enough before attempting the same area twice. Failure to know your limits will cost you not just time, but Goop and your continues.

The bosses are as imaginative as the quirky minions, including a Tyrannosaurus Rex with a rocket pack and marching wooden robots. The boss battles are uncommon, because waves of normal enemies also come out of the woodworks to stop you. Focus too much on the boss, and you won’t have weapons. Focus on the enemies, your health with slowly deplete as the boss remains untouched. There’s a real balance between using half of your weaponry on the boss, and the other on obtaining further weapons.

The game’s art style is simplistic, and is reminiscent of cartoony games like Earthbound or Monkey Island. There’s a real charm to the simplistic and yet overly complex details of all the characters and models. Each has their own particular look and design and they all somehow work, albeit sometimes the tone of the game can be disjointed.

Running through the dungeon, trying to keep your streak going in order to keep your energy up- it provides a separate element that other top-down hack and slash dungeon crawlers don’t afford. If you’re bothered by a little grinding in your action RPGs, this outing might not be your cup of tea- but for those who don’t mind the slow build of a hard challenge, this may be right up your alley.

The game is scheduled for release on April 29th for the PC and Mac, and will offer Steam Achievements, full controller support with mapping options and leaderboards. It will be sold for $9.99, as revealed by the developer on Steam’s message board. You can expect the team here at Mouse N Joypad to give it a full review, closer to release.