Nidhogg: Stab or be Stabbed.
Before reading this one, you should probably watch the trailer to get an idea of the game!
Nidhogg is a cool game. It's the kind of game I wasn't even aware I'd been waiting to play until I got my hands on it. I'm an unapologetic lover of retro-gaming, but I don't have anything against all the rad advancements in graphics and tech, but I do think that sometimes there is something that gets lost in the shuffle. I’ve been trying to think of the last time there was a game that you could just leave running when hanging out or having a party. Any of the Super Smash Brothers series comes to mind. I have no idea how many hours of my life have been spent on SSB:Melee. To everyone that I ever took out of a game with Kirby suicide, I'm sorry. I think Nidhogg fits into this category as well.
There's something hilarious about the refined image of fencing, and the brutal combat of Nidhogg. It's not graphic, unless gibby-pixels make you squeamish (and if they do... wow).
This game is great because you could easily convince just about anyone to sit down and play a round. That's a really important asset for games in my opinion. I like playing games with friends in person a lot, and there hasn't been an abundance of fun, casual-ish titles that are simple to pick up, but can get technical if you want to play it like that. It’s also fun to watch, which games like Street Fighter have going for them. That being said, no one likes endlessly destroying that one friend who doesn't play Street Fighter, and for the most part it's not fun to be on the receiving end of an epic beat down round after round.
The swords are simple white affairs, but this level of abstraction really highlights what the game is about: Stab or be stabbed.
There's something hilarious about the refined image of fencing, and the brutal combat of Nidhogg. It's not graphic, unless gibby-pixels make you squeamish (and if they do... wow). As far as graphics are concerned, the fencers look like the main character from pitfall got into a duel over honor with his mirror image. The swords are simple white affairs, but this level of abstraction really highlights what the game is about: Stab or be stabbed.
There's a great feeling of movement in the game. I'm just getting into it, and generally I'm no Daigo at any sort of fighting game, so others likely can use this level of control even more than I. The levels each present an interesting change to the battle and the graphics are all neat. The clouds on one stage will dissipate from under you if you don't keep in motion, and trying to fence while your vision is blocked by tall grass adds a lot of challenge.
To get the full experience you'll really need some controllers. Arcade sticks seem like the obvious choice, but some NES-clone usb are the way I think I'm going to go. Trying to play with a keyboard is just no fun at all. To be fair, I'll say the ONE thing that I disagree with the execution of, which is that the current system of changing between the three stances (high, medium, low) feels a bit awkward and detracts from the twitchy speed of the game. This might be a design choice, and it's just not my taste. I'd really be interested to know that for sure.
There is a multiplayer online component, and at the time of writing there seems to be a bit of lag. This is really an issue only because the simplicity of the fighting really relies on reflexes. Hopefully they'll clean up the netcode and get this under control in the near future. I look forward to new levels, and possible a local tournament mode that supports over 8 people so I can have big tourneys for the crew.
[PS: Looks like the Razer Nabu won People's choice from Engadget for CES. Verrry interesting. Blerg post about CES]