(Gamer Geeks) Rogue Legacy Review

Rogue Legacy is a 2D sidescrolling roguelike that was released on June 27, 2013 for Microsoft Windows, October 16, 2013 for Mac and Linux, and July 29, 2014 on PS3, PS4, and Vita. This review is for the Vita, but it should translate well to any system.

Aside from a short tutorial at the beginning, it doesn't seem to emphasize the story. Throughout your playthroughs, you encounter journal entries around the castle that flesh out the story. The main foyer of the castle also contains a massive doorway with recesses for the 'bosses' so it's possible there's a true story that I have yet to truly find.

The gameplay is solid. The enemies move predictably enough to plan out your attacks, while your character moves just slowly enough at times that if you miss a strike, you can easily die. And you will die. The game is designed around using the money you gain on each dungeon run to upgrade your character's stats. Further, the game has a system that keeps you from banking your money: before you enter the dungeon, you encounter an NPC named 'Charon' who takes all of your money - which can be lessened by the aforementioned character upgrades. Given this, you need to be mindful of your upgrades before entering each time. If you don't find enough gold in each run before you die, you're forced to start over with no money.


When you begin, you get to choose between three randomly generated characters. They have a randomly generated class (which determines how you play each run), a randomly generated spell (though if your class is archmage, you can switch between spells) and randomly generated traits. Some traits are meaningless, while others change the way the character plays. Alzheimer's, for example, make it so your character can't use the map setting - however the normal in-game minimap works as intended. Dwarfism makes you really tiny, and Gigantism makes you huge. However, Flexible and Clumsy in the above image appear to have no real use. Some traits are awesome to have (ADHD makes you move faster and OCD gives you MP for breaking objects) while others are annoying (Near and Farsightedness make some portion of your screen blurry, and Dementia makes you see enemies that aren't there), but all of them brings a new flavor to each playthrough.  You can have at most 2 traits, or as few as none, so each new heir keeps things exciting.

You start out with a few classes available, and you unlock other classes through gold. Each class also has a boosted version, which have a special ability that makes them unique - the Barbarian King, for example can shout (reminiscent of the Unrelenting Force shout from Skyrim, which is an amusing nod to that series). Once you choose your class, you begin on the manor screen, where you buy character upgrades. After running by your vendors and paying your toll to Charon, you're on. Each dungeon is randomly generated, though you can pledge some money to a vendor to keep a certain layout. Unfortunately, I'm not too familiar with this feature, but the idea is spectacular.

The dungeon itself is divided into 4 distinct sections: The Castle, The Tower, The Forest and The Dungeon. Each area has a certain level range within it, with The Castle being the lowest. Each area also contains a boss which, when defeated, does not respawn. This makes death a little bit easier to complete your mission...if you can survive the journey to the next boss.

The best thing about this game is that it was cross-buy and cross-save, which means you get three games in one and you can play on any system at any time and keep your current status. This made the $16.99 price tag worth it for me.

Final Verdict: Buy.  The first bit of the game is annoying, but once you get a handle on the enemies and survival, it makes the rest of the game fall into line relatively easily.  I've never been a big fan of roguelikes, but this kept me entertained for hours, so I'm curious about trying other roguelikes in the future.