Rogue Legacy (Playstation Ports)

"If you've never plumbed the depths of Castle Hamson, I can't recommend the PlayStation versions of Rogue Legacy enough."

I have a soft spot for post-Symphony of the Night-style Castlevania games. Whether it's something hardwired into my brain or the result of way too many hours spent grinding demons for souls only to end up with six thousand melons and jars of rotten milk, I can't say. What I do know is that I never had any warm fuzzy feelings hiding in the back of my heart when it came to roguelikes. As someone who spent much of his early gaming days hunting down adventures with persistent progression and in-depth storylines (and avoiding Diablo II's hardcore mode like the plague), the notion of an entire style of game that robbed me on death of my hard-earned levels, magic, and equipment seemed absurd. However, as free time has dwindled and my craving for ever more maddening challenges (Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix level 1 critical mode run says what) has grown, I've developed a new itch only scratchable by the house that Rogue built. Alongside my love for 60-hour plot-driven progression-fests, roguelikes have quickly become one of my favorite subgenres.

And then along came Rogue Legacy, singing a song which rang sweet to my love for both styles of game.

My fellow editor/human Rob Steinman had plenty to say about the original PC version of Cellar Door's excellent "rogue-lite," and I'd agree with nearly all of it. Rogue Legacy is addictive, challenging, and funny from start to finish, melding the "just one more try" and careful assimilation of critical play skills of a roguelike with an in-depth progression system that reassures the player with a compelling amount of persistence in character power and equipment. However, I'm guessing you're here to find out if the recently-released PlayStation versions are as delicious as their PC counterparts. Here's the short version: yes.

For starters, there's the very persuasive argument that purchasing a copy of Rogue Legacy on any of Sony's platforms nets it for you across all three. Got a PS3 in one room, a Vita in your backpack/briefcase/murse, and a PS4 in the living room? You've got Rogue Legacy on all of them, and with the addition of a mostly painless cross-save process, this has been the first game to really impress me with its cross-platform compatibility. Do a few runs before bed on Vita, get up in the morning, do a few more on PS4 before work, and (almost) never worry about syncing your save data. There were a few bumps in my road to getting started, including one in which my data wouldn't update right away to the server and another involving some confusing and inconsistent verbiage on the "would you like to sync to the server" prompts on the PS4 and Vita , but by and large the cross-save functionality works, and works well.

Control on all platforms works great: the PS3 and PS4 pads are great for this style of game, and the Vita version's no slouch either. Remote play also works well, although is admittedly a little redundant, since if you own the PS4 version, you own the native Vita version as well. You'll see the same sights looking just as crisp as they ever did on PC, and the game's slammin' soundtrack is intact and unchanged, too. There was some occasional slowdown in the Vita version (when lots of screen filters and projectiles showed up on screen), but it was minimal and never interfered with the action in my experience. There's also the case of the text being a wee bit small on Vita; an option to scale up the UI or at least the text itself would have been welcome.

If you've never plumbed the depths of Castle Hamson, I can't recommend the PlayStation versions of Rogue Legacy enough. It's a game with a big heart and the mechanics to back it up. If you've already played on PC, there's not much new you haven't experienced (unless you missed out on the game's free update a few months ago, which is included here) other than some great quality-of-experience enhancements specific to the platforms. In either case, your entry fee nets you three quality versions of a fantastic game, and the ability to easily bounce between each. That shouldn't upset anyone's IBS.

© 2014 Cellar Door Games, Abstraction Games, Cellar Door Games. All rights reserved.