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In Celebration of Violence Review

In Celebration of Violence Review

In Celebration of Violence is impenetrable. This is done with purpose. Their intention is to drive a sense of exploration. There’s no story cohesion. Nothing that gives purpose. Zero direction where to go. It’s lacking incentive to play. Except to say you finished the game. Only basic information is revealed, like the
controls. If that sounds hopeless then this is not your
game. But if you need a challenge and want cryptic. Well, keep watching! This game has sprouted from a seed of secrecy. The only mechanics explained to the player
are the buttons etched on the floor in the starting area. While I find it to be a nuisance others are
going to love it. Those who scoff at a game when it coddles
a player. Yet, the same people who need to know about
the game do not need spoilers. So I’m going to try. To try and not spoil it too much. But, everything I say could be considered
a spoiler when a game has more secrets than a secret society. In Celebration of Violence holds onto its
secrets for a long time too. It reveals information in only tiny bits at
a time. It’s a serious hurdle. Even the items! For example, you can only see the name of
the item when you first find it. Pick it up and only a few characters of the
description become visible. You need to collect the item several times
before you’ll get the entire text. It’s an interesting way to prolong the air
of mystery. Most games try this and bail on the idea long
before In Celebration of Violence does. For me, this only drags out trying to figure
out how to play. Some items are so subtle it’s difficult to
know what they do. I hoped picking up an item enough would help
me figure it out before seeing the full text. For players who want to cling to the secrets
than this will entice them. If you’re still interested in the game then
you must consider the combat. It’s more important than any game mysteries. Comparing the combat the Dark Souls is a must
because In Celebration of Violence claims it’s like The Binding of Isaac and Dark Souls
got smushed together. Anyway, In Celebration of Violence borrows
the two most important elements from Dark Souls. Heavy reliance on a stamina meter and the
health flask. Although in this game the flask, or Surge,
has an effect on the world. The stamina meter is as you expect, drops
as you swing your weapon. Even more if the weapon is bigger. Even more if you hit a wall. So try not to do that. But, it’s interesting how much the game changes
when you’re out in the open vs underground tunnels. Running out of stamina has gotten me into
so much trouble. Anyway, the character has a dodge and a block. Both are useful in different situations and
you need use both to survive. But, of course, they use some of the stamina
meter. Worrying about stamina in a game that relates
itself to Dark Souls, who would have guessed? The human enemies follow the same rules you
do. They move slow and attack slow. Still, the combat is stressful. A wrong move and you’ll have regrets. Nothing is a freebie. Most of my deaths are from running in too
fast without checking all my surroundings. I have a difficult time with the top down
viewpoint. After playing Streets of Rogue this game feels
not as smooth. I swing and miss a lot more. In Celebration of Violence is a lot more realistic. For example, Streets of Rogue jumps you forward
when you swing a melee weapon which make it a lot easier to land a hit. You don’t need to judge distance. But In Celebration of Violence has no such
step forward so where you’re standing is where you’ll swing. It’s makes you a lot more careful with your
actions. I also have a difficult time with critters. Bats, rats, mice, and spiders are a nightmare. They move quick and nibble at your health. It’s frustrating! But, it lands in the “Git Gud” category. Which means there’s a lot to learn. Learning each of the enemies movements and
how to handle them. What they’re going to do and how to avoid
taking damage. You don’t have a choice because running away
is impossible. There’s more depth to the combat and I don’t
want to reveal too much. But there is magic in this world and you can
pick up spells. There’s also shrines where you can trade inventory
and health for buffs. Both require a decision to be made if it’s
worth it. It opens up different ways to play and you’ll
make different decisions depending on your current situation. Always good to have more branching paths that
give the player the power to decide. In Celebration of Violence can put the player
in some weird situations. Such as, I had a cursed battering ram. Every time I swung it would remove one hp. But it hit from so far away it was useful. What do you do? Stop using the battering ram?! The game puts you in a lot of different situations. Each run is unique even though there’s always
a similar collection of enemies. Each run is about collecting different spells,
weapons, and items. Then seeing how far you can make it with what
you scrounged together. This includes what you lose too. I threw a dagger and missed the enemy and
it feel to the ground. As the enemy retaliated they hit my dagger
and destroyed it. How the heck am I supposed to overcome that!? Ugh! Side note, there’s a hunger meter and your
actions effect it. So far I’ve not had problems finding food
but I’ve been concerned. Another mechanic that’s against you. Anyway, you start as a peasant. It even comes with a pitchfork! You can unlock new classes but I have no idea
how. So far I’ve unlocked a criminal class but
as far as I know it was magic. Now, the stats between the classes are only
slightly different. It’s impossible to know how how much it really
matters. What’s important is that they start with different
weapons. I prefer the criminal’s load out. The character select screen is also where
you upgrade the global stats. So no matter where you dump the points it
counts for any class you choose. This is where you’ll be spending the experience
you collect each run. But it’s not so straightforward. There’s a catch. Actually, there’s three catches. One. Experience is used to buy everything. This includes spells and items on the run. So saving it all isn’t going to work. Spending it all isn’t going to work either. Two. You only get to keep some of the experience
at the end of the run. The game tells you how violent you are and
then awards you experience. At least you get something for dying. Three. You can bank experience after defeating a
boss. This is how I’ve been gaining the bulk of
my experience. But banking it means you won’t have any to
carry over to the next area. So while banking it might help your long term
chances it makes the game harder. It can be painful to come across an item you
want and not have any experience to buy it. Then again dying with a lot of experience
on your character is wasteful. Pick your poison. With this system In Celebration of Violence
is a grind. Many of my runs feel exactly the same. Get to one point, bank all my experience,
and die. I feel stuck. The little bits of experience I do get to
spend between runs feels like slow progress. It doesn’t seem like I’m getting powerful. I know that on a long enough timeline I will
be strong enough to finish the game. It’s a lot like how Rogue Legacy handled the
difficultly. The longer you play the easier the game gets. This isn’t a negative mark against the game
but for players who despise the grind you’ve been warned. While I only played In Celebration of Violence
alone a co-op mode was added in the last update. Sorry I can’t speak to that there’s no way
I can trick my wife into playing this Overall, In Celebration of Violence is worth
your time if you don’t mind the grind. I found I would hesitate to start a new run. But once on the run I would be completely
into it. It’s difficult to ignore the slow progress. Deaths feel more frustrating than fun. Still, learning the systems and living through
deadly situations is fun. If you only want a little help there are some
good guides in the Steam community hub. They helped me get past that initial confusion.

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