Underneath my yellow skin

Going full Mulan Rogue

I need to stop playing Going Under (Aggro Crab) because I’m really starting to hate it. I’ve finished with the main game and have wrung every ounce of content out of it. And more. So why am I still playing? I’ll tell you why and there are spoilers now. There is a mode of the game called Imposter Mode that is not run in any of the main dungeons. It’s accessed from Jackie’s pod (home) and it’s by jumping through her mirror. She had met the imposter earlier in one of the dungeons in the second half of the game (apparently random?) and I ‘defeated’ her in that dungeon. I put defeated in quotes because of course she was coming back and of course it was going to be in her own mode.

I’ve explained before why I don’t like this mode or the big boss fights in the main game, but I’ll briefly recap. In the main game, you go into a dungeon and there are three floors before the boss floor. You pick up skills and other perks along the way. From the beginning, you can equip one ‘mentor’ (coworker) and one skill. The best mentor by far is Swomp who gives the twin benefits of him stealing an item for you in every store and starting each floor with allies. Oh, there are also Swomp Cubes with better items, but they break more easily, which is not usually a trade I want to make. Although, in Imposter Mode, I am all about more damage. The bigger benefit, however, is that there’s a Swomp’s Chill Zone every second level of the dungeon. Sometimes it doesn’t show up and I’m not sure why, but it’s supposed to be there. If you chill with Swomp, then you regain all your lost health. You can do this once on the floor, though apparently in early access, you could do it multiple times. I think once is fair.

Randy, the CEO, would have been the best mentor because he gives you his credit card and you can charge the items you need to it. Except. One, there’s a limit to how much you can charge, and two, you have to drag around a ball and chain of debt with you that grows larger the more money you owe. It hinders your movement which is so key in this game. Also, his other benefits are meh at best. Well, he does let you take his sweet whip out for a drive at the start of the dungeon until you beat it up enough for it to explode, which is maybe a floor or two. I really like how they make the benefits match up with the narrative, by the way.

The other three mentors are meh. They all have their benefits, but nothing compares to Swomp, and it’s not even a close margin. The problem is that in Imposter Mode as well as with the big bosses, you don’t get to have the perks of the mentor. I understand why, but it’s frustrating. I played the whole game a certain way and then for these few sections, I’m forced to play it a completely different way.

Let’s talk about Imposter Mode more. As I said, no mentor and no skill. Also, none of the extra starting hearts I’ve earned along the way. So, in other words, three hearts. Which dungeon you start in is random, I think, and it goes like this. Two shortened floors, then boss. Repeat three times before the final boss, which I presume is the imposter. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never made it that far. In addition, there’s some mechanic that is making me lose money during a run. I’m not sure what it is, but my guess is taking damage makes me lose money.

I’ve come to realize that Imposter Mode is like a onebro run in Dark Souls–meant for the hardest of hards. At least that’s my interpretation because I’m giving almost nothing and get almost nothing during the run. Yes, I can still pick one of two skills on some floors, but I never have enough money to buy anything in the shops. In addition, I can buy one of the perks from one of the mentors sometimes on some floors, but buy is the operative word. In addition, I’m not sure if the perks carry over to another dungeon or it’s just for the three floors (including boss floor) of the current dungeon.

I feel so under-leveled when I do an Imposter Mode run. It’s not fun at all and there are only two reasons I keep doing it. One, I only have three achievements for the plat and all of them have to do with the Imposter Mode. One is beating one run (which should have told me how hard it was), two is ‘networking’ with the imposter (which means smashing her in the face with the blank card to kill her), and three is doing her second test–which I don’t even know what it is. The second reason is because it’s a different mode and I NEED to know how it ends. But, I can’t even get past the third boss, let alone make it to the imposter.

It reminds me of a trend in gaming that while I understand, I’m not pleased about it. The first time I noticed it was with Nuclear Throne by Vlambeer, but I’m sure it was going on before that. In fact, I know it was because of Dark Souls (FromSoft), but I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s making the game punishingly hard for the dedicated fans at the risk of alienating nOObs. I noticed it with NT while it was in Early Access. I was struggling to make it to the Throne (first), let alone beat it. I did it once and then got killed fairly early on in loop one. Then, Vlambeer started focusing on the loops and I knew the game was moving out of my reach. I had poured hundreds of hours into it, absolutely loved it, but knew that I was never going to reach the heights needed in order to enjoy the looped content.

Side Note: It was the first roguelike I’ve ever played. Yes, I do everything in hard mode, why do you ask? I didn’t feel any bitterness when I moved on–only sadness. I do wonder if I went back to it, how I would find it now?

It’s the same way I feel about the DLCs of Dark Souls II and III. And Bloodborne. It’s how I feel about the newest iterations of Binding of Isaac (Edmund McMillen). It’s the same with Dead Cells (Motion Twin) and Enter the Gungeon (Dodge Roll). Hell, it happened in Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! (David Galindo), which is a cooking sim! Yes, it’s always been fast-paced and hard, but the last section of the third game crossed the line and made the game seriously un-fun. It was so painful, I quit playing it for a year. I did go back to finish it, but I had to get over my mentality of 100%ing every day and just do it. I rushed through it as best I could, thinking I’d go back to 100% those few days, but I can’t be arsed.

I’ve said this a million times, but I liked the concept of the food truck attacks in the game, but I didn’t like the execution. Or rather, there were a few that really fucked me over. Not knowing cooking time? No biggie. not knowing if it was done? That’s a bit more concerning. The one that really, really sucked, however, was the one that zapped the freshness of the holding foods. When I was able to by the upgrades that shut down the attacks, I turned them on and never looked back. To have all of the upgrades disabled for the final act…it was so bad, chubigans (Galindo) had rejigger the decaying of the freshness rate in a patch.

Ugh. I’m done for now. May pick this up again next week. For now, I’m just hoping to find the next roguelike to play.

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