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 Pharaonic

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Pharaonic    Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:50 am

What if Dark Souls (the first) was a 2D game with cartoony graphics set in ancient Egypt? That's pretty much what Pharaonic is.

I've picked this up on a whim and played two hours so far and I'm loving it. As frustrating as it can be it's a very refreshing title that trades the doom and gloom with the freshness and evocative quality of Egypt at the time of the pharaohs.

The only weird thing is that you need to find magic stones to pay trainers so you can unlock skills. It makes levelling up less of a priority and losing your progress because of an untimely death less of an issue (although frankly it's still a pain).

The weakest part is the story which so far seems to be an excuse to showcase a number of fights. It's still fun though but I can see the potential for frustration if I ever get stuck in a tough spot. Razz


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PostSubject: Re: Pharaonic    Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:02 am

Yeah, ive been watching this one since release, it seemed quite nice but the Dark Souls comparisons put me off.
Dark Souls had superb art direction but the game design was trolling trash of the worst kind, so whenever i see DS comparisons i get wary.
Ironically i liked Lords of the Fallen a lot, it was heavily DS inspired but without the trolling.
I dont know where Pharaonic stands, its impossible to figure out from the videos.
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PostSubject: Re: Pharaonic    Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:51 am

From what I've played so far it's much less frustrating than both Dark Souls and Lords of the Fallen. I tried very hard to get into Dark Souls 1 (and 2), I loved the art and the atmosphere but the fact that there is absolutely no room for error grew old rather quickly for me. These days I play games to unwind and have fun, not to get riled up.

There are two sorts of games that annoy me, the ones in which the RNG keeps messing with me for no reason and the ones that will stack odds against me so much that the first mistake will prompt a loading screen. As much as getting screwed by the RNG sucks it's not that bad because I know it wasn't fair and it's not really my fault (worst case scenario it's possible to resort to save scumming to soldier through). But in Dark Souls it's not just about some random number, it's the simple fact that the game will punish you if (or rather when) you fail so in the end you can either blame the game or blame yourself (first for your mistake and then for buying the game).

I've been meaning to go back and play the first Dark Souls despite all that but I've felt Dark Souls 2 took things way too far and the grind really got to me. I did enjoy what I've played of Lords of the Fallen though -probably because of the "heavy" feel of the combat. I do intend to finish it someday I just need to find the motivation to do so.

My younger self would have had no problem dealing with that. When I was a teenager I used to play console games in which you couldn't save at all which meant that once you ran out of continues you had to start all over again... Back then PC games allowed us to save our progress but they didn't hold our hands. These days games are all about making it incredibly easy for the players and games like Dark Souls are successful because they do the opposite but it's the balance between difficulty and frustration that is at stake here.

So where does Pharaonic stand? It's hard for me to say right now after playing only five hours. All I can say is that it is much less frustrating and much more playable for me than either Dark Souls or Lords of the Fallen. Looking at the Steam page I saw they did update the game back in June and made it less of a hassle so that you can skip fights once you've unlocked an arena so if you have to go through the same path you don't have to go through all the same fights all over again to get to your destination. For now I'm enjoying it but I try not to obsess over it, play in short bursts and stop whenever I feel I'm getting nowhere.

The last thing I may add is that it is much easier to level up in this game. It may not be a walk in the park and it doesn't mean that you will get better skills (you have to spend gems for that) but getting a little more stamina and life can help. It is also much more straightforward because you don't have to rack your brains to decide where to spend your points and it's also a bit cheesy because dying right after you've levelled up doesn't come as such a bad thing since you won't lose much. All in all it feels much more forgiving but I will have to play a lot more before giving a definitive assessment of the difficulty of this game.

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