Hack Slash Crawl

on Monday, February 28, 2011
What in the hell makes dungeon crawling so addicting? I'll be damned if I know, but the 150+ hours I put into diablo 2 means that there must be something to it. The fighting, looting, the leveling is all so addictive. Hack Slash Crawl follows just about every trope that makes a hack and slash dungeon crawler a hack and slash dungeon crawler, namely its focus on; hacking, slashing, and dungeon crawling.

Hack Slash Crawl is a hack and slash dungeon crawler by Void. It aims to boil dungeon crawling down to its purest form; character creation, fighting enemies, fighting bosses, getting loot, and leveling up. The fighting is pretty simple, there are two attack types, melee and magic. To melee you click on an enemy, to cast magic you hit the magic quick key and the game pauses until you select the target of your spell. The combat really doesn't have much depth to it, the real depth instead coming from racial traits, equipment, and how you choose to approach the mobs.

When creating your character, you have a few important options. You have the name, which really doesn't matter, but I'm preferential to naming my vampires Vlad, my werewolves Witherfang, and other blatant ripoffs. After the name you have the race, and the class. The races are the biggest game changers, you naturally don't want to play a golem the same way you play a celestial, at least if you plan on surviving. It seems to me a few of the races are pretty underpowered as they only give initial spells, which may be nice around level one, but by level five that werewolf will outclass your Atlantean in every single way, and probably have a chance to get both of your racial spells too. Classes are less game changing, but still are designed to fit every play style. The are classes for melee and magic, healing and shielding, etc. So long as your class and race match your play style you should be fine. The last options you have available aren't initially accessible. The titles are only gained upon death, and you only receive one when you die. You can equip two at a time, and some of them are crazy powerful, but you only get access to them by doing extremely well.

On the looting system, I have to say it works decently, but it's pretty lackluster. All loot is random no matter whether it was obtained from a skeleton with a rusty sword, or Deathmaul the Destroyer, or even a chest. As a matter of fact, every level has exactly one chest, and one boss, but the equips you obtain from either of these is no different then that obtained from random monsters. As for the equips themselves, they vary wildly, and the usefulness of each piece will change depending on your play style.

I think the biggest problem the game has is that it tries to setup a short, simple, re-playable game, with little reason to replay it. That seems like it is the goal of the title system, but since you can only get one title per game play, and each game takes around five to ten minutes, with thirty two titles you are talking about 3+ hours to get them all, and that is assuming you know the requirements for each one. Other than that, the game pretty much becomes impossible to lose at past level 10. I can rush a room with a boss in it, and peel off all the enemies around me one by one while my regeneration keeps me alive forever.

Despite my gripes, at the core of it is a very good game. Its definitely not a game to be played for as long as it wants you to play it, but who cares, its still fun while it lasted, and the flagstaff series could certainly gain a lot from making use of the dungeon crawler elements in place. Hack Slash Crawl is definitely worthy of your time, but I wouldn't recommend grinding past the point where the game loses all its fun.

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