Bad Vices Games is making its first attempt at releasing a game: Hippocampus: Dark Fantasy Adventure. It’s a third-person hack and slash game with fast-paced combat and platform phases. Honestly, this sounded pretty good to me. Add to this an interesting backstory and I’m completely sold. However, maybe upon looking up this game, you’ll see it was released in February, thus a while ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this game as much as I thought I would. The review you’ll read below won’t be very long either, because there are just a few basic things that made sure I couldn’t really enjoy the gaming experience in Hippocampus, it’s as simple as that. Anyway, here we go!
What we liked!
- Story: I’m a writer and a big sucker for good stories. The story we are offered in Hippocampus is simple, yet intriguing. You get to play as Lord Moebius, who has taken a drug called Datura Stramonium. This causes you to experience hallucinations. In Moebius’ case, these hallucinations make our hero see several monstrosities. Of course, there is a reason he took these drugs, right? Well, duh! A girl, of course. His beloved Lorelei, to whom he was engaged, no less! The hallucinogen makes his memories of his lost betrothed vivid again as well, so he’ll take those damn monsters in order to find out the truth behind the disappearance of Lorelei.
- Combat: If you’re looking for a challenge, this is your game. The game offers a combination of platforms and puzzles, which I did enjoy. However, the difficulty was a little too high for me. You’re a hardcore game enthusiast? Perfect, this will be right up your alley! However, I pass.
- Tutorial: Before you start the game, you get explained the story and your role in it. Upon entering the game, the controls needed will be explained at the time they are needed. I like this because you have time to process each and every button, and there’s no need to learn everything by heart right away. This goes on for a while since there’s quite a lot to be explained. But if the tutorial was decent, why is this not in the section above? Well, for a tutorial, this part was already quite difficult. Hippocampus does not let you ease into the game, let me tell you. Some may see this as a positive point, but I would’ve liked it if I wasn’t frustrated in the tutorial already.
What we disliked
- Wait, am I dead?: There is one thing that annoyed the fuck out of me more than anything and that was not knowing you are dead for a few seconds. Seriously, sometimes a monster would kill me, and I’d just try to continue fighting it, but it turns out I’m already dead. It’s all okay if the game takes a few seconds to respawn, but don’t make me think I still have a chance.
- Graphics: I wasn’t expecting cool ass graphics from a game that costs 10 Euros, but I just didn’t enjoy looking at the game at all. It was like watching something on television, but with quite some interference. The game is also fairly dark, so keep that in mind. This wasn’t really an issue for me though.
Unfortunately, I am not very fond of this game. I had high hopes, seeing as the premise sounded interesting and the (admitted, few) ratings on Steam were good. I’m sure people who prefer hardcore games will enjoy this one, but for me, it’s a no. The highly difficult combat, combined with the lag you experience when you die, made me more frustrated than I wish to admit.