3000th Duel – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure game
Developer: NEOPOPCORN Corp
Publisher: NEOPOPCORN Corp
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

3000th Duel – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Amazing graphics and music, Difficult Souls-like gameplay
Bad: Tricky platforming combined with unforgiving enemies can make for a steep learning curve
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Older games will remember the glorious time when everything was in only two dimensions and wonder how some modern titles would be if they were in the classic layout. As the side-scrolling gameplay was mostly traded in for immersive free-roaming fun, some developers love to take away that freedom and try out your skills in the 2D realm. When you take a difficult unforgiving game like Dark Souls and limit the movement to two dimensions, the first thing you need to relearn is how to evade your enemies.

Story

Like in many Dark Souls-inspired games the story is hidden deep within the game. You always start out with absolutely nothing and it is up to the player to find out the lore behind your character, the location, etc. Oddly enough your starting point is named the ‘Forest of Old Memories’, which is a subtle name for a game that revolves around a protagonist who has lost his memory. The story of 3000th duel has been hidden very deep, so deep that it just seems that there isn’t one to start with. Although the game has an eye-opening ending, the road towards it is harsh and unforgiving.

Graphics

Adventuring through the dark forest is something truly majestic. The visuals presented to you are beautiful and smooth and the 2.5D characters and scenery are magical. Characters have simple animations yet this doesn’t really diminish the quality of the overall experience. With the game being filled with more than 150 monsters, you can expect that not each one has a thousand animations. The game is also set in a variety of sceneries that alternate from the lively green forests to deep dark eerie caves.

Sound

As beautiful as the graphics are, the music in this game is just as magnificent. The soft, soothing melody gives the impression that you are playing a friendly platforming game and that you are safe. After dying a few times, you will smirk at the thought of the misleading melody. There is no spoken dialogue and the game uses fairly standard sound effects to give feedback to what is going on.

Gameplay

3000th Duel is a 2D adventure platforming game that has borrowed a few mechanics from Dark Souls. As you start the adventure of your unnamed character, you will have a few moments to get familiar with the very simple control layout of the game. Only a few buttons are needed to navigate through the hell that is 3000th Duel. At first, the game does not seem hard at all and you think that it is just another adventure game until you take the first hit. Enemies do tremendous amounts of damage and getting around the map is far from easy. The difficulty might not be insanely brutal but it is far from easy. You will be fending off enemies while having to jump from moving platforms in order not to fall into the spiky pits as one misstep or hit can mean a swift demise.

With the inspiration taken from Dark Souls, you will notice a lot of similarities. When defeating enemies, you gain karma, if you meet your demise and ‘You Burned’ (the 3000th Duel version of You Died), you lose all the karma. When trying to retrieve this karma, you will notice that it has turned into a flying orb which turns hostile when approached. After defeating this orb combat you will regain your lost karma. At shrines you can use your accumulated experience to level up your attributes. These attributes consist of Vitality which measures your health, Strength that affects attack power, Mind for much MP you have for special moves and Activity that measures stamina for dodging. By interacting with a shrine you will heal your wounds but also reset all the enemies on the map. In a classic fashion, you will have to defeat bosses to get past each section and these bosses tend to be very hard for those who fight head-on, yet become doable once you learn their patterns.

Another important factor is the selection of weapons. Since there are no classes or various skills to choose from, you can only swap out different weapons to give you other fighting styles. There are three types that each have their own strong points, from swift strikes to high in power or having a large(r) reach. In the beginning, you only have a rusty old sword, but soon enough will you find better tools to get rid of the monsters. One thing that is greatly missed in combat is the ability to block incoming attacks. As we all know, you either dodge or block in a Souls game, but here you can only dodge an incoming attack, which sometimes can be quite tricky, so being able to block an attack with only a slight health reduction would have been a nice feature.

Conclusion

3000th Duel is a side-scrolling Souls-like game that utilizes the well-known hardcore gameplay with beautiful 2.5D graphics and a mesmerizing soundtrack. With the story being hidden under some rocks, you might just want to play the game for its challenging gameplay. The overall good performance of the game makes it one that you want to keep on trying, even after you died for the tenth time on the first boss. If you persevere and manage to get farther into the game, this patience is rewarded with nicer surroundings, trickier enemies and better weapons. The controls are very responsive and won’t cause much frustration, maybe only the absence of a blocking skill is a bit of a hassle.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
3000th Duel – Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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