The Weaponographist

The Weaponographist is the lovechild of The Binding Of Isaac and A Dreamworks Movie

By Artemis, Posted 15 May 2015

Nothing is better than the feeling of cold steel in your hands while you're about to face down an army of demons. Well, it would be if your weapons didn't keep breaking. The Weaponographist, a game developed by Puuba and published by Mastertronic, is an isometric dungeon crawler hack and slash RPG that uses a cartoonish sense of humor. And you're going to need to laugh because you're going to die a lot throughout this adventure. It'll remind you of classic flash games from way back when Newgrounds was a place where quality flash games existed. This doesn't always work in the games favor, and ends up falling short of what could've been an amusing game with a chuckle-worthy story.

The story itself is simple: an overconfident demon hunter named Doug McGrave,drawn lovingly in the style of classic cartoons, refuses to help a demon infested town and is then cursed. All of his wealth and his weapons are gone! He's now forced to protect the town he wanted nothing to do with and conquer the dungeon in order to undo the curse. The curse itself is a key part of the gameplay because no matter what weapon you use, it'll eventually break, leaving Doug to fight hordes of elven archers, mafia men, lions with whips and octopi with lasers with his bare hands. From there, you have to kill your enemies in order to get their weapons to give you an edge in battle. It's nearly impossible to do with fists alone, so don't even try to avoid grabbing weapons. There's a reason the title is The Weaponographist.

The Weaponographer laser trumpet

The weapons themselves vary as much as the monsters do; slingshots, spears, laser spouting tubas and so much more. It gives a variety to the game, which is good, because otherwise it would have been a bit of a slog to get through if it only had the most basic of weapons. This does lead to one of the games vexing problems; weapons don't have much of an impact. There's no feedback when you hit something, it's just mindless button mashing. The variety gives it flavor, but the game fails at making it actually seem like your character knows how to use all these weapons. It just seems like he's picking tools up and doing whatever with them. The animations are very basic and at times it's like Doug is just flailing around with this stuff rather than actually using it. It makes it seem like Silent Hill: Origins but the difference is that in that game your character doesn't know anything about how to fight. He's just some truck driver guy, rather than a famous Demon Hunter like Doug.

Mr. McGrave is such a good demon hunter that all of his steps and moves seem to float every time you move him. When Doug gains a speed boost it's like you're sliding across ice making it hard to control.. He'll glide right by the enemy you're trying to hit. Combos are essential to gaining experience points and the less points you gain the more experience points you lose. This means that if you keep missing or you can't kill the thing in time, your experience will start to slowly drain away. What was meant to add another layer of difficulty into a fun roguelike experience becomes tedious and obnoxious because you're not walking around; you're ice skating on a lake.

The Weaponographer rooty dungeon

There's always a certain amount of enemies in every room and as you kill them. More will spawn and sometimes if you wait too long to kill an enemy more will pop up. Because of this it's quite easy to get overwhelmed in this game, particularly with ranged enemies. Strangely every ranged weapon in this game moves bizarrely slow, it won't be very long until your screen is filled with ranged weapons of all shapes and sizes that you have to dodge to avoid dying. This is when the ice skating-like controls do come in handy, because it makes dodging ranged weapons a lot easier.

Whenever you die (and you'll be dying a lot in this game), you respawn back at the town with all of your “Goop” but none of your weapons. The Goop is what you use to spend money on items to upgrade your abilities. The two weapon shops will let you upgrade your weapons so you'll do slightly more damage the next time you enter the dungeon. There's also a shop that helps reduce the penalty of the curse by increasing your health or the durability of your weapons, and another store that allows you to buy runes that will come running at you in dungeons which means you need to catch them while you're fighting hordes of enemies. This mechanic and it allows the player to die again and again, but getting progressively stronger as time goes on. This comes in handy when you're trying to beat that one painful boss that you have to continue on with over and over again.

The Weaponographer high tech laser dinosaur

At first, the graphical style seems very stylized and fun and it'll remind any cartoon lover of the classic Hanna-Barbara cartoons. In the game's combat however, the style changes into something that vaguely resembles old Newgrounds flash animations. The colors are bright and nice, everything is distinctive so no two enemies look the same, but the animation is a little stilted, particularly with the enemies that jump around. It makes them look more like action figures flipping around than any sort of cartoon character or video game character for that matter. The environments all come off as the same after a while; never really breaking the mold or thinking outside of the box when it comes to what it could look like. It's just a room with bad guys in it, and maybe a breakable item. Wash, rinse and repeat.

The biggest thing about The Weaponographist that players will notice is that the game doesn't take itself seriously. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Some of the jokes are funny, primarily relying on referential humor and sarcastic wit, but it can wear on you after a while. With all the references the game comes off as more of “Dreamworks and The Binding Of Isaac got drunk and had a baby” rather than a game with it's actually own identity.

The Weaponographist, while fun in a sort of mindless way, isn't a game that you'd want to play over and over again. The controls are too floaty, the environments are too repetitive, and while creative, it just doesn't work when it's put all together.

Angelina Bonilla, NoobFeed (@Twitter)

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Mastertronic
Developer(s): Puuba
Genres: 2D Top Down
Themes: Hack And Slash
Release Date: 2015-04-29

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