One of the elements that tend to make me return to a specific video game over and over again are character classes, particularly if I’m playing an action-RPG or a roguelike. Rogue Legacy 2 is my favourite roguelike (also known as a rogue-lite) to have been released within the past year. In my First Impressions, I went over a lot of the gameplay aspects that I enjoy, including the various class options. Today, I wanted to shine a spotlight on my top three favourite classes to play, and some of the reasons why I consistently make time to visit this game at on a weekly basis.
The joys of having a plethora of class options is that it can change the dynamics of a game quite drastically. For example, being a melee character like a Barbarian is going to offer a very different gameplay experience than being a Ranger with a bow-and-arrow, or even a Mage with nothing but spells. Barbarians have a shite ton of health which can help them outlast many of their brethren. Mages, meanwhile, have absolutely atrocious health but can pack some pretty powerful spells that make the tougher baddies melt into the goo of death, just like butter. Rangers can be an interesting brew of both worlds with their combination of magic and physical attacks. This variety of special techniques and differing levels of toughness and defence (or lack therein), and a few other quirks, can create an ever-changing challenge to the gaming experience, something I thrive off of when engaging with Rogue Legacy 2.
As someone who plays this game rather religiously, especially since the latest Arcane Hallows update (dropped on February 18th), what are my go-to character classes? The skills and weapons that I trust the most and seem to derive the most pleasure from during my marathon sessions of this game?
My number three pick is the Chef. It’s okay to laugh, I sure as hell did the first time I saw this dude pop up on the Character Select screen. I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes. When I saw that his weapon of choice was a skillet or frying pan, and that his unique ability was making a healing stew, I laughed some more. Little did I know at the time that this gastronomical gourmet guy would become one of my favourites out of the huge bunch.
There are three main reasons why I love playing as the Chef, especially as a defensive character. The first is definitely that healing stew I mentioned above. The only way to heal regularly in RL2 is via chicken drumstick drops that occur when you break all the stuff in a room (barrels, candles, lanterns, etc.). Occasionally, depending on a special trait or rare item, enemies shall also drop chicken. Beyond that, the only other way to heal is via special relics and items that are randomised in each play-through. So, having the ability to cook my own potion quite literally is pretty handy.
When the player starts, they have three available brews available. Then tend to recharge very slowly (before using all three) if they’re used sporadically, which is typically how I rely on them. However, if you find yourself in a hole of mayhem and potential death, then once all the potions are brewed, you have to wait for a special trigger in order for them to recharge again (get hit once or eat a chicken drumstick, to name a couple examples).
The second reason why I love the Chef is his nifty little frying pan thingamajig. It deflects fireballs and most other projectiles back at the baddies, and thus far, it’s the only character class that has this ability. I can’t tell you how many times I have died playing RL2 because I miscalculated the speed of a projectile. It’d knock me on my ass and, BOOM! I’m doomed. My inclination is to hit the attack button every time I see a projectile headed my way (an old habit from playing other, older games, like Pong), and the only time it truly saves my ass is with the Chef. He’ll fling those flying deathly contraptions back to the enemy, and more often than not, it’ll take ‘em out. This is what makes him such a fantastically defensive character!
The last reason I appreciate him so much is that he inflicts fire damage upon smacking the enemies with the frying pan. Considering that he uses the frying pan to cook foods (you know, because he’s a chefly human), it makes sense that it would be hot. Yup, makes total and complete sense to me. The fire damage inflicted more than makes up for the lower strength and attack power, and the fire status effect tends to last just long enough to take out the baddies.
When you combine all of these traits, along with a much practised playing of the game, he’s one of the characters that helps me last relatively longer than normal, which is another reason RL2 is do damn playable and addicting (my cousin and I have taken bets to see who could last the longest; so far I’m winning over him with a three-minute lead, woot).
My number two and number one slots were actually pretty close to being tied, but after playing for the better part of fours yesterday, I think I have it narrowly tiered. Starting with the second place position, we have the Knight.
The Knight is my carry-over character class from the first Rogue Legacy. This is the class that I played my very first round with and the one who helped me hone my skills at the original, so much so that I have beaten a New Game Plus 4 version (holy shite, is that fucking hard). I was terrified they were going to ruin this class in the sequel, but luckily for me, they didn’t! (They being the creators, Cellar Door Games.)
This guy is your traditional melee dude. He has a sword, the second highest HP (hit points) of any other class (the first is the Barbarian), and the versatility of movement with him is just so fucking intuitive and natural. All of these are the reasons why he’s barely a half-inch from my number one spot. With the Barbarian, there is a small delay after each hit of the axe that frustrates me. The character will pause very briefly as a penalty for wielding a powerful and hefty weapon, and he also uses both arms to swing in a circle when in mid-air. The Knight only uses one arm, and while he can’t hit as fiercely as the Barbarian, he still does a very decent amount of damage. The extra bit of speed makes a humongous difference for me between life and death, more so when coupled with the fluidity of his movements.
My favourite version of the Knight is one who has the Vampirism trait. With this, I’m essentially unstoppable and mostly undefeatable (bosses are my weakness as they are supremely difficult in both RL games). Every time I kill an enemy, I gain back hit points. There is a relic called the Gnawed Bone which increases my max HP if I eat a drumstick at full health. With both of these things, oh man, it’s all over for the enemy hos (hoes? hoz? ho’s?).
Considering that I play the best with the Knight and last the longest because of the ease of controllability, it makes perfect sense for him to be in my top three; easy as barfi.
Lastly, but certainly not least, my all-time favourite class in Rogue Legacy 2 is the Valkyrie, who is a new addition with this sequel. Similarly to the Knight, she’s an entirely melee class character. While she has less health than the Knight (in between the Chef and the Knight, actually), what makes her my number one rather than the second place peon is the versatility of her weapon, the Fauchard.
The Fauchard is the only weapon in the entire game that can strike upwards as well as downwards. Everything else can only go either left or right. Because of that, she’s my favourite offensive character. I can strike most enemies through thinner walls without having to worry about their attacks hitting me, which is extremely helpful when fighting level 60 or higher baddies in the newer areas that have been unlocked. Plus, her weapon has a longer reach than the Knight’s sword, which helps me fight off melee uglies from a comfortable and safe distance. Lastly, there is no penalty for wielding the Fauchard like there is with the Barbarian. When you couple that badass fucking weapon along the manoeuvrability of the Knight, I can pretty much last almost as long as I do with the beloved Knight.
These three classes have added tons of enjoyment to my already pre-existing glee with the franchise, and make it nigh impossible for me to stop playing once I get started. The only real reason I ever pause my playing of RL2 is if I have homework to complete, or if the next trio of classes from the Character Select screen are individuals that I don’t have nearly as much fun with, which doesn’t happen that often but when it does, I know it’s time for quits.
If you’re in the market for an excellent time-sinker of a game, especially a platformer, and if you don’t mind a good challenge every once in a while, then I highly recommend y’all check out Rogue Legacy 2. It’s still technically in Early Access as the full-game is yet to be released, but honestly, even with it being about two-thirds of the way done, it’s supremely worth the investment, and you don’t have to be familiar with the first one (story-wise) to be able to dive into the sequel.