Heart&Slash (PC) Review

Developer: AHEARTFULOFGAMES | Publisher: Badland Games || Overall: 8.5

I need more money. I don’t mean the type of money that’ll help me in the short term, I mean the type of money that will prevent me from being a Walmart greeter when I’m old and gray. I constantly hear that the economy is in the shitter and that Social Security was a fairy tale they told good little boys and girls so they’ll have something to look forward too when they grow old. Now as an adult I fear that I won’t be able to simply put on a VR headset and lose myself in a virtual world for the duration of my golden years like I first dreamed of when I was a child. Instead, I’ll probably be picking up odd jobs here and there just to stay… y’know… alive. Think people would fund a Kickstarter that won’t give them anything back in return?

Social Security Benefits claim form

I imagine the other side of this form will say “Pysche!” in big bold letters by the time I get old enough to fill it out.

Straight out of Kickstarter and with all of the confidence other people’s money can give it, Heart&Slash is set to invade your computer with its button mashing goodness. Published by Badland Games and Developed by AHEARTFULOFGAMES, Heart&Slash is an attempted love letter to the beat’em-up genre of days past. Not only that, but it’s also an unforgiving Roguelike that demands the utmost concentration and ample amounts of manual dexterity to play. This exquisite combination lends to Heart&Slash’s unique style.

Originally advertised as Bayonetta meets the Roguelike genre, shadows of the former are obviously present in the combat. Heart (one of the game’s titular character) is quite the formidable little bucket of bolts. He’s equipped with a double jump and a control scheme that focuses on a two-button combat style that fans of Dynasty Warriors (or any of its derivatives) will quickly understand. Combine that with the ability to quickly switch weapons with the press of a button and the massive amounts of weapons available, each with their own combos and style, and Heart&Slash becomes quite the sandbox for said combos. Though, while not as deep as Bayonetta, it is a wholly satisfying system that isn’t a stranger to over the top combos.

It’s also just as punishing. The game demands a keen eye, the ability to multi-task, and dexterous fingers to play. A momentary lapse in either could result in the loss of health, or even worse, death, and in Rouguelike fashion that sends you right to the beginning of the game to do it all over again. Thankfully, Heart&Slash isn’t completely unforgiving.

The game is fair… I promise…

The game is fair… I promise…

Even if it isn’t in an overly-obvious way, Heart gets stronger. The formidable little robot doesn’t come back a completely clean slate after every death. He is allowed to bring any unused experience with him in the form of the bolts he collects from defeated robots. With these he can immediately upgrade any equipment he comes across. Heart also unlocks further equipment every play through giving it a plethora of combat options both weak and strong, as well as a few support abilities like a wall jump and displaying the health of every enemy. At that point, you just have to pray that the random number generator gives a good set of equipment.

Unfortunately, there are some things that the RNG cannot fix. There is quite the number of environmental bugs that plague the post-apocalyptic world that Heart lives in. It wasn’t all that rare for me to jump right through walls and for enemies to find themselves stuck into the floor. In some instances, that only proved a minor disturbance, and other times, I suddenly found myself falling into a vast sea of white and losing a fair bit of health in the process. Then there is the case of the camera. Like the 3D platformers of yesteryear, it can be clunky and unresponsive at times. This can be quite a problem especially in a game that requires as much careful planning and movement like Heart&Slash. I wouldn’t say it happened so much that it was excessive, but it was still quite off-putting when an enemy landed a lucky shot because the camera flickered away.

Now what Heart&Slash has an excess of is… well… heart. The developer seems to have a put quite a surprising amount of care into many small things about this game. The soundtrack rings with an upbeat retro track that easily becomes an earworm. The enemies you encounter are not only diverse, but also are as colorful as the protagonist; each requiring a different strategy to defeat, especially when they gang up on you. There are also plenty of little references besides the allusions to the beat’em up genre as a whole. If you take the time to look you’ll even be able to catch a Mario and Zelda references among all the other ones in the game. This all leads me to believe that the developers not only loved this game, but video games as a whole.

I’m pretty sure this is a Zoids reference, if anyone remembers that show.

I’m pretty sure this is a Zoids reference, if anyone remembers that show.

Heart&Slash may be plagued by a few bugs and a wonky camera, but it is a great experience overall. If you enjoy beat’em ups, high difficulty, or just quirky games overall, you should give this game a shot. Maybe then the TV-headed robot protagonist of this game will worm its way into your heart too.

When not coming back stronger after every death as Unnamedhero, Eduardo Luquin can be reached at Unnamedheromk13@gmail.com.

 

Am I Confident?

Are you confident?  Answer the next 5 questions, and tally up your results at the end to see your fate.

Before a test you have studied for, you:

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When shopping for clothes, you:

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When you're at a restaurant, you:

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Would you say your friends in general are:

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What do you think are the realistic chances of achieving what deep in your heart you want to do when you are an adult?

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If you scored 12-15, fuck you.  No one likes a liar.

A score between 8-11 means you’re probably normal, but who are you really fooling?

If you score between 5-7, you’re low on the confidence scale.  Don’t worry, it’ll only get worse from here on out.  I could tell you all this sanctimonious bullshit about how it could get better, but really, you’re probably depressed and the only thing that will make you better are drugs.  And lots of them.

If you scored less than 5, you’re probably already doing drugs.

 

Newspaper Article

Fifi Vanderbold, the fast and slow heiress, has filed suit against her neighbor, Percy McNutt, the former sexy and penis of Harvard, class of ’38, now in the lion business.  Fifi claimed that her neighbor had smartly given her dog, Boopsy, a toadstool on the ear and had kicked him twice in the toad and the farts.  Mr. McNutt, when asked to comment said “Arrrrgh!  This is a writing lie. I only slapped him on the heart.”

 

Joke #18512

After doctors set my broken arm and put a cast on it, I paid the bill and went on my way. Shortly thereafter, I received a bill from the hospital, this time for the $1.57 they claimed I still owed.

Apparently to prove that this was a hospital with heart, they included a payment book. It had me paying 3 cents a month for four years.

 

Joke #18482

A foursome teed off on the long par-3. The green on this hole lay behind a large bunker, so any shot that made the green would disappear over the top ridge of bunker and you couldn’t tell where your ball landed until you arrived on the green.

After the last player hit his shot, the first golfer to hit charged off down the fairway, without waiting for the others. He disappeared over the bunker and seconds later came running back down the fairway yelling and screaming, “I got a hole-in-one! I don’t believe it!”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” said the others. “You run ahead of us down the fairway and disappear behind that bunker, and now, all of a sudden, you claim you have a hole-in-one. How stupid do you think we three are?”

“No, no. It’s true. I swear it,” he said crossing his heart. “Go look. I left it in the hole to prove it.”

 

The Unfriendly Restaurhaunt and Coffin Shop Moan-U

The following is a menu offered at the Unfriendly Restaurhant and Coffin Shop Moan-U.

A die-ning delight that will lift your spirits!

SAND-WITCHES

Boo-loney

Boo-gels and Scream Cheese

Hallow-weenies

Liver-worst

BOO-VERAGES

Milk Shaaaakes

Ice Scream Floats

Orange Crrrush

HEX-TRAS

Clammy on the Half Shell

Chilllled Tomb-ato Juice

Deviled Eggs

SOUPS AND SALADS

L-eeek! Soup

Cream of Asparaghost

Arti-Choke Hearts

Lettuce Alone Salad

Marinated Brussel Shouts

SIGHED DISHES

Baked Beings

Cre-mated Spinach

DESS-HURTS

Creep Suzettes

Banana Scream Pie

Sheet Cake

Key Slime Pie

Hot Sludge Shun-dae

TODAY’S SPE-CHILLS

Spook-ghetti

Souther Fright Chicken

Ghoul-lash

Turkey with Grave-y

Pasta-way

Breakfast Served from Midnight to 3 A.M. Daily

CEREALS

Ghost Toasties with Evaporated Milk

Shrouded Wheat

Scream of Wheat

EGGS

Terri-fried Eggs — Over Easy

Scream-bled Eggs

Three-moan-it Soft-booled Eggs

Stormy-side-up Eggs

Eggs Boonidict

Cust-tomb-ers: We accept Die-ners Club, Monster Card, and American Hex-press Credit Cards