Platform: Wii U / PC (reviewed on Wii U)
Developer: Francisco Téllez de Meneses
Publisher: Ninagamers Corp
Release date: EU: 23 January 2014 | US: January 16 2014
TL;DR: A humorous RPG, that leaves you reminiscing about the good old days.
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Don’t let the title fool you, as this game is anything but Unepic! Unepic is inspired by the 8- bit, retro era and is full of charisma and charm. Although it lacks the visual finesse of Shovel Knight, it does an otherwise great job of engrossing the player with its delightfully quirky sense of scripted humour.
The story starts with our protagonist Daniel playing a tabletop RPG with his friends. His friends begin to poke fun at him, because unlike them, he is a Modern Gamer. Daniel decides to excuse himself to ‘observe nature’, but the lights go out and suddenly he’s not at his friend’s house anymore. To make a long story short, a botched possession attempt results in Daniel being transported to Harnakon, a medieval, fantasy castle.
Unepic has an incredible sense of humour and reminds me of an episode of The Regular Show: fun and immersive. Daniel’s botched possession attempt is down to a spirit named Zeral, who has decided to inhabit Daniel’s body for the remainder of the game. The banter between the pair is absolutely hilarious, and the two of them have great chemistry.
“Unepic is inspired by the 8- bit, retro era and is full of charisma and charm.”
The amazing thing about this adventure game is that it has so many RPG elements, the list of potions and skills are endless, and you can spend hours learning new skills. Like most RPGs, who you become is all down to your skill set and leveling up. Because of this, the game can feel a little unbalanced as enemies can be overwhelming, and I felt it was much easier to survive as a magic user rather than becoming a warrior.
“To be able to progress throughout the game, you must explore the whole castle which I personally love”
The battles between you and your enemies are definitely challenging and especially if you don’t have the adequate skill set. Every room is filled with orcs, skeletons and other fantasy creatures. To be able to see which enemy is attacking you, you must light torches around the room. My views on this swayed from annoyed to laughing out loud, but the only problem with this gameplay mechanic is that you spend most of your time dying. Another challenge is that your enemies are respawning all the time, but luckily the strong narrative counter balances this fault. To be able to progress throughout the game, you must explore the whole castle which I personally love, but I can understand that this may be a turn off for some people. I always feel the power of exploration is important and adds great tension to a game.
Unepic makes good use of the gamepad with some helpful features, for instance all of your spells, weapons and pets are at the touch of one button on your pad’s screen. The gamepad also stores character statuses and other information so that you don’t even need to go into a separate menu to view it. This is always helpful, until you have to keep leaving the game for information you don’t realise how annoying it can be, and how it clearly affects the speed of your gameplay.
The narrative is the strongest attribute of this game and it has enough character to make you want to carry on playing. It’s a definite challenge and as long as you can forgive its flaws then I’d recommend this game to anyone who loves challenging games such as Shovel Knight.
- Humorous narrative
- Great use of gamepad
- Interesting RPG elements
Bad times :(
- I’m not crazy about the art style
- Uneven levelling up
- Enemies can be overwhelming due to skill set
Unepic can be either a PEGI 12 or a PEGI 16, depending on your settings.