Side Note (yes, a side note before I even start the post): My computer went bonkers last night and I was worried that the motherboard had fried itself. I restarted it like ten times and the last time it took and the lappy is now seemingly fine. I say seemingly because it came out of the blue and could possibly do so again. Anyway, I immediately thought of my Cozy Grove file and how devastated I’d be if it got corrupted. The rest of my games? Didn’t care so much. Dark Souls III, I could just start another game. Going Under? I’m pretty much done with it–more on that in a bit. But Cozy Grove? Being on day nearly 90 of real-time days? That would have made me cry. I had been thinking about backing it up and I really should do it. Will I? Normally, I’d say probably not, but I just might this time.
Speaking of Cozy Grove (and, no, the post is not about that game), I have met the last of the spirit bears (17 in total) and she’s very interesting.
Dalia Cosgrove, a revolutionary who realized the futility of the revolution. She’s burned out and she’s carrying what looks like a white blob with eyes in her head. No idea what is it, but Ian suggested maybe another spirit–which makes sense. Anyway, she’s intriguing because the rest of the spirit bears, when you meet them, they wave their arms in the air (well, ok, just lift them, but it feels like waving) and the area around them turns to color. When I met her, she didn’t do that and her area remained uncolored. The next time I talked to her and did something for her, she did it, so I don’t know if it was a bug the first time? Or were they making a point? I have a hunch it’s the latter and Dalia is really interesting me right now. She gave me a revolution flag that I put in front of the ‘living vessel’ bear’s area from the cult I was cajoled into joining (long story) and stood in front of it wearing my revolutionary armor.
Let’s talk Going Under. I reviewed it here after playing it for several hours. I noted that there wasn’t much to do gameplay-wise and I was wrong. I also noted that it was amusing that it was called a Souls-like when it wasn’t that hard and I was–half-right and half-wrong. I’m going to talk about the structure of the game, which necessitates spoiling quite a bit. Just so you know that from here on out be spoilers for Going Under.
After beating the third dungeon, that’s when things changed. There was a portal that opened in the middle of the lobby floor and Marv, the PM, told me not to go into it. It’s even listed as one of the objectives. Do NOT go into the portal–Marv. So, of course, I jump into the portal because it’s a video game! Why would you leave a portal un-jumped-in? You go through different floors of the portal, fighting enemies as you do, and then at the end is–you guessed it, Marv.
I have to say, I did not like this section because it’s so different from the rest of the game. In the main game, each dungeon has three levels. You start out with a mentor which affords you some really sweet perks.
Side Note II: I have found Swomp (yes, o not a) to have the best mentor perks by far. You start with a few allies on every floor, he steals you one item per shop, and when you max him out, he has a chill room on the second floor of every dungeon in which you can heal all your health once on that floor. The chill room hasn’t shown up for me a few times, which is weird, but for the most part, it’s there. The first time I used it, it was on an enhanced run (more on that in a bit and it’s just my name for it) when I was near death and ended up winning the run. It’s that powerful.
You also start with a skill equipped. There are tons of great ones, but I usually start with the one that brings you back to life with one heart because why the fuck wouldn’t I? Well, there are reasons I wouldn’t–like taking the skill that allows me not to be affected by fire, ice, or electricity in the hell pit, for example, but in general, I vastly prefer the bring me back to life skill.
Anyway, in the portal, you don’t get the mentor stuff at all. You do get the skill (I think I’m remembering right), but it’s not great. Each floor consists of one room, be it a combat room, a pick-a-skill room, or a shop. The problem is that you don’t make much money at all so you can rarely buy anything in the shop. When I reached the boss, I felt woefully underprepared. Marv with his good ol’ union-buster (which is a pretty sick weapon, to be fair) in a circular arena and he has the moves like a ninja. I definitely got the Sekiro feel to this boss, but I hated the design of this level. Marv mopped the floor with me the first few times and I thought I’d never get him. In other words, the ramp up was steep. I didn’t appreciate the devs radically changing the gameplay at this point and I thought about quitting. I didn’t, however, and I eventually got Marv. I can see a whisper of the Souls mentality in this boss fight, but it wasn’t executed well. No other enemy fights like he does and in no other area of the game do you have to do anything like this.
After fighting Marv, he makes some ominous noises about me not knowing what I’ve done and when I go back to the surface, everything has gone bonkers. Long story short, since our company failed, we were going to become another absorbed company like the rest of them. My coworkers started turning into fish and the next thing I had to do was get the souls of the real bosses of the dungeons. Ok, shards and not souls, but I needed them to open the door to the boardroom so I could plead my case with the board.
That’s right. I had to go back to the dungeons, only they were souped-up versions with harder enemies. You could still run the regular dungeons by flipping a switch, which was good for grinding reasons, but the new dungeons were much harder. Weirdly, though, the bosses weren’t that much more difficult. They got one or two new moves, but still basically the same fight. And I got my mentor perks back, which was so very helpful. I found the dungeons to be much harder than the original ones, but the bosses surprisingly easy.
After beating all the souped-up dungeons, I needed one more shard and went to the CEO of my company because I knew it was going to be his. I was prepared to fight him, but much to my surprise, he handed it over with ease. He said that maybe I could be the one to fix what was wrong and I put the last shard into the door. It opened, and I thought I’d go straight to the boardroom. Nope! Another level like the portal in that I didn’t get the mentor perks and the layout was so different. I did not like it because in the ‘shops’ I couldn’t buy anything. I got to choose one skill and there was a drink that gave one health heal per ‘shop’. There were three of them, of course, with the shopkeeper of each dungeon per each ‘shop’.
Then, at the end of the level, was the boss–Vested Marv. Which, funny, but it made my heart sink because I knew he wasn’t going to be the final boss. I was not happy about it, but I managed to get him in a reasonable amount of time. Same fight with a few extra moves and I had learned him pretty well by that point.
Side Note III: One big knock on this game is that I feel that I rely so heavily on RNG as to what skills I get. I saw the same skills so many runs in a row, it ceased to be fun at some point. That’s one reason I didn’t like the ‘special’ levels because there was no chance at stockpiling health/skills before the final boss. And the weapons were pretty pedestrian. I rarely found the really good weapons, which was frustrating. It just felt as if I was playing a completely different game at that point.
But, that was nothing compared to–I’m getting ahead of myself. This is running long so I’ll end it here. More in the next post.