A Mobile Demo from Digige Expo
Game Details and Transcript of Review
Check out the game on the dev's Unity Room page.
Today I'd like to introduce an alpha showcased at Digige Expo 2017. It's an action RPG with a musou feel called Black Blood Breaker by the indie developer Hamazaki Factory. The company focuses on mobile game development, which is still kind of rare to see at events, but we're lucky that there's a playable demo of 5 stages available on the dev's Unity Room site. These include an intro to the game, 2 fully playable areas, and 2 boss-rush stages.
I encourage you to mess around with it, but be aware that it's not completely compatible with all browsers. I first tried it with limited success using Firefox, but had better luck with Chrome and--I can't believe I'm going to say this-- Microsoft Edge. The URL can be found on the Daedalus Machine website.
Anyhoo, Black Blood Breaker is a fairly standard hack n slash title. The stages are short, roughly 5 minutes from start to boss, and consist of a series of interconnected, monster infested rooms that the player must clear in order to advance, similar in style to Gauntlet Slayer Edition.
Each stage appears to have multiple paths to the boss, and each path contains slightly different enemies and treasures that can be found.
There are limited RPG elements to the game as well. In addition to a leveling system, the player can randomly find various weapons and armor in treasure chests or as rewards for stage completion. The weapons can be strengthened through items, and each type of weapon appears to be tied to a particular special attack. I've found a dark element type weapon whose special both stuns enemies and heals the main character, a light type weapon whose special attacks surrounding enemies around the main character, and a third whose type I'm unclear on but whose special provides a knock back effect. All skills can be charged to three levels, and it's fairly easy to tell when you've got a can of whoop-ass to unleash because the character is surrounded by a rather obvious, and slightly annoying, magic symbol.
Armor in the game is also found in chests or as rewards, and they have the added benefit of changing the main character's skin. I've found a few so far, like this goth-loli get up, or these stereotypical-has-to-be-in-every-Japanese-game-with-a-female-playable-character threads, the schoolgirl uniform.
There are also gems that can be found, but I'm uncertain as to their use. Since the game is destined for mobile, they may serve as currency to purchase items and equipment, particularly if Hamazaki Factory intends to put this out under the freemium model -- something I'll be sure to ask in my interview.
I'm not really going to go too much into the game mechanics, simply because the game is still in development. Like demos shown at Comiket, what we see at this stage of the project is not necessarily how the finished product will perform. Case in point: the game's target platform is mobile, and that can't be replicated with the controller interface necessary to play the Unity Room demo. That said, there are a few things that I expect to be tweaked prior to launch. Damage calculation needs balancing, for one. During the course of play I only died once, and it was by a single attack even though I was at full health; on the other hand, I happened to do the same to a boss or two. Speaking of attacking, range is an issue that needs addressing as well. In addition to not being able to move or change direction easily while attacking, you really have to be violating an enemy's personal space in order to damage them -- we're talking Edward Hall's intimate distance here.
One thing that does worry me is the replayability factor of the game. Talking to the dev at Digige, it seems that the game will be comprised of set maps rather than be procedurally generated. Now this is speculation but, if the game goes freemium players will need to grind the same stages in order to accumulate currency. This could just be me, but if I’m going to do the same thing over and over again, I’d prefer that it involve a glass and a bottle of good sake.
Ultimately, these things will get fixed in post. So check out the demo while it's available, and leave comments below with your take on the game. Otherwise, stay tuned for my interview with Hamazaki Factory.
Thanks for watching!