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New indie game - Sequence


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So, I would post this in the indie game topic allready going, but I felt a strong need to gush about this game and felt that it deserved it's own topic.


I try to check out the indie games once a week, and this week when going through the new ones I discovered this new release called Sequence that looked very promising. Right from the start, I was hooked. It's a good thing this game allows you to 'return' to the game to play it more, cause just 8 minutes (before the trial expires, as normal for indie game) is not enough!


I've always been a sucker for games that mix two seperate genres. Some examples:


Actraiser: Simulation and Platform

System Shock 1 and 2: FPS and RPG

Puzzle Quest: Puzzle and RPG


Well, this one is a meshing of DDR style games (Dance Dance Revolution) with a RPG. Sound interesting, you say? Indeed!


Let me just highlight the major bullet points as to why this game is so damn good:


-- Voice acting! For all of the characters in the game!

-- Music done by a proffesional muscian

-- Great hand drawn graphics

-- Your choice of four difficulty levels, and until the third level you can change at will

-- Unique gameplay with the battles fought in a DDR style and the ability to gain experience, make items, and obtain spells in a RPG style

-- Bonus area that can be accessed after the game is won

-- Auto saving all through the game

-- Ability to play with a controller, game guitar, or a dance pad

-- Impressive story with many surprises, twists, and turns

-- Featuring 20-30 hours of gameplay

-- only 240 points! ($3)


STORY: You play the part of Ky, a 24 year old graduate student at the University of Florida in the present day. One night, as he's getting ready for bed, something causes him to pass out. He wakes up in a strange and evil looking room, having no items, no memory of how he got here, and no one to help -- until a strange girl's voice sounds down to him from a speaker. Her name is Naia, and she's been assigned as your 'shepard', your guide, through this place. And where are you? Naia explains that you are being 'tested' due to your age and inteligence, and she can't tell you more then that. She will watch you through cameras and help you make it out of here. You have to surive seven levels of this tower and beat a boss at each one to make it to the top to get out of here. So armed with your one friend in this hostile place, you start your quest.....


The story is extremely well done, and one of the games strong suits. There's a heavy dose of laughter in the game as Ky and Naia talk to each other, and several very good twists in the game's plot, including one major one near the end that will leave you quite surprised.


GAMEPLAY: As mentioned above, this is a unqiue blend of DDR elements with RPG elements. On each floor of the tower you are given receipies. In order to make the items, you need to obtain base items from fighting the foes on each floor. The items you can make range from the door key that you need to advance, better weapons, armor and accessories, new scrolls that can teach you new spells, and inhibators that can block the boss's special effect on that floor. There's a choice of three foes to fight on each floor, and each one can drop three different kinds of items. You can advance once you have the key, but it's suggested you stay and fight until you make all the recipies. Not only cause it will help gain you levels by getting XP, but the items are very handy.


As you fight, you gain XP's that increase your level. Another unique aspect is that in order to make items from the recipes, you need to spend XP on it. You get a base 50 percent chance of success to start, and you can raise it to 95 percent by spending more XP. If you fail, you lose the XP's but not the items. New spells are learned by using the scroll and suriving a DDR 'test' -- either getting through with more then a certain percentage of the notes not missed, or hitting a combo.


BATTLES: Battles are done in a DDR style format. There are three 'panes' for each battle -- defense, attack, and mana. Defense is where you can counter the attacks the creature is using on you by hitting the notes at the right time. Attack is where you can damage your enemy by hitting the notes. And Mana is where you can restore your magic points as you use them in battle.


The notes are repersented by up, down, left, and right arrows and you can select each one by either the directional pad, the left thumbstick, or the X/Y/A/B buttons. There's also a spell guage, which you select which spell you want by moving the right thumbstick to highlight the desired spell. You can hold two spells in battle to start, and eventuly can hold six. Casting the spell once you select it causes the notes of that spell to fall down on the attack page, and hitting those notes damages your foe. The objective, of course, is to defeat your enemy before either your hit points run out or time runs out. Spells are reflected by either instant attack magic, longer lasting 'poison' like spells, healing spells, and defensive spells.


As you advance up through the tower, the battles get much tougher, with the speed increasing, the arrows raining down on you more often and requiring two button pushes at once, and the enemies have more HP to take away.


EXTRA: There's many nice features also in the game. One is from the main menu you can hear all the music in the game and see the very well done artwork. If you send a message to some of your friends a few times, it increases the chances of you getting items from monster drops. There's also a 'bonus area' and extra ending scene that you can access once you've finished the game. To access this, once you finish the game once, continue the game and you'll be back on the seventh floor before the final fights. Make the item and check the floor screen -- you'll see a new area. Defeat the hidden boss here, and you'll get some very nice bonus items including one that unlocks a new scene in the ending -- that helps to expand a rather disapointing ending, the only drawback of the game. There is some replay value to this, with the four difficulty levels. Finally, there's a nice long 'credits' scene where the two people who made the game banter back and forth, explain how the game was made, and all the people who did voice acting and helped make the game or test it or fund it.


CONCLUSION: I really can't suggest this game enough. This is a unique game and extremely well done. It took me about 20 hours of gameplay to go through it on Easy mode, and I imagine at the higher levels it will take even longer. The whole production is so well done you'd swear it was put out by a proffesional game stuido, and not just a couple people working out of their house in LA. And it's VERY cheap, at only 240 points. The game is easily worth much more then this. If you like RPG's at all, and can stomach the DDR style of the battles, you'll love this. If you like DDR type games, you'll also love this. If you just want a unique game, well....get the drift? :)


If anyone else has played this please share your thoughts and comments.

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