On Alice Bee''s recommendation, I picked up the Romancelvania demo, and she was quite correct when she described it as "extremely relevant to [my] interests." I''m beginning to wonder if this wasn''t a psychological sabotage attempt disguised as a friendly gesture. (You would not do that to me, Sir, Alice?)
Romancelvania is exactly what it sounds like: dating sim meets Castlevania. I was shocked by the fact that it has become my favourite thing I''ve ever played at a Steam Next Fest. I was so shocked in, even when I really need to so do so, hence my suspicion that this was an attempt on Alice''s part. No one knows if I''ve failed or succeeded.
The demo begins on a promising note, awakening you in the persona of a comically stroking and exaggeratedly shirtless Dracula. (The final game will include the option to play as a Lady Drac, if you prefer, who will not be shirtless, but by a large margin.)
This man has almost never returned from his ornate throne in 100 years, rather than mopping on the spot ever since his ex dumped him. For reasons so completely normal and no matter how much I immediately forgot them Grim, reveals that this has all been a ruse, and Drac is instead obliged to perform a reality TV dating program to help him recover from his old flame.
The following is a bonkers rebirth into one of my favourite game genres: a dating sim mashup. In the comments section, the willing other half of Romancelvania''s relationship is usually side-scrolling horror platformers of the kind known in the 80s and 90s. Drac is constantly being beaten by his enemies, who are all a bit embarrassed for a century. The game is enhanced with an elemental weapon infusion system, because it wouldn''t be more my jam
Amidst the melee, you encounter three of Drac''s potential new admirers (out of a planned 12 in the total release). There''s Vess, a cool genie bartender who has been cursed to never fall in love; Brocifer, a big red demon with a frat boy personality and a pixel blur where his trousers refuse to be; and Medusa, a severed head perched atop a statue who is also Drac''s ex
This was a challenging decision, which just demonstrates the utility of the characterisation on display. After all, a dating sim suffers from the commodity of its love interests, and Romancelvania does not disappoint.
Vess would have been my favorite if she hadn''t had her whole "cursed to never truly love" relationship, which is a pretty big obstacle when you''re looking for romance. Medusa is clearly Drac''s ex for a reason, but she really wants to be amicable with her, making it seem more than a little cruel to show her the door afterwards. It seemed appropriate to keep him around for comedic value alone, even before he showed the first hints of a deeper side during
The whole weekend of thinking about this demo was a challenge for me to make my decision. The problem is that if you don''t know how satisfied I am for the whole game, you''ll not know what will.
It''s not that I have no complaints about Romancelvania, but that the tutorials might certainly be better implemented, for one thing. In the sense of a tiny flaw, the platforming is extremely fiddly (especially on mouse and keyboard) to the point where I realized that no, it was just possible to make that jump, even if a flavour object was removing a few precious pixels off my head.
In a way, the nostalgia improved. The one real flaw I had was the save system, which requires you to return to save points that are less costly and, in some cases, single-use. Nostalgia be damned: there''s no reason for a game that makes a joke about one character having his dick out in perpetuity, but that does not allow you to save whenever you need. We''re all adults here, but that''s clearly the case.
In the end, I had to cut about ten minutes of progress because I couldn''t return to a save location in the time I had left to play that day. This left me spooked, because as you might probably know, I am very invested in Romancelvania at this point.