Thursday, November 30, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur. This game, from developers Gambir Studio is already out not only on Switch but also on PS5, Xbox, and PC.

The demo for Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur is good and bad which makes talking about it difficult. the game i played was good. it looked great, controlled well, and wasn't too difficult. the tutorial used cards but levelled them up with videos and sometimes it would introduce a second card and video showing another use for the move! I've not seen it before and in that respect it's impressive but those videos looked low resolution and a bit dark. the small details were hard to see.

The demo is from the start of the game so we also get to watch an interesting intro movie that not only explains everything but also hints as towards something being up with one of the main characters. But the intro video is compressed and looked maybe 480p. it was noticeable how bad it was when the gameplay started as the game looks great and crisp, with lots of color and high amount of detail in the art.

So the demo is good at establishing the world, the characters, and what the controls do. But what it fails to do is to convey clearly what the loop is. Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur is a run based game, something that to me makes me think or Rouge Legacy. In those games the character typically starts of weak so the initial runs are very short, but usually we're able to make small progress and learn enough to understand the loop. Here, the game seemed to have got close to revealing the loop, but stumbled. 

I got a demo over screen when the demo wasn't over. if i stopped when the screen came up, i would've understood less than i do now as i continued playing the game. By continuing i found new characters, did more in the home area, and tried out new powers. But i still don't clearly know what the loop is as i never completed one. i died at the beginning, which i'm mostly sure i'm supposed to do, and right at the end of the game. all the time in-between felt like one loop. i don't know if it is or if it isn't. i don't know if i'm meant to go out and explore repeatedly, or just do it once and move one. 

It's hard to say whether it's just the demo that failed to get across this critical aspect of the game or if it's just the game itself. on one hand, i'm much more interested in the game than i was and wouldn't mind playing it. but on the other hand, i don't fully know what the game wants me to do. So yeah, the demo is both a success and a failure.