Monday, 10 August 2015

Review - Eternum (PC)


Hot on the heels of my review of the excellent 80's arcade game, Baluba-Louk No Densetsu, comes a follow up review. This time I take a look at a brand new indie game that takes a great deal of inspiration from Able Corp's wonderful platformer, as well as a huge nod to Capcom's Ghosts 'N Goblins series. This inspiration is immediately apparent, in fact, the developer has referred to the game as an unofficial sequel to the Ghosts 'N Goblins games, with the hero being no other than Arthur the knight himself. Now an old man, Arthur is on a purely selfish quest. Instead of rescuing his beloved, he is now on the hunt for magical orbs that grant the owner eternal youth. I am not sure why Arthur is alone - clearly his damsel in distress wasn't as into the relationship as he was and has done a runner in the interim. You have to feel sorry for the guy, especially considering how brutally hard the challenges he faced to rescue her were.

While Eternum incorporates the same chest collecting, monster avoiding gameplay as Baluba-Louk No Densetsu it differs greatly in that, this time around, you have an attack. Yes, Arthur has traded his signature lances in for an 'age appropriate' cane, which he can viciously swipe, dispatching the varied selection of undead critters in a splatter of gore. You can still bump the chests from below to open them, causing useful power-ups to appear, such as the teleport, smart bombs, and invincibility, plus there is always one fireball projectile collectible on each stage. Once again, the exit portal opens once you have snatched every chest in the level. 

The game is extremely tough - just like the classic games that inspired it - and the combination of collecting items and frantic combat keeps the energy levels high throughout. A nice addition is the switch to vertical stages that must be navigated with care as they are littered with tricky platform jumping and a multitude of enemies. These stages add some welcome variety to the standard, small, horizontal stages and are even more challenging. As an added 'bonus', a boss awaits you at the top of your perilous climb!

It's an extremely polished and enjoyable effort from Radin Games, with top notch presentation that takes you right back to the arcades of the 1980s. The graphics are well drawn, with a varied selection of monsters that could easily have come from the Castlevania series, and the music is authentic and atmospheric. Eternum is a brilliant retro platform game and is a fitting tribute to both Baluba-Louk No Densetsu and the Ghosts 'N Goblins series and thus comes highly recommended. The only downside, aside from its brutal difficulty level, is the fact that it doesn't hold as much 'score chasing' appeal as the arcade games of yesteryear, but it will keep you engaged until you beat all 25 stages (thankfully, you are given infinite credits to continue with, though your score rests to zero).

Eternum can be downloaded from Radin Games' website and is a 'name your own price' purchase - so if you are feeling generous, throw the guys a few pounds / dollars. Hopefully we will be seeing more games from this talented developer.

Title : Eternum
Developer : Radin Games
System : PC
Year : 2015
Genre : Platformer