Arkandian Crusade: Grinding is what it’s all about
Despite this game being a MASSIVE time waster, you’ll still probably spend more than you realise playing Arkandian Crusade. It’s basically a “quick” adventure game where your adventures into dungeons and battles rarely extends beyond a few minutes. Yet despite this, you’ll spend around 7-8 hours building a unstopable character in order to defeat the boss demon who initially kicks your ass at the beginning.
This game shows that simplistic graphics are all that’s needed in most cases and highlights the importance of gameplay over that of eye candy. The story also manages to inject a fair bit of humour into the mix with the enemy demon being called “Fak-ough” and him being “Fak-ough” tough!
Added to this is the fact that there is a multiple path storyline and bonuses you can unlock through achievements. It also left me wondering that if you unlock all the achievements, is it possible to defeat the demon when you first encounter him, a question I posed to the creator and am yet to hear back from (I’ll update this when I get a response).
There is something to be said for the formulae presented in this game, each adventure being a small hit of fun, making you want to keep playing. This will lead to a longer investment, though it certainly doesn’t feel like it. There is also a chessboard type side game that is also very quick to understand and can net you some great rewards.
However, one aspect of this game didn’t really appeal to me at all. You have the ability to craft all sorts of items in this game, from clothes to weapons to potions and you can also outfit and build up your own house. What the benefits of this is never really outweighed the prospect of grinding in dungeons for stat point increases to me.
The true gem of this game is the humour. At the beginning you can pick your character class through a conversation and I found myself picking the funniest dialogue responses rather than the pertinent ones. All through the game, the storyline manages to elicit a chuckle and it’s always refreshing to see a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
This is a great stress reliever game, reminding me somewhat of Diablo when you returned to previous levels after becoming super overpowered and then just hammering the crap out of anything that got in your way. Though the animations aren’t as great as Diablo, you still receive that feeling of superiority when you come up against something that previously killed you knowing that it couldn’t even scratch you anymore.
Another concept that is worthy to note is the death toll. Usually if you die in a game, you can respawn from a savegame with no after effects. This game is different as it makes sure that if you die, you’ll feel the pinch by a reduction to your hit-points which is permanent. Though you can return these by finding potions that extend your hit-point you still lose out because if you hadn’t died, than you’d be even stronger than where you are now.
This isn’t a new concept but it is one that is starting to become more popular as games that offer no penalty for dying are also easily over come and the feeling of accomplishment is also much higher when there is some risk involved. This reminds me of Ragnarok and old freeware DOS game that really was undervalued in its time. Once you died in that game, you were dead. No second chances. This changes the game dynamic in a significant way as now you wont just run in to every battle with impunity. It adds risk to the equation.