A quiet evening spent with friends playing Dungeons & Dragons soon turns into an incredible adventure for Daniel, the protagonist of UnEpic. The boy is in fact catapulted into the dark halls of Harnakon castle, where he soon meets an evil ghost who tries to devour his soul ... but he fails and is trapped in his body.
Together with the unusual guest, in the perspective of a "coexistence" that generates frequent exchanges of jokes, Daniel is convinced that he has fallen asleep and is dreaming, so he enters the part and tries to understand where he is and why. On his path stand out monsters and enemies of various kinds, characters to interact with and deadly traps, as he explores the dungeons of the huge manor in search of missions to complete. Released on PC in 2011 as a self-produced project, and then landed on Steam last June thanks to the word of mouth of the fans and the notoriety acquired through the channels dedicated to indie titles, UnEpic is a mix of platform and RPG made basically by one person, Francisco Téllez de Meneses, who has dedicated every free moment to his creature over two years., to then be assisted by some collaborators for the finishing and localization operations. A mammoth job, considering the numbers involved: two hundred rooms, one hundred weapons divided into seven categories, seventy spells, seven dangerous bosses, four levels of difficulty, three different obtainable endings. More than two years after the original release, here is the debut on Wii U in digital format. How did it go?
UnEpic is a great RPG platformer, full of things to do and quite challenging
Double screen, double fun?
There are differences between the PC version of UnEpic and the one available for a few days on the Nintendo eShop, but they concern the feeling of the experience rather than the technical aspects of the same, reproduced in an identical way and without any additions: we, at least, do not we noticed no difference in that situation. The game boasts decent bitmap graphics, with fluid scrolling and decent animations, as well as good characterization for characters and scenarios.
It's all very "small" and playing on TV you have to get used to this approach, which clearly refers to the "metroidvania" style also for the key aspects of the gameplay, which include a generous dose of mandatory backtracking. We said about the feeling: managing Daniel's movements using the GamePad offers better control than the keyboard, and the use of hotkeys for "on the fly" selection of weapons and objects has been replaced by a fairly intuitive recall system . By opening the inventory, it is in fact possible to select any of the objects or weapons available and assign it to a combination between the backbones and the main ones. You can therefore quickly equip the sword by pressing, for example, the L backbone together with the X button, or quickly drink a healing potion by holding down the R backbone and pressing the A button, and so on. The most interesting feature of the Wii U version of UnEpic however is the "TV Off" mode, which is activated by simply pressing a button on the GamePad. Enjoying the experience as on a portable console is really enjoyable, and a convenient zoom function allows you to overcome the small size of the graphics and always have an excellent view of what is happening on the screen. For the record, the action is not even reproduced on the controller touch screen when using the television screen, so you have to choose one or the other option.
As already mentioned, beyond the controls and the display mode on GamePad, UnEpic is structurally identical to the PC version, with four difficulty levels to choose from that allow even novices to be able to advance in the adventure without incurring insurmountable problems. .
Certainly the approach to the genre is hardcore, there are checkpoints but the management of vital energy often involves the use of teleportation to reach a "safe" room where to save the position and restore health, then you have to go back to the ongoing quest doing some backtracking. It is an element that you may like or not like, but it is part of the gameplay and fans of the genre will hardly have difficulty accepting it. On the other hand, the discourse of fights is different, which despite the large number of weapons and usable objects are often resolved in a simplistic way, through dynamics in which it is generally checked by hitting first, without the opponents being able to react too much. The respawn of the enemies follows rules that are not particularly stringent and therefore seemed adequate to the traditional needs of "grinding", since the increase in the level of the character implies the possibility of improving its characteristics and being able to use advanced objects. The publication on eShop finally appears a bit bizarre, considering the fact that Nintendo has never promoted its digital platform that much, but it is possible that users decide to reward this experiment and that maybe the next step is the I land on Sony consoles, much more "receptive" from this point of view. We'll see.
CommentVersion Tested: Wii U Digital Delivery: Nintendo eShop Price: € 9,99 Resources4Gaming.com
UnEpic is a great RPG platformer, full of things to do and quite challenging. A title whose fame is absolutely deserved, especially considering that it is in practice the work of a single developer, and which arrives on Wii U with two interesting features: the controls via GamePad and the ability to play using only the controller a TV off. Fans of the "metroidvania" genre will particularly appreciate the peculiarities of the experience, all backtracking and upgrades, despite a slightly discreet technical sector, some small blunders in the balance of difficulty and a basic combat system, also in terms of artificial intelligence.
- Played on GamePad earns a lot
- Packed with levels, quests, items and enemies
- Lovers of "metroidvania" will like it a lot
- Combat system can be improved
- Hardcore approach not always digestible
- Technically nice, but modest
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