Duncan Idaho's Baroque Review
Long plot, that is easy for any player to be hooked up.
The rouguelike aspect will always give the neuro tower a second chance.
Vast amount of replay value.
Being a port of a sturn game and the switch from FPS gave it bad controls.
The fact that every time you are killed you start clean unless you used the conciusness orbs to store items and expand the bag of the item collector.
The fact that the Conciusness orbs are limited to one item and are difficult to find do not really help at all.
Baroque is a rouguelike game, it means that the dungeon or dungeons will be all generated at random, however this is what makes rouguelikes interesting as you will always start both fresh on some dungeon or will keep items but every dungeon you visit will be different. The Wii and Possibly the Ps2 version start with an anime intro that will give you a vague idea of this contents, you start as the 'chosen one' who is amnesic and does not knows anything about who or what he is, this was just the thing that made me take the bait, moving on you will see nearly everyone is twisted and few are not physically twisted but rather mentally. Examples are the bagged one, the horned girl as physical twisted, mentally is the grave keeper and a few others. Moving on you will see the Archangel who will give you the angelic rifle and warns you to use it against the absolute god (yes, I know, you were just asked to kill god, this shocked me A LOT), once you enter the Neuro Tower you will start by seeing that the only stable element is the first floor it never changes and it's very advised to come armed, so go to the grave keeper and finish his dungeon/tutorial and you will probably have some bones, meat, seeds a coat and a sword.
The way of progressing on this game is reaching the bottom of the neuro tower and shoot or embrace the absolute god. The ending sequence for the first games for some is bizarre as hell, so allow me to explain. Until you trigger a flag in the game the protagonist is asleep so to speak, and is being cloned en masse my dear readers, so it keeps going and going until said flag is triggered. Afterwards you can start to collect the idea sephiras (their souls so to speak; what was their embodiment) and so you will need to keep heading down and down.
The challenge on this game is on 4 points. The first your VIT bar, you need to eat to restore it and level up so you can survive longer on the tower. The second is the items, unless you are able to search and use the orbs you WILL lose all you collected on your current run, enemies will get stronger, but so you will get better equipment.
A second part of the how to is the items, you will often find items on the floor or enemies that will drop them, some of those items go onto the range of simple healing items to much more useful stuff as the tablets or coats or even parasites, the main use of the tablets is for defense and healing, and also offense.
The tablets that are found on the floor the often the forgotten disks, similar to tablets these can also act as land mines, you can set them on narrow corridors and wait for the enemy to step on it and the desired effect to take place, but remember the disk has two sides, and depending on the side is the effect, if a healing disk is set backward it will drain the number of hit points it should have healed.
Tablets (which I had neglected to mention so far) are on a different scale, these are more direct items, they act like ranged attacks, and often will either be offensive (a fire tablet to burn all enemies on a room) or healing (HP recover, or stat healer).
The Parasites are particularly useful due that some of them will permanently raise your stats or be attached to you for other effects, the main problem is that you can only use a parasite at the time per item or you.
There are a range variety of swords but two deserve an honourable mention - the crystal sword that when fused with a special item will give you the infinity minus one sword and the vampire sword, this latter levels up as you run through the tower and gets not only stronger but also absorbs the HP of enemies!
With all that being said the protagonist movements are rather crude, he has only a two hit combo to a three hit and mixed with charge attacks, weaponless the main character has a punch and a kick attack.
The enemies are variated and bizarre but two deserve a special mention - the lamias capable of killing you with ease due to the lust status you will see a young woman in a kimono and a pink background and only that leaving you unable to follow the action, the other are only found on the coffin man are the arcana bosses, that follow the mayor arcanas of the tarot (take that persona 3 you were beaten with the concept a decade earlier). These are the strongest enemies of the whole game and will be your most difficult test.
A nice feature of the game is that you can open on screen a mini map that updates itself as you explore, it will signal special rooms once you visit them, but will not signal enemies.
So what still wondering what is this all about? Here it is: The archangel conspired with the Dr.Angelus to steal from the Absolute God the ability to feel pain, unable to feel and understand pain the absolute god went crazy and started to unleash the distortion, people slowly began to look what they were inside, then the protagonist comes in, he was part of a double being, conjoined twins after the death of one of the twins the surviving one kept on with his life until he was offered a chance to fuse with the absolute god, yes said being was about to regain what she lost and more become more humanlike, but sadly the archangel had a hand to play on this, he interrupting the ceremony caused the blaze essentially accelerating the distortion and choosing to blame all on the protagonist.
Here is where you start, you approach the Arch Angel and he shall gift you with an angelic rifle. After your first run and taking an option the protagonist will jump out of the neuro tower as the same protagonist enters it, doing a few more runs shall reveal the truth. The Arch Angel has been creating clones en masse until one chose to kill the Absolute god, a gambit in order for him to attain godhood, but why?
All the reason was for the Archangel to get revenge on the absolute god as she stole his sister, he would steal her godhood and embody it within him. The protagonist was to mend things, sadly after you finish the game you learn that it's impossible to turn back the hands of the clock, as the blaze truly revealed mankind deepest wishes but as a fix they chose to create a consensus reality were they can try to make the events less Traumatic for mankind. Baroque crude play style is truly the only bad thing that surrounds this game aside from the limit of objects you can take out of the tower. In the end Baroque is an excellent gothic rouguelike game with a deep saddening atmosphere, with a deep reaching story that will make all those hours of suffering worth something, and the game can take up to 50 hours just to finish the story part if you are patient you can get up to 300+ hours of pure game play!.
Before I forget this game is a remake of the Saturn game known as Baroque and it was originally a FPS not a 3rd person, hence the dramatic change in how to play it, and the addition of the anime intros, a small fact I forgot to review is that the repay value revolves around filling the idea sephira list.