Seeing Konami be the publisher of a title in today’s age is certainly startling, let alone seeing them publish a rogue-like. Coupled with astonishment, however, is delight because GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon is a legitimately enjoyable experience so far, though there are some rather pressing concerns I have after playing for a while.
GetsuFumaDen has players traverse several procedurally generated stages containing various loot, warp points, and many enemies. The gameplay loop is fairly manageable to parse, with the simple objective being to progress forward while defeating bosses and collecting continually better gear.
Combat itself is fluid since the swings of each weapon all feel distinct and impactful. There is also a dodge-roll which is effective and gets the job done. Generally speaking, I found myself getting easily hooked on attempting playthrough after playthrough.
However, some combative issues start to rear their heads the longer you play. The most pressing issue I personally had was how the game’s art style was sometimes a bit too flashy for its own good. Don’t get me wrong; I find the art direction in this title absolutely superb.
Still, when fighting enemies in particularly narrow passageways, it became needlessly strenuous to identify what exactly was going on. The visual flair from swings and other moves bleed into each other in tight areas, making the game too embedded within its picturesque appeal instead of honing in on practicality.
Additionally, I found ranged weapons to be far too broken. Bows, grenades, and other similar projectile spewing attacks can eliminate foes absurdly quickly. They do have recharge meters, though that caveat comes off as too light of a trade-off to make them fair. It is even humorously painless to camp on a ledge and spam projectiles with no drawback whatsoever.
Level design is arguably where I find the title to be at its weakest. Regardless of the visual differences separating areas, those are merely superficial on their own when the stale repetitiveness of each screen is taken into account. The same ledges, crevices, and hallways quickly become familiar. There is not enough variety between each screen for the sense of progression to really pronounce itself, so that can be a game-ruiner if the player is too perturbed by this facet.
One last critique I’ll bring up is how oddly long it takes to upgrade the protagonist and the weapons. Materials needed for upgrades are obtained from treasure chests and defeating enemies, but the excessive costs make the act of upgrading even one trait an arduous affair. I don’t mind having to grind for upgrades; it’s just too severe in this case, especially for the game’s very beginning.
I know I painted GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon through a mercilessly negative lens. Still, I promise that there is an exemplary rouge-like here waiting to be polished underneath all these muddled mishaps. This game houses an unforgettable art style and classical premise, which clearly boasts a robust standout identity.
The combat and mechanics need to be polished for this to be an unquestionable purchase, though. As it stands, I find the price point of GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon a tad too steep to recommend to any interested crowd wholeheartedly. Even so, this is an early-access title, so if you are enthralled by what this game offers and are aware of its current release state, it’s worth giving a try. Above all else, I find it quite a joy to play, and I’m hoping for at least some of my critiques to be addressed in the future.
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