Skul: The Hero Slayer, Review: The Power Reaches To The Bone
We get into an action roguelite with a simple story, but with very different mechanics thanks to the multiple characters available.
On January 21, Skul: The Hero Slayer, version 1.0 was released after spending about 10 months in Early Access on Steam. This 2D action roguelite has already been well received and had over 7,000 views with a very positive rating, no doubt something we understand because it is a video game that leaves you with a very good taste in your mouth. Developed by SouthPAW Games and published by NEOWIZ, we get to know Skul more, a lonely little skeleton saved from capture in an attack on his kingdom. Thanks to him, we embark on a story full of action, fast and frantic combat and mission: confront the Imperial Army and rescue our king. But if we want to point out something very interesting about the game it is the great variety of characters that, thanks to the skulls we find during the game will turn another skeleton that is completely different for us. However, on the difficulty we will always rely on the RNG of the game, which is not yet well balanced.
Skul: The Hero Slayer tells a simple story, not very innovative, but with an interesting plot: mankind has just attacked the castle of the Demon King, even though it is something that used to happen and is nothing new. On this occasion, however, the adventurers decided to reunite with the Imperial Army and “Hero Carleon” launch an unprecedented attack on all demonic forces and try to eliminate them once and for all. By attacking the fort with a large number of troops, they managed to completely destroy it, capture all the demons and infect their territory with the dark quartz. But, we are lucky. Among all the demons, only one was saved, Skul, a lonely little skeleton who will undertake a quest to save his king and put an end to this corruption.
Quest to save the kingdom
Everything surprised our Skul character and this great responsibility was not expected to fall into their hands, which is why it will now be time to create a great hero, to Throw bone to bone and get rid of enemies who cross our path, all to become true heroes. The story will be told as we progress through each dungeon and sometimes through dialogue and other times with cinemas. These cutscenes will feature voices from Korea, but with a very polished Spanish translation.
In Skul: The Hero Slayer they knew how to create a roguelite that is different with each race, progressing gradually before it dies and being able to achieve a very satisfying progression curve, though it is a great challenge. We will have a relaxation area and a place where we will end when we are finished. In this place we will be able to do our operations before the next race and, we will have some NPCs who saved us and wanted to return to Demon King castle with us, as well as always giving us an extra item. Our character will have a limited inventory, but with a satisfying ability so that we can enjoy and / or think about what to include in the new adventure. This inventory will include a skull, Quintessence, and items.
The most interesting part of the game is the variety in the multiple characters we can get thanks to the different skulls we meet, always taking into account the luck of the game’s RNG. We can carry up to two skulls which we exchange at will with a brief cooldown, but this action will give us extra capacity afterwards. The skulls have original and very fun mechanics, in which they change our appearance and give us new abilities. There will be characters like The Rider, riding a motorcycle and lighting flames, Jester, who drops surprise boxes, or Rock Star, who attacks with his guitar while making a rock. Not all skulls will have the same “value,” as some will be considered normal and some great because of their appearance, ability, and stats within combat.
In fact, the artifact will fill those artifacts or things that we can find or buy in the store. There are a huge variety of things that will give us passive bonuses like more critical attack, more magic damage or reduced damage. The gaps as we said are limited, a total of nine, and between them we will have to swap throughout the race to build the best possible combo. And finally, quintessence, an element that will give us extra ability to do damage, is to be able to stay longer in the air or a shield that provides us with inviolability. This skill, like the skull skills, will be combined and brings more variety to the game providing a moderately fun experience.
Numerous characters with great gameplay
The game is based on one of the most important characteristics of roguelikes: maps that are changing and very demanding when we will not be able to lower our guard at any time, just as we will never know what awaits us in all of them. While there is not a large amount of biomass, the way the maps always prove to be different from each other, proves that each experience is also unique. As soon as we jump into the void, literally, we can find various doors that have a particular meaning: those on a skull, an object or a gold is our reward, Also shown will be those in the store or where we will be fighting against a minibus or the ultimate boss in that area. A tutorial was initially missing to understand these details. In each field there will be different enemies, with very similar abilities, but with a greater increase in difficulty. Thanks to all the skills explained above, we will create a fast and frantic combat, we can have a lot of fun using the combo we created in our inventory and using the skills properly.
In this fight for salvation we will gather various elements that will help us to improve our character. On the one hand, there is the gold that will only be used for in-store purchases or for exchanges with NPCs, but we will lose it as soon as they kill us.. There are also the bone fragments that will be used to improve the skulls, and they can improve them up to three times, this will provide great visual and skill improvement and will be lost after death. The only thing not to be missed is the dark quartz, a feature we find throughout the forts and when we die we can swap in the castle to improve a skill tree. Thanks to these enhancements, they will help Skul go much further in each round. One concern that challenges all races is the lack of the opportunity to save halfway and depart inside a fort, that is, if we need to close the game, we have to abandon our current race. What’s more, no matter where we die, we will always rethink at our core and always start from the first realm.
I Skul: The Slayer Hero we can enjoy highly polished pixel art with retro aesthetic and very attractive atmosphere. Each area is created with great detail and vivid colors that attract the player to enjoy their visual style. Undoubtedly the biggest thing that stands out in this game is the animations. They are all very well cared for, offering very good experiences in the usability of the character and in the explosion of combat. In no time you can create bursts of colors, numbers and skills that will please and inspire you to want more. The aesthetics of the skulls are a very original and fun theme, causing the player to want to get to know each of them in order to enjoy the animation and creation. As for music, this is a perfect fit for the game and offers orchestral music that is enjoyable as well as joyful.. It also allows the player to hear some useful details about the enemies as they go to attack, allowing to create a better combat strategy.
Fighting for salvation
Skul: The Hero Slayer is another example of a lovingly created indie video game that managed to launch roguelite with a lot of potential. It has a very strong combat with an excellent variety of gameplay thanks to the multiple characters that the different skulls offer us, as well as creating a gradual progress curve that will make you feel like you are progressing in this adventure. In addition, it has graphics and music that helps you stay in the game for hours and hours. However, due to its inequity of difficulty in thinking about the RNG, it may not be a perfect match. Nevertheless, thanks to his progress and the improvements to unlock each race, he encourages the player to enter it several times in the dunes to continue creating a true hero.