Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition Review – Double Penetration

Have you ever hated a game so much that you couldn’t stop playing it? Not because it was downright awful, or there was anything outright bad about it, you just didn’t like it from the get go and never made it past the initial regret of “WTF did I get myself into?” That is the effect Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition has had on me. I literally cannot stop hate playing the title (or would it be the other way around, considering I keep dying over and over again and just keep saying “Thank you sir, I’ll have another”).

The game features a pretty cut and dry story, following an ancient tale of a future Germany where everything throws spears at everyone they don’t like, or something along those lines. The developers are pretty vague in this regard, which works, because it appeals to the scatterbrained Deadpool loving ADD side of my brain. You are set off on a journey by Uka Uka’s flat, 2D lookalike to gain great power by killing everything the game throws at you. I know this sounds kind of basic, and it is, but there will be a certain strategy required of the player, as you’ll need to take into account how long it takes to charge your spear, the enemies’ speed, as well as the angle of your attack. At first, this is a bit overwhelming and honestly doesn’t get much better, as the game has new ways to screw you over regularly. Every time you master one aspect, the game will throw three new enemy types as well as a downward level of attack, some flying creatures, and a walrus on a slide at you.

The gameplay is almost as simple as the story – you’ll stand in place as a stoic hero or heroine, avoiding hits from the waves of enemies the game sends at you by striking first using one of the many spears your character conveniently has stored somewhere. While most enemies can be dispatched with a single hit, some require headshots or multiple attacks to be stopped. After a bit of progression, you’ll also be given the ability to use some magic-esque abilities, such as calling on a force field, shooting an electric bolt, or making your spear split off into multiples, among others. You’ll need these, as well as perfect aim to progress through the game’s many levels. Sure, early levels will be somewhat forgiving in the event you miss a shot, as you don’t really take much of a penalty until 3 consecutive shots are missed, which stuns you, leaving you vulnerable to attack, but later levels will punish you for making a single error. This becomes more and more of an issue the further into the game you get, as the boss battles that occur almost too frequently become increasingly complex. You’ll often piss away five or more minutes that you carefully spent dinging away at an enemy’s life bar to only be killed with a sliver of health remaining because they unexpectedly changed up their formula of attacks at the last second. I honestly lost count of how many times I flipped the bird at my unaware TV screen or screamed increasingly immature meaningless threats, making my wife question her decision to marry me by the fifth level.

You can’t move your character much, aside from changing the arc or in later levels the direction of the spear, which is a bit of a disappointment. I was stoked when I was given the code and checked out the trailer, which made this look like a 2D platformer. It’s not, let’s go ahead and get that out of the way now. The game strictly requires you to use the spear and other abilities to shoot down enemy projectiles and gain as many headshots as possible, with a combo counter included, to achieve a high score. The points are stored and used to upgrade the abilities I mentioned before. The fact that you cannot upgrade how quickly your hero chucks the spear does feel like yet another missed opportunity, but does work as way to keep the difficulty in place. The title wholeheartedly embraces the “git gud” style of gaming, which may turn off (or in my case cause a borderline meth level addiction) some gamers.

The visual style is both outstanding and frustrating at the same time. Coming across as if it was part of the Samurai Jack series, it succeeds at meshing the ultra-violent deaths with the cartoon-y and often humorous vibe. I only wish the Cartoon Network titles my son makes me sit through day in and day out offered half of the ridiculous amount of blood that shoots out of any open wound in this game. The characters are all well designed, and I feel like previous games that didn’t allow me to throw spears into the face of penguins have failed me by not giving me something that was clearly missing in my life.  While these aspects work, and work damn well, the devs forgot to hire someone to clean up the blood and carcasses left in your wake, as the staggering body count, coupled with the fact that the bodies just keep stacking upon each other, make it kind of hard to see some of the enemies lumbering toward you. I’m not sure if this was intended as yet another obstacle to the player, or if this was an oversight, but either way it’s super annoying.

The game boasts an outstanding value with the amount of content offered in the single package, especially taking into account some people pay good money to be tortured for their own enjoyment. You can replay any level at any time, aiming to tackle the challenges set forth on each, which range from X number of headshots or kills to not missing or dispatching a certain enemy type in certain ways. These earn additional points that can be used to further upgrade your hero, or they can be used for bragging rights. There is also a local only co-op mode, which is essentially the same, just with two heroes. Since my go to co-op buddies (IE my family) were overly terrified at the effect the game had on my vocabulary and overall tone of voice, I was unable to check out this mode as of this writing, but I can confirm it is of the drop-in drop-out variety.

If you’re the type of person who wants to be frustrated to the point that each small victory is worthy of a full blown celebration, look no further than Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition. Even if you hate it, the addictive gameplay will have you coming back time and time again.

8 out of 10

Pros

  • Fun Visuals
  • Addictive Gameplay
  • Huge Package at Low Pricepoint

Cons

  • Increasingly Difficult
  • Overly Punishing Mechanics
  • Enemies Disappear Into Corpses

Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition was developed and published by Crunching Koalas. It originally launched on PS4, IOS, Vita, PC and Switch over the past couple years and finally on X1 June 1st, 2018. The game was provided to us for review on X1. If you’d like to see more of Lichtspeer: Double Speer Edition check out the official site.

 

Here at GBG we use a rating method that you are more than likely familiar with – a scale of 1 to 10. For clarification, we intend on using the entire scale: 1-4 is something you should probably avoid paying for; 5-7 is something that is worth playing, but probably not at full price; 8-10 is a great title that you can feel confident about buying. If you have any questions or comments about how we rate a game, please let us know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.