Do you pine for the days of good old graphics? Remember when it was possible to count pixels and and polygons? Remembers Gamer Assault Weekly. Badlands Games and aheartfulofgames have produced something beautiful and fun that I just can’t seem to put down, all kidding aside though. Heart & Slash is a new game that brings together hours of frustrating difficulty, amazing colors, and a wealth of weapons, armor / parts of the body, and characters.
There isn’t too much to say as far as the tale goes. It takes place at a time when all humans are apparently gone and you’re going to fight like Heart, a robot, trying to escape the grip of mindless machines. You meet Slash along the way. Naturally, Heart seeks to capture Slash’s attention through several playthroughs for the game’s namesake. This is not always an easy task, since Slash is a “rough veteran.” With my lack of good and random weapons, I’ve been taken out by Slash a number of times. During each playthrough, players have a couple of opportunities to define how the relationship evolves. It’s pretty much that. Otherwise, the game is just a game of endless runner type hack & slash (GET IT?!).
Heart & Slash’s gameplay is what makes this game so much fun. The gameplay is incredibly easy to pick up, very difficult to put down, and extremely difficult to get through, despite the story being simple. ‘Permideath’ is implemented by Heart & Slash, which basically means, “If you die, you start over, from the start,” and it happens … a lot. I found myself reliving yesteryear’s games where this was normal and it made me determined to continue going on. The best part of dying is changing the game every time you start over. In her building, the maps are completely random. With every game, all the weapons and bosses you encounter change as well. Heart & Slash is fantastically addictive.
You unlock better weapons and equipment as you continue on and on, some of which are amazing, and others not so much. To make you stronger and change the gameplay, all the items you pick up can be upgraded. For Captain America’s shield, a shotgun, and a rocket hammer, items can be as common as a trashcan lid (shield) and a steel sword. Don’t like the combo, huh? How about a sword of fire, boxing gloves, and a jetpack? With each play through, it’s all possible.
The style of pixelated art is something simplistic and lovely to behold. The difficulty curve sets the old-school gaming bar and the style of art holds it as you play there. The palate of color is amazing and bright.
Sometimes, if I had to pick something that really got on my nerves, it was the camera angles. I was hit with a giant hammer or cut down by a giant with a chainsaw more than I care to admit, just because I was stuck on a guardrail that I couldn’t see. Or there happened to be a flying baddie that I couldn’t get silent because the camera angle’s top view or automatic zoom kept making me jump over / under to try and bash them. The controls can be a bit aggravating, but the game is a testament to genius in general.
The music is catchy, although a bit repetitive (especially when you’re dying so much for the first couple of hours). It doesn’t matter so much, as I said before since the gameplay is so much fun. Do a favor for yourself and pick up Heart & Slash. Especially if you’re a retro gaming fan, you will keep coming back for more to clean up the Robopocalypse with the graphics, art, and difficulty curve.