Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I turned to my computer for my gaming needs. Specifically, I was looking for a browser game to play. What I discovered was Wickebine Kigyouden.
While Wickebine Kigyouden is a browser game, the developer recommends downloading it to. They claim that the game will suffer from slowdown in some browsers. Not wanting to risk the trouble, I went ahead and downloaded it.
Wickebine Kigyouden is a Metroidvania type of game that will have players exploring various areas to defeat bosses. They’ll unlock new skills as they play and more areas will become available as they do. I wouldn’t say there’s as much secret stuff or restrictions as in other games of the genre, such as Metroid, Castlevania or Axiom Verge, but there are a few.
The base gameplay of Wickebine Kigyouden is incredibly solid. Players start out by distributing four points between their Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence stats. Strength makes attacks stronger and increases knock back, Dex increases attack speed and cool downs, and Intelligence affects magic damage and SP regeneration. Increasing each of the stats also allows players to equip better weapons, armors and accessories. Points for skills and stats are handed out when the player levels up.
The controls in Wickebine Kigyouden are also tight. There’s no floaty feeling in moves and everything is nice and clean. The only complaint I have is that players have to switch to the mouse when doing anything in a menu. This includes switching equipment, leveling up, browsing stores and more. It doesn’t feel like a smooth transition and is a bit of an inconvenience.
Players will run through castles, tundras and other environments. The base enemies, zombies, skeletons and the like, remain the same. However, there are also enemies that are specific to the different locations. Killing these offer experience, which is required to level up.
There are also several bosses in Wickebine Kigyouden to challenge the player. The only problem is that certain builds can make the game incredibly easy. I found a pair of boots that would cast a fire spell anytime I did a slam attack. After doing so, I bought the skill that lets me jump down on enemies to deal damage to them. This basically resulted in me just jumping on anything that got in my way until it died. It was easy to do too. The character bounces every time it hits the enemy, meaning I could keep the jump going almost indefinitely.
There’s a story to Wickebine Kigyouden, but it doesn’t really matter much. The NPCs even agree with this sentiment. One of them goes so far as to exclaim something along the lines of “your the chosen one who can save us, because of course you are.” There’s also just not much story in the game. This isn’t really a problem. It’s the gameplay that is the real driving force here.
The graphics in Wickebine Kigyouden are a bit of a mixed bag. The characters in the game all look great. The character design is solid and the animations have a lot of weight to them. However, the backgrounds are a bit lacking. Also, the user interface feels a bit off because it looks like the base one for whatever development tools were used. A reskin could’ve really helped. Also, trying the run Wickebine Kigyouden in full-screen mode after downloading it results in the player seeing all the areas they aren’t supposed to. There’s also a hidden skill out in this area. I have no idea what it does due to the description being in Japanese, but I got it any. Still don’t know what it does.
The audio in Wickebine Kigyouden is in the same vein as the visuals. The sound effects stand out as being good, but that’s about it. The music feels generic overall. Plus, sometimes it just doesn’t match the graphics. The perfect example would be the starting level. It’s a castle that has a more sinister appearance to it, but it’s hard to convey that when there’s upbeat jazz music playing in the background.
Overall, I really liked Wickebine Kigyouden. It has some problems that need fixed, but it isn’t a bad game. If anything, I’d say it’s more unpolished than anything else. Even with these issues, it’s still an enjoyable experience for any Metroidvania fans.
Wickebine Kigyouden earns 3.5 GiN Gems out of 5 for its excellent gameplay. Despite being rough around the edges.