If this is what going to hell is like, then I can’t wait to die. Sometimes I give myself false hope by accepting concepts in virtual reality as factual substitutes for the real world and its lame composition. Should this perspective be appealing to you, follow me into the shadowy, low-resolution depths of Devil Daggers. There is a home for you there, and it’s infested by hordes of demonic filth.
Devil Daggers combines two of my favorite pastimes:
- Throwing magical daggers at things
When playing a fast-paced, arena style game, the first thing I’m thinking of is Quake. A typical death match finds me constantly running, dying a ton, and swearing a lot. None of my habits differed when playing Devil Daggers. I still screamed, frantically whipped the mouse around and died many deaths. I knew it was all over when it began, with a dark arena, not-so-distant distance fog and a floating dagger. Touching the blade, I was banished to a small floating stone isle in the abyss. A short moment passes, and I’m swarmed by floating skulls. This little bunch has come to be after being birthed out of a mutant leviathan-esque monolith, which I will from here on out refer to as “Skull Mommies”. The skulls are cannon fodder if you train yourself to circle around them, but beware incoming swarms that flank you if you’re not paying attention. Skull Mommies can be killed by shooting its single red gem on the side. Time your shots right, as it constantly rotates clockwise. This obviously stops the birth process (a nice way of putting it). Each swarm is a accompanied by a lieutenant skull which is differentiated by its ram horns. This LT is just there to look cute and wander around suffering from vertigo (I caught it doing somersaults a few times as if trying to wrestle the stone tile floor), and poses little threat since it hardly ever gives chase, and will more often just wait for the played to run into it. This stage will last for about half a minute til the Super Skull Mommies and Giant Spiderpusses arrive to the party. Super Skull Mommies have TWO gems that you have to shoot, and the Giant Spiderpusses can withdraw from sight and spawn baby bio-luminescent spiders, more friends!
Devil Daggers’ arcade appeal is enhanced by the automatically-tracked leaderboard, where you can compare your score to either your Steam friends, or the global accomplishments. Ultimately, it’s ranked by how many seconds you’ve survived. After dying countless times, I finally decided that if I’m to beat DraQu’s stupid crazy high score of 612 seconds, a feat which can be witnessed here, I’m going to need a strategy. Learning all the abilities of the player character would have been a great place to start, but I’m too smart. Never have I read the manuals, so I’ve always learned by playing and trying things out. This is a great way to miss a lot of the techniques available to the player, which I’ve accepted, and since have moved on to the future. Less Skull Mommies means less Skull Babies swarming me (and fewer wandering LT’s trying to find a way to clip through the floor). I began targeting those monolithic mothers, putting an end to their baby-spewing spree, and lessening my paranoia for what could be chasing me. That works GREAT until you’re about a minute in and there are four+ Skull Mommies, three or more Super Skull Mommies (could be more but I couldn’t see anything but floating skulls), and two, maybe three Giant Spiderpusses roaming the arena. Then take into account all the Baby Spiders, Skull Swarms and LT Skulls zipping around. There’s one more mobile enemy I neglected to mention, the Super Laughing LT Skulls that follow you with tenacious intent accuracy. Nothing assures you that you’re in hell more than laughing, floating skulls with ram horns. By the end of my first session, I only achieved a slightly above-average score of 78 seconds.
I jumped into this game without much knowledge of how the game plays, other than what I was told by a friend (whose high score I beat so take that!). The less I know about a new game I’m playing, the better, which is something I’ve eventually constituted into my morals. This allows me a more fresh experience, and not knowing what to expect tends to make playing the game much more fun. So maybe I didn’t know about the dagger jump which is a technique I learned about after playing the game, but I do love dying, and that was enough to sell this IP to me. I’m no master (yet) but I do have enough experience to wholeheartedly recommend antiperspirant before playing. Wiping your armpits while running from a laughing skull is essentially you begging for those ram horns to make a new home in a place I’m only allowed to allude to in a very obscure manner.
Running on a custom-built engine, Sorath’s Devil Daggers is a solid game in terms of style, gameplay, and sound. It allows the player excellent control over the character, and effectively sets the stage for the player to tune everything out and involve themselves in some hellish fun. With all the daggers squirted from my fingers, the laughing skulls trying to bite my nethers and the humiliation of actually falling off the floating isle, I’ve made my assessment on Devil Daggers.
Smooth performance, excellent sound and masterful gameplay mechanics. The only thing that could push this title to a perfect 10/10 would be additional content, such as more enemy types or technique pickups. If you love throwing knives at things and dying as much as I do, you belong with us down here in the abyssal depths of Devil Daggers.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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