Blue Knight – Kongregate Helper’s OFFICIAL Review
Game Description: Blue Knight is a fun, little action-packed platformer set in a far-away planet of which humans want to colonize. Your goal is to probe the planet for alien life and if you encounter any you are to attack with deadly force! Blue Knight is similar to the Robot Wants… series. Here’s a word from the developer:
Explore an alien planet in a mission to clear it of enemy threats, ready for a new human colony. Pixel rich game with cool twists.
Blue Knight was a fairly easy game in my opinion. The monsters all had about the same difficulty level and seemed to have very limited artificial intelligence, (AI) from my view-point as they constantly attacked you, but always missed. The only, actually, smart enemy were the bats which kept on your trail until you ran back to mommy, or blew their faces off with your chain-gun (what kind of sick, twisted game gives you a chain-gun to start off with?!). Besides the bats the next best were the towers that fired multiple missiles around themselves. Although, besides those couple of enemies the difficulty factor remain, unimpressively low. I’m not going to say that I didn’t die a couple of times, or that the collaboration of enemies in one room wasn’t a challenge, but the enemy placement and AI just wasn’t as strategic as I would have liked for there of been. Most enemies were solo, all by themselves in one great room and when you waltz in their with your chain-gun, well, their dead. To me the game should have simply been harder, the enemies usually sat in one place – at least a couple of them shot projectiles at you, but besides those one or two enemies the rest sat there and jumped around or followed you. I think the problem was caused because the enemies were too weak, all of them (I believe) only did one damage per hit, what if an enemy could hit two or just simply had better AI? We’d have a whole different game and for the better I believe. I think the quickest fix for this problem would be to add more enemies that can shoot projectiles at you, the more the merrier right? That way you’d be focusing on dodging, evading and trying to get rid of the enemies as quickly as possible. As of right now your probably more concentrated on killing off all the enemies with your over-powered chain-gun.
This game had a very, very strong influence from the Robot Wants… series. Let me compare the two games: For starters the levels design was close, there were always a bunch of paths to take and none of them lead to barren dead ends, but each time you’d reach a point where you could not continue you were rewarded with a power-up for your character, or the path is meant for later on in the game. This is especially noticeable in paths where you need the jet-pack to move on. In addition, you had to collect numerous power-ups in both games. Many of the power-up ideas were the same, though the Snorkel power-up is exclusive to Blue Knight because the Robot Wants… series, I believe, has never had water included. The water actually spiced-up the game a bit for Blue Knight, which separated it from the Robot Wants… series. The art actually looked similar, you’re in a purple cave and Robot Wants Fishy was also based in a purple cave – conspiracy or am I just paranoid? I think those were all of the main similarities between Blue Knight and the Robot Wants series. I must also note one more unique feature displayed in Blue Knight, is the ability to aim anywhere on the screen with your mouse. The downside is that, that feature made the game a lot easier than if it wasn’t included. I relied on my prey to come out of hiding and then I could just shoot a couple of bullets at them from behind a low wall and if that feature wasn’t included and you could only fire straight-forward I’d have to come out of hiding and actually confront the enemy whereas he could also attack me. One thing that I did not like about this game was that you had to walk back and forth between the starting point of the game and the endpoint of the game; to me, it seemed that after you defeated a boss on the the -3 floor, for example, that you have to climb to the +1 floor to kill the next boss. I would have liked to see everything be in more of a chronological order where you’d fight boss #1 on floor 1, then fight boss #2 on floor 2, ect.
I loved the art is Blue Knight, it was some superb pixel-art! I think what I liked most about the art style is its retro look. There is nothing complex to this art design and I love it that way. I also admire how the pixels are all visible – some games that claim magnificent pixel art turn out to just make only a couple of noticeable pixels available to the eye, they reallydon’t even count as pixel art. Blue Knight was just the opposite, the artist wanted the player to see everything that was going on in this world, right down to the pixel. I think what is going to catch a lot of viewer’s eyes is the retro look, you simple can’t go wrong with it! I also have to admire the color choice, I loved the purple slime or metal that was the surface for the dark grey dirt. I personally love the combo of dark grey and purple. Another thing that i enjoyed about this game was that i thought was pretty nifty is that there must of been about 10 colors used in the entire game. If you can create an entire world with that many colors and still make it look magnificent, well, that takes a bit of talent! I also loved the background. I personally feel that the background emitted this mysterious, gassy feel to it. It truly made you feel as though you were on a different planet. I believe those were palm trees in the background! The only problem that I did have with the art in the beginning of the game, is that some of the weeds look like spikes. That formation of the weeds could confuse a couple of people at first, I personally would have curled the individual pieces so that they look more like an organic shape and non-spike-like.
Blue Knight was a game that was solely focused on sound effects. The first sound effect, which can really be taken as either a sound effect or a piece of music, was the wind. Most platformers don’t have wind sound effects, but the ones that do immediately grab my attention, it makes the whole world around you so much more realistic. It feel as though, in an instant, that you could be there right along side the characters, fighting for humanity. It was all very surreal. Along with the wind was the chirping of birds. That in turn created another layer of realism as you could just imagine, far off in the distance, perhaps in the palm trees or in a rain forest, birds chirping. The developer really had a keen interest in the sound effects of environments. Besides the background sound effects (which I like to call them) there were also sound effects produced from movements of your character. One such sound effect was created when you walked around the planet. I love it when developers add walking sound effects. There was another sound effect when you bumped into enemies, it was a more menacing sound, obviously. My favorite sound effect would have to be the sound produced by the gun fire. Another such sound effect relating to the gun, was the sound that it made underwater. Underwater the sound effect appeared muffled. Which, like I had mentioned before, displays the developers keen attention to detail in the sound effects department.
There literally was no such thing as a difficulty ramp in Blue Knight, every part of it remained consistently easy. I noticed, that like the Robot Wants… series that some areas of the map were blocked off because you needed a power-up to reach them. For the example to the left of your starting location there is a large pool of water and the only way to surpass it is to have a snorkeling device of some sort and to achieve this snorkeling device you need to collect it from an earlier location on the map, obtainable without the device. Also, the jet-pack was another item that allowed you to reach places that you couldn’t before. I would have liked to have seen those areas that were unachievable before, be more difficult and challenging once you reach them later on in the game. This worked great for the Robot Wants… series as the user was always engaged with touch enemies and it would work well here too!
There was a little bit of replay value, if you were on MoFunZone, which is currently beta testing a new achievement system or their website (it’s all the rage now-a-days, achievements). There were actually a total of five achievements, but sadly there was no incentives for users on other websites, such as Kongregate, where it is currently being hosted. While the achievements may be fun to obtain and would definitely add incentive to continue if you were a person that enjoys the popular flash portal, MoFunZone, there was no real goals to set for yourself on other websites. i guess that is the point, to drag in new players with a fancy achievement system, but i would at least have like to have seen some sort of scoreboard for the remaining websites that the developer and MoFunZone agree to put on. For example the Kongregate API would have been nice to have had, which can easily be added to your game in a matter of minute. The Kongregate API could then track stats such as “total time to beat the game,” or “total number of kills,” or “game complete.” All of those would have been huge incentives for the users as they could compete against one another for the top-spot. I especially believe that the “total time to beat the game” could spark a little competition. In addition, in-game achievements would have been nice to see.
In conclusion, Blue Knight was an epic, – although short – action-packed game revolved around a science-fiction theme. If you liked the Robot Wants… series you’ll definitely want to check this game as it combines the fundamental ideas of the Robot Wants… series and then the developer intertwines some of his own ideas. In review, the game was a bit too easy in my opinion. I would have liked for more enemies to be introduced into the game, preferably tougher enemies, that would not only spice-up the gameplay, but make the game overall more challenging. Also, the difficulty ramp was pretty non-existent. I would have liked for the areas that you could reach later on in the game prove to be more difficulty, because to be honest I lose interest in games that don’t challenge me. The art was a strong-point for this game. I loved everything about the retro styled art from the exotic background to the purple cavern walls! In addition, the sound effects were spot-on, the background sound effects, such as the wind and bird made you feel right there, along side the characters, like you were really there; and the sound effects produced from the character’s interaction between him and his environment with perfect. The replay value was a bit low, unless you were on MoFunZone which is hosting a set of achievements for the game. So if you aren’t on MoFunZone, don’t expect a whole ton of replay value. I would have liked for there to be some sort of replay value system in place, such as in-game achievements or a scoreboard. All in all, Blue Knight was superb, but the difficulty was lacking.
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