Sunday, 29 December 2019

Asylum Reviews: Straimium Immortaly [Xbox One].

Straimium Immortaly is a strange but alluring sort of game. A follow-up to Caiysware's previous title, Skelly Selest, it's got that pixel art style and procedural generation of levels with a hilarious, often nonsensical, written dialogue.

You are dropped into this weird and not-so-wonderful realm known as the Cubicus, filled with plenty of monsters and an abundance of loot and weaponry. You are tasked with killing the Queeni Emperess. Queenis are what spawn all of the creatures you will come across, so ridding the Cubicus of them makes sense. Kill the Queeni, save the Cubicus.

When you first load up the game, the basic premise is explained to you through a rolling credits style intro. The 'language' of the game is already obvious, with many words butchered for comedic effect. Progressing to the menu continues this, with the first option available being called "Tutorial Tingle" and has a small creature in the bottom left saying "Hiya dummy heres is how you learns to play the game!" This speech style is apparent all throughout Straimium Immortaly, and adds a certain layer of world building, as it is done consistently and not just for a one-off joke.

Other options available within the menu are "Cubicus Crawl", the main game mode; Bossy Rushy, which needs to be unlocked with special keys; an unknown mode displaying TV static in the title box; I am Error and a Compendium, to look over all of your in-game stats.

As you work your way through the Cubicus, you will come across plenty of enemies and sub-bosses on your quest to find the Queeni. The way that each subsequent room in a level works is that you can attack or skip through them at your leisure. Naturally, skipping through will result in a tougher battle against the boss as loot chests located in the rooms are only unlocked once all the enemies in a room are cleared. Items that can be found in these chests vary from health pick-ups to the in-game currency "pinkies". Just like Caiysware's previous title, Skelly Selest, here you'll find hats that can be equipped to help you on your journey. These, along with the weapons that you can purchase and upgrade, will often be the deciding factor in whether you win or lose a run.

Enemies are varied, and will frequently be hunting you down in droves. The pixel-art style, whilst nice to look at and very, very colourful, can often make it quite difficult to judge what's going on on-screen. Between enemies that are attacking you, dealing contact damage and firing projectiles, and other non-dangerous things floating around in the background, I've walked into my own death too many times to count.

Another thing that caused a frequent number of deaths is the controls. Straimium Immortaly looks and feels like it should be a twin-stick shooter, like The Binding of Isaac and so many other roguelites, but it's not. Due to this, the controls feel awkward and led to many an unnecessary death as I'd try to fly out of the path of danger, and then be left facing the wrong direction and unable to shoot the enemies I'm trying to avoid.

Whilst I felt the game had a lot of charm and potential, I fear that the few gripes I had with it were enough to put me off playing it fairly quickly. Unlocking mutators helped somewhat as this could tailor runs to some degree, but it wasn't enough to keep me invested.

In the end, we decided to give Straimium Immortaly the Collecting Asylum rating of 5/10.

Have you played it yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Thanks to Digerati for the Straimium Immortaly Xbox One review code!

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