The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
At long last I’m back with yet another review, a bit later than anticipated but back nevertheless. I’ve been spending a lot of time as late trapped within a crypt, doing battle against the forces of evil while trying to reclaim my stolen heart and break the curse laid upon my family. But enough about my trip to Blackpool, let’s talk about this Crypt of the NecroDancer Review!
If you’ve read my article Audio in Gaming on the site, you’ll know that I love a game that mixes music with gameplay, and Crypt falls slap bang into the middle of that category. Over the course of the story mode you will play as Cadence, Melody and Aria, three generations of the same family whose fates are intertwined with the titular NecroDancer. We start as Cadence, who while searching for her missing father has her heart stolen by the dastardly sorcerer and must traverse through level upon level of caves and dungeons to reclaim her pilfered organ. Along the way, you will discover more about Cadence and her family’s ties to the NecroDancer, eventually leading to you taking control of Cadence’s mother, Melody, and then her grandmother Aria in their quest to break the curse and restore Melody to life. The twist, however, is that you can only move in time with the beat of your heart, and this particular necromancer loves his tunes.
“Enemies require a tactical eye and a sharp mind to conquer”
Danny Baronowsky has flawlessly composed the soundtrack to tie into the gameplay while also being really nice to listen to. As you progress through the game, the tempo starts to build and the beats become more and more complex while enemies start to throw out more elaborate sequences of movement. The keyboards, synths and drum machines used to create the musical accompaniment also works well with the top down, classic generation look of the game, harking back to the original few Legend of Zelda games and sending you on a nostalgia trip while at the same time throwing an entirely new concept your way.
Enemies require a tactical eye and a sharp mind to conquer, as timing your movements with theirs is key if you wish to survive and thrive in this game. On my first few playthroughs I tried to blast through the levels as quickly as possible, only to find myself failing again and again. Once I took a few deep breaths and slowed it down, I started to find my groove and made quick progress. This is a game that requires patience, and you’ll savour victory all the more for it.
What more can be said about Crypt of the NecroDancer? It’s incredibly fun, the soundtrack is brilliant and fits with the gameplay perfectly, and it has a classic top down 16-bit platformer vibe that really sends you back to the glory days of 80s action adventure titles. There are also plenty of additional modes which ensure that you won’t get bored of playing it for a very long time, such as the deathless mode which allows you to run through the game and enjoy the story without worrying about such trivial things as one’s mortality. It also comes with cross buy support, so if you purchase it on PS4 or PS Vita you get it on the other console for free. Brace Yourself Games have produced an absolute barnstormer here, and to throw in this cross platform deal as well is just lovely, so they get extra brownie points for that as well. So I implore you, in the name of all things holy and musical, scrape yourself together a few pennies and get this game downloaded!
Crypt of the NecroDancer review was undertaken with a review code provided by the games developer. The game is available now via Digital download on the Playstation store.