Vambrace: Cold Soul Articles RSS Feed | Vambrace: Cold Soul RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Latest Vambrace: Cold Soul Update Gives Players New Game+, More Tue, 04 Jun 2019 15:31:44 -0400 Glitchieetv

Devespresso has been extremely responsive to fan feedback during the first week since Vambrace: Cold Soul released. Changes have included reducing the game's difficulty, introducing shelters outside of neighborhoods, and implementing various bug fixes.

In the latest update, more asked for items have been added to the game. Those changes are outlined below. 

Hedge Mage Buff

The hedge mage is the primary healing class in Vambrace: Cold Soul. With the ability to heal others, as well as give a healing over time buff to her companions, the Hedge Mage can be a staple for long quests.

Originally she healed two companions 1 point each turn, with her flourish healing one companion 3 points, with 1 point healing for two turns. With the new buff, she now heals one person 2 points, and her flourish heals 3 points, with the 1 point heal lasting three turns. The Hedge Mage's flourish also charges faster.

The relic skill Life Fusion, gained from the Amulet of the Matriarch, really ups the heals. Her regular attack now heals for 4 points to a target alley. Her flourish now gives Super Rejuvenation, healing 2 health per turn for four turns.

Bullion Chips

A new reward for defeating enemies in battle or opening chests, bullion chips are a fast way to make Hellion. Weightless, these chips come in bronze, silver, and gold. They can only be sold to merchants so don't worry about saving them to craft with later.

New Game+

The real diamond of this update is the addition of New Game+. Looking for replayability as well as the ability to collect all unique garments, players clamored for more game content. Thus, New Game+ was created. At the end of the game, look for a hint on how to start New Game+. 

Steam Cards are in the process of being approved and should be added soon. 

Vambrace: Cold Soul is a lot like Darkest Dungeon, but harder. Check out our review of the game to see why. 

Vambrace: Cold Soul Original Soundtrack Now Available Fri, 07 Jun 2019 13:07:03 -0400 Glitchieetv

Vambrace: Cold Soul, a challenging roguelike from Devespresso Games, released a little more than a week ago. Since then, the game has received several updates and a DLC. Among other things, the updates tweaked things like difficulty and added other features such as New Game+.

Now, the game's first DLC brings the game's original soundtrack to Steam and other digital storefronts, such as Good Old Games. 

The developer said of the DLC via  a press release: 

A star-studded fantasy/folk soundtrack by Hyunho Kim with NieR vocalist Emi Evans and Metal Gear Solid composer Norihiko Hibino.

The game soundtrack features heavy hitters in the world of video game music. The collaborative effort on the part of three composers, Sung-woo Hwang and Hakyung Kim with Hyunho Kim as lead composer, has resulted in 12 tracks. Hyunho Kim has worked previously with Headup, composing tracks for the Coma: Recut Original Soundtrack.

With things mixed and mastered by Norihiko Hibino and Sp3ck, the original game soundtrack is sure to delight fans of Vambrace: Cold Soul.

The track list starts with The Lost Lady and features warm and inviting notes. It then moves on to Flight of the Sorceress, a musical embodiment of Isabel's icy powers. Finally, it all culminates in an EDM power ballad by Kino featuring the vocals of Emi Evans, known for her work on Dark Souls and NieR: Automata, titled Golden Skies. 

Released by Scarlet Moon Records in partnership with Devespresso Games, the soundtrack is available for purchase on all storefronts, including Steam, for $6.99.

GameSkinny Weekend Download: New Call of Duty, Death Stranding, Dauntless, and More Sat, 01 Jun 2019 11:07:17 -0400 GS_Staff

Weekend Download is back, and this week we have a ton of reviews, some brand-new guides, and a lot of news. 

From the next Call of Duty to PSVR, Dauntless and Pokemon, Death Stranding, Super Smash, PixARK, and more, we've rounded up everything we've published in the past week. 

Sit back. Relax. Enjoy. It's the weekend. What else are you gonna' do? Play video games? 


  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare Revealed, Releases in October
    This year's Call of Duty will be a soft reboot of the series, and it will feature crossplay at launch. Read more

  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare Won't Have Zombies, Will Have "Realistic Feeling World"
    Leaning more on realism, Activision confirms that Modern Warfare won't have Zombies Mode. Read more

  • Death Stranding Releasing November 8, Pre-order and Edition Bonuses Revealed
    The more we see of Death Stranding, the more intriguing it gets. Release date, pre-order bonuses, and editions announced. Read more

  • Cadence of Hyrule Might Launch on the Switch Very Soon
    Cadence of Hyrule doesn't have much time left in May if it's going to stick to its rumored May release date. Could this week be the one? Read more

  • Dauntless Surges Past 6 Million Players In Less Than A Week
    The new co-op RPG passed a significant milestone and more than doubled its player base, thanks in large part to cross-platform play. Read more

  • Pokemon Press Conference and Pokemon Direct Announced
    Pokemon Press Conference announces for tomorrow, and Pokemon Sword and Shield Direct scheduled for June 5. Read more

  • Pokemon Press Conference Reveals New Games, Hardware, and More On The Way
    From a Detective Pikachu sequel to a new line of professional clothing and more, there's a lot of Pokemon on the way in the coming year. Read more

  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Might Get the Labo VR Treatment Soon
    The same source suggests new Amiibo functionality could be coming to the game as well, giving the pint-sized fighters something to do other than sitting on your shelf. Read more

  • Labo VR Support Added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — But It's Limited
    Smash Bros. Ultimate does, indeed, have VR, added with its latest update. Here's how it works and what stages are compatible with it. Read more

  • Days of Play Returns in June With Special Edition PS4, Discounted Games
    2019's Days of Play offers a limited edition PS4 system and plenty of discounts to jazz up the month of June. Read more

  • Xbox Game Pass Coming to PC, Separate from XB1 Version
    Xbox's Phil Spencer also shared some details about working to bring Xbox Game Studio titles to other storefronts in the future. Read more

  • Mordhau Sells 60,000 Copies In One Day
    Mordhau quickly smashes into the top-selling games on Steam just one day after launch. Read more

  • New PSVR to Launch After PlayStation 5
    The PS5 won't launch directly with a new VR headset, but the second gen of PSVR is currently well into development. Read more

  • Overwatch Anniversary Brings Skins, New Features to the Arena
    Overwatch's third anniversary brings a plethora of new content to the game. Read more

  • Pathologic 2 To Add Difficulty Slider In New Update
    A difficulty slider is slated to arrive in an impending Pathologic 2 patch to broaden the appeal toward a larger player base. Read more

  • Roguelike Vambrace: Cold Soul Available Now
    Rougelike game Vambrace: Cold Soul launches on Steam and Goof Old Games. Read more

  • The Elder Scrolls Heads to Tables Everywhere with Call to Arms
    The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms brings the franchise to the table. Read more

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses Preview Covers Plot, Provides New Details
    From a corrupt church to a casual meal between friends, Fire Emblem: Three Houses will provide a boatload of content while still remaining true to its FE roots. Read more

  • Vambrace: Cold Soul's First Update Reduces Difficulty
    The first update for Vambrace: Cold Soul is live, bringing various changes to the game. Read more

  • Rocket League and Mortal Kombat 11 Join the Summer Arena Clash
    Rocket League and Mortal Kombat 11 are added into the lineup for Arena Clash Summer 2019 by Belong Gaming Arenas. Read more

  • At Last, Digimon Survive Gets New Info in Game Dev Diary
    Digimon Survive's producers open up about the game's place in the franchise and some key features player can expect when it launches...whenever that may be. Read more


  • American Fugitive Review: Life on the Lam
    American Fugitive is a love letter to the original Grand Theft Auto games. Can this throwback steal our hearts? Find out here. Read more

  • Vambrace Cold Soul Review: What If Darkest Dungeon Was Harder And A JRPG?
    If you don't mind being actively abused and tortured for hours on end, Vambrace can become extremely addicting for fans of either Darkest Dungeon or classic SNES RPGs. Read more

  • Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland Review — Cozy Crafting
    It's more of the same Atelier, but it also takes the best from its predecessors to synthesize a fun and customizable adventure. Read more

  • Draugen Review: Draggin' Through a Beautiful World
    Draugen begins as a fascinating narrative-adventure game set in a gorgeous world. It's a shame that it struggles to maintain its momentum. Read more

  • Pixark Guide: Leveling Tips and Tricks
    Here are all the tips and tricks that you will ever need to level up really fast from Level 1 to 80 in PixARK. Read more

  • Blood & Truth Review — Live An Action Crime Drama In VR
    Blood & Truth is the full action blockbuster experience, with a few limitations to keep in mind. Read more

  • Lapis X Labyrinth Review: Fevered Tedium
    Lapis X Labyrinth has a lot of flash that just gobbles away any substance it might have had. Read more

  • Team Sonic Racing Review: Really, You Gotta Go Fast
    Team Sonic Racing is closer to a 3D Sonic game to a kart racer, and I love it. Sonic Heroes Racing, anyone? Read more

  • PixARK Review: What if Minecraft and ARK Had a Baby
    PixARK is a gorgeous-looking game that mainly caters to casual players that are already familiar with Minecraft and ARK: Survival Evolved. Read more

  • Void Bastards Review: Rewarding Wit and Experimentation
    Void Bastards is a roguelite shooter that encourages experimentation and smart thinking in outer space, and it mostly works to great effect. Read more

  • Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted — FNAF Meets Playroom VR
    The jump scares are more visceral in VR, and you get some nifty new mini games, although all the same weaknesses from the main series are still here with Help Wanted. Read more

  • Warhammer Chaosbane Review - Slaughtering Chaos Cults For Fun And Profit
    While there are some noticeable limitations compared to other games in the genre, Chaosbane is a worthy addition to the ARPG realm for Warhammer fans. Read more

  • SpellForce 3: Soul Harvest Review — Galaxy Brain
    Packed with content, SpellForce 3: Soul Harvest is a must-play RPG-RTS hybrid... if you don't mind multitasking. Read more

  • GameSir GK300 Keyboard Review: Solid Choice That's Missing a Few Parts
    While it might not have everything we'd expect in a modern gaming-first keyboard, GameSir's GK300 is a surprisingly worthwhile choice, especially at the price. Read more


  • Let The ARPG Wars Begin: Warhammer Chaosbane vs. Other ARPGs
    While the broad strokes are familiar, Chaosbane diverges sharply from the standard ARPG in several ways, from skill choices to character customization. Read more

  • The Top 20 Minecraft 1.14.2 Seeds for June 2019
    In this month's selection of top Minecraft seeds, you'll be dealing with some unusual settlements and well-hidden pillager posts. Read more

  • Free RPG Day 2019 Guide: What to Get and Where to Get It
    New products will up for grabs totally free this June for Pathfinder, the Witcher RPG, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Modern Age, Kids On Bikes, and many more! Read more

  • Why Stardew Valley is King of the Farming Games
    If you're looking for the best farming game out there right now, there are certainly a lot to choose from and several top contenders. The one that stands above them all, though, is Stardew Valley, and here's why. Read more


  • Dauntless Orb Farming Guide
    In this guide you will learn how to farm orbs from the perspectives of both beginner and advanced players in Dauntless. Read more

  • Dauntless All Scales Farming Guide
    Here is a complete list of all behemoth scales in Dauntless, and methods describing on how to farm them effectively. Read more

  • Dauntless Ostian Repeaters Build Guide
    You've crafted the Ostian Repeaters, but what's next? Here's a quick look at some builds to aim for. Read more

  • Dauntless Guide: How to Use Ostian Repeaters for Maximum Damage
    The Ostian Repeaters get a lot of unfair criticism because they aren't as simple as they seem. Make sure you're dealing maximum damage and helping your team with this handy guide. Read more

  • Vambrace: Cold Soul Guide To Not Dying
    Can't seem to make it past the first few maps of this devastatingly hard RPG? We show you the best way to put together a part, navigate rooms, and use healing skills to survive! Read more

  • PixARK Farming Guide: Growing, Irrigating, and Harvesting
    Can't figure out how farming works in PixARK? Here's a simple step-by-step guide that will show you how to grow, irrigate, and harvest your crops. Read more

  • Splitgate: Advanced Warfare Weapons Tier List
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  • Layers of Fear 2 Guide: How To Earn All Three Alternate Endings
    Layers of Fear 2 offers three distinct endings. Need help earning the one you like or seeing them all? This guide will direct you to each finale. Read more

  • Layers of Fear 2: The Perfect Storm Achievement/Trophy Guide
    Looking to solve one of Layers of Fear 2's first optional puzzles and unlock The Perfect Storm achievement or trophy? We've got your guide right here! Read more

Check back next weekend for another roundup of news, reviews, guides, and features. 

Vambrace: Cold Soul's First Update Reduces Difficulty Fri, 31 May 2019 10:47:04 -0400 Glitchieetv

The first update for roguelike dungeon crawler Vambrace: Cold Soul is now live. Taking feedback from players over the past several days since launch, the developers said in a Steam forum post that changes were made to allow for a more enjoyable experience for a majority of the player base. 

The biggest change comes to Neighborhoods, where players encounter various enemies, collect items, and either live or die from terror. Overall, neighborhoods have been made easier.

One of the larger additions is that the number of combat encounters has been reduced, meaning health lasts longer, teams die less often, and players can travel through a neighborhood more smoothly. There are repercussions, as some items, from my experience, specifically, are only available from winning combat encounters. 

Another change, which I and other fans appreciate, is that the developers have tweaked the Ghost Fog Meter. Now, terror will accrue at a decelerated rate, leaving players more time to explore. Instead of taking the most direct route, worrying when taking the wrong path, or not backtracking to avoid the meter from filling, players can search every nook and cranny to their hearts' content.

The speed at which players walk through neighborhoods has been increased so less real time is spent moving from room to room.

Minor changes include some text adjustments for English and Korean. The tutorial is now accessible via the pause menu, which is great for players who have already been through the tutorial but may need a minor refresher. The speed at which players can move around Delaerch has been increased as well.

Steam Cloud Saving is still going through a few tests but according to the devs, implementation is on the horizon; a recent bug regarding Lyric's closet has reared its ugly head while testing the implementation.

Costume data appears to be wiped, too, but Devespresso has already found a solution and costumes should be returned with version 1.03.

Adjustments on the horizon include the ability to skip the opening cutscene, as well as additions of basic camps at the ends of neighborhoods. These will not be full-fledged camps where health and vigor can be restored, but they will allow players to change equipment and access inventory before moving on to the next neighborhood.

In our review for Vambrace Cold Soul, Ty Arthur said of the game, "If you like the idea of Darkest Dungeon's mechanics but want them transported into a unique JRPG setting, pick this one up as soon as possible, so long as you are ready to survive some serious abuse along the way."

Roguelike Vambrace: Cold Soul Available Now Wed, 29 May 2019 09:44:22 -0400 Glitchieetv

Vambrace: Cold Soul is now available for purchase on Steam and Good Old Games (GoG). While the game has only been out for about 24 hours, it is already getting rave reviews. During the first week of its release, players who buy the game will receive a 10% discount. 

The rougelike adventure tale takes place in the frozen town of Icenaire. The town has been cursed by the King of Shades, barricaded behind an enchanted frost wall; the town is now overrun with wraiths. Players take the role of Evelia Lyric, the only person able to enter Icenaire since it has been overtaken. 

Delearch is the main hub of the game, a city below Icenaire. Here, Icenaire's former inhabitants struggle for survival as the King of Shades' power continues to grow. Now living in the former dwarven kingdom are drow, elves, humans, foxier, and, of course, dwarves.

Each race has their own goals, locations to explore and side quests that can be taken up. Completing side quests gives you different attire for Evelia, including lingerie and a Sherlock inspired piece.

Featuring turn-based combat with 10 separate classes, Vambrace is steeped in strategy. With traps, savage enemies, limited supply capacity, and limited money, battles can be ruthless in the beginning. Players should take care to hire the best combatants for their teams, otherwise, they all may perish. 

While Vambrace is only released on Steam and GoG at the moment, a console release for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is planned for the third quarter of 2019. Check out our guide to not dying for some beginner tips.  

Vambrace Cold Soul Review: What If Darkest Dungeon Was Harder And A JRPG? Mon, 27 May 2019 03:15:02 -0400 Ty Arthur

There was a time when I was ready to give Vambrace: Cold Soul a 1/10 rating, light my computer on fire in protest of ever having played it and then hunt down the developer's loved ones in truly brutal fashion like an Asian revenge flick.

Thankfully, that time has passed on by, and now I think I may actually be legally married to Vambrace in some states due to the number of hours we've spent together. She doesn't give it up easily that's for sure, and she definitely makes you work for it.

The Harder The Task, The Sweeter The Reward

Yours truly didn't get anything but the cold shoulder on the first date with Vambrace, or the second, or the third, or the fourth, or the *checks notes* what the hell the 25th?!?

Yes, it took me 19 hours. NINE. TEEN. HOURS. to beat the first expedition. 

But oh man, when it finally happened, when I beat that first boss and Vambrace gave me the wink and the "come hither" finger motion, it was all worth the frustrating wait.

I think we can all agree that heroin and meth are objectively bad for you, but once you've started it's not like you are going to be inclined to stop, and that can sum up my relationship with our cold mistress during those first 19 hours.

Imagine being thrown into a long quest in Darkest Dungeon on your first time playing the game, and having absolutely no idea what provisions to bring or how to interact with objects. That's what it's like on your first time with Vambrace: Cold Soul. You will scream, and cry, and throw things, and then head into another trek through the cold frozen wastes even though you know it's doomed ahead of time.

But oh man, when it finally happened, when I beat that first boss and Vambrace gave me the wink and the "come hither" finger motion, it was all worth the frustrating wait.

 Yes, we suffered for you. Worship and adoration are accepted.

Sadly, none of you reading this are ever going to experience the pain and pleasure of that first conquest the way we poor, abused advance reviewers did.

After a mountain of complaints from reviewers (not from me mind you, I was far too browbeaten by the mistress to ever question her ways) the developers decided to slightly tone down the difficulty on the first level for the launch version.

Even with the difficulty taken down a notch, you are still going to want to read our guide not dying for any hope of not smashing your laptop to bits after freezing to death for the 15th time.

Darkest Dungeon Gets A JRPG Makeover

 Chibi world map movement!

There's no question that Darkest Dungeon is the obvious starting point and strongest comparison to make in terms of overall game mechanics for Vambrace.

The combat is set up the same, with four positions to utilize and a variety of classes that are only able to attack specific positions on the enemy side. The similarities don't stop there, either.

Resources are scarce, healing is scarce, companions to recruit are randomized so your strategy will get kicked in the teeth before you even embark on an expedition, traps are prevalent and will screw you over without warning.

In some ways, Vambrace is actually harder, however.

 The combat routine will be familiar to DD veterans

The randomized recruitment board means one of your biggest challenges is juggling companions with a high Overwatch skill to raise your vigor and health while camping versus recruiting allies who can actually be useful in combat to survive a few rooms.

Since the shops are reliant on whatever has been scavenged from open areas of the city, which items are available to buy before a quest are also randomized. You might get lucky and have plenty of vigor restoration options and awesome relics available... or you might get nothing useful at all.

Whereas DD has the light meter that results in harder enemies when it gets snuffed out, here you're battling two dwindling resources: vigor and the dreaded geist meter.

Vigor makes sense in this game, as your party is traversing a frozen city filled to the brim with ice-themed undead. Entering any room drops vigor by 1, and if it hits 0, your companion (or main character) freezes to death.

 Didn't find a campsite in the randomized dungeons? Cool, you gonna die.

As with health, opportunities to raise vigor are few and far between, so simply moving between rooms becomes deadly. Even worse is the geist meter, which also ticks up by 1 for every room you enter. The longer you stay in an area, the more the souls of the damned are drawn to your party. Stay too long, and every single room becomes an extremely difficult combat encounter.

While all this sounds like a Darkest Dungeon reskin with an ice theme, Vambrace distinguishes itself in ways that will be very pleasing to fans of the SNES era. For one, there's actually a continuing story arc and a reason to travel into the various districts of the city.

More clear cut RPG elements and nods to classics of the genre are ever present, from privates named Biggs and Wedge, to an overland map style that is pulled straight from Chrono Trigger. There are also lines clearly meant to call back to famous characters like Locke and Magus from old Squaresoft titles.

 Lingerie. The most powerful weapon in the drow arsenal is lingerie.

While this game is bleak and hard, there's also some surprising humor the likes of which wouldn't be out of place in any given JRPG... like a quest to obtain the most powerful weapon owned by the drow matriarch. 

In case you're wondering, yes, you can wear this as an outfit while battling undead and plundering sections of the frozen city. We don't even need sexy mods for this game, because it came with its own!

Was It Worth It?

  I'm partial to the Wraith Veil outfit myself

So at this point, you might be wondering... why go through all that? Why get kicked in the genitals repeatedly by a stiletto-heeled JRPG protagonist cosplaying a Darkest Dungeon character?

Here's the thing... all of the main JRPG quest lines and world-building elements to suck you into the story take place AFTER that first devastatingly hard expedition. So yeah, this game makes you work for it, but there's a payoff.

Despite taking place in one main location, Vambrace is a surprisingly in-depth world that takes familiar ideas (cat folks, elves, dwarves) and presents them in a more unique setting.

All of these different factions are forced to live and work together in extremely close proximity, with revolutionaries plotting an uprising in the slums, dwarves who want to see the status quo maintained, mysterious assassin drow keeping their own counsel, and so on.

Once you finally get a hang of the exploration and combat, there's a lot more to this than just dying endlessly while trying to make it one room further than before.

From outfits to unlock, upgraded equipment to craft, factions to side with, different party combos to try out, and an endless string of lore books to uncover, Vambrace will hook you if you're willing to look beyond the initial difficulty. 

The Bottom Line

 ...I may have actually cried a little when I beat the first boss.

  • Gorgeous visuals in a mashup of RPG styles
  • Darkest Dungeon combat seen through a more traditional JRPG lens that becomes absolutely addicting
  • The world building is interesting and worth exploring even with the high difficulty
  • A word like "hard" or "difficult" doesn't even begin to cover it
  • Have you tried smashing your face in with a hammer a couple of dozen times? That's what the first mission is like.
  • The overly randomized nature of party lineup, item inventory, and dungeon rooms means sometimes you can't win no matter what you do

How best to describe the seductive allure of this punishing game? Vambrace: Cold Soul is an abusive girlfriend who got me hooked on crack, locked up my passport for "safekeeping," and now has me turning tricks on the street, but I still love her anyway.

I've literally found myself hand mapping out the number of rooms in each area to find the best way through and I can't think of a time that's happened since DOS was a thing.

If you like the idea of Darkest Dungeon's mechanics but want them transported into a unique JRPG setting, pick this one up as soon as possible... so long as you are ready to survive some serious abuse along the way.

[Note: A copy of Vambrace Cold Soul was provided by Headup Games for the purpose of this review.]

Vambrace: Cold Soul Guide To Not Dying Mon, 27 May 2019 03:15:02 -0400 Ty Arthur

Move over, Sekiro. One of the most devastatingly hard games of the year has arrived, and its name is Vambrace: Cold Soul.

Here's the thing, though: no matter how much you think you know about Darkest Dungeon style games, you aren't meant to survive the first expedition into the frozen paths of Icenaire. Or the second. Or the third.

RNG is a harsh taskmaster in this game, which will see you dying repeatedly. However, with the right strategy, you can mitigate the worst of it and make it through the first mission with your sanity intact.... maybe.

With the tips below, you'll be ready for your expedition into the Entertainment District, where death is all but assured either from freezing solid or by the slash of a ghostly blade.

Navigating Rooms In Vambrace: Cold Soul

 Taking the middle route shaves two rooms off your expedition

The biggest killer in this game isn't a phantom warrior or a deadly trap. Instead, it's traversing too many rooms. Entering any room reduces the vigor of all party members by one. Since you have limited vigor, and the ability to restore vigor is entirely dependent on whether or not a dungeon room randomly has a campsite, you can expect to repeatedly freeze to death just trying to get through the first two or three maps.

You also get to select which of two paths to take when first starting a mission and after completing any of that mission's maps. Some of those paths are clearly more deadly than others. On the first mission into the Entertainment District, this is the path to take, which features the fewest rooms: 

  • Right (Road of Riches)
  • Left (Hospital)
  • Right (Spa House)
  • Right (Dwarf King Inn)
  • Forward (no choice to go anywhere else)
  • Forward (no choice to go anywhere else, leads to the boss area)

Whether you go left or right at the beginning, the one area you want to avoid at all costs is Game Land. There are more rooms in this area, and the golem enemies are harder.

When you first enter any map, press "M" to bring up the overview and make a note of what route is the shortest. For instance in the map shown above, taking the top or bottom route adds an extra two rooms to your journey for a total of seven rooms. Going straight through the middle is only five rooms, which means there's less chance of something going wrong, and less vigor to lose.

Every room you enter also raises the geist meter. When the geist meter is full, you will always have a combat encounter in every room with a full lineup of four enemies. That effectively means you can't survive to the end of the map if you have more than just a handful of rooms left. Combat healing abilities also don't work while the geist meter is full, so you can't recover health.

 This pack of four enemies will appear in every room when the meter is full

To make a long story short, avoid extraneous rooms like the plague, and never, ever backtrack.

Unfortunately, going the shortest route in a map is complicated by the fact that the room exit arrows don't always correspond to the actual direction you move on the map. Whether this is a bug that needs to be fixed or a purposeful design decision to reflect the twisting corridors of the frozen city (and make the game harder) isn't clear.

To prevent backtracking, always check to the left and right of both the entrance and exit of a room! The way the room exits are setup is unnecessarily confusing, and you'll often think there's only one exit or that an exit goes up or down instead of forward when in fact there are other exits going the way you actually want to leave a room.

Dealing With Random Encounters And Room Types

 Sure, I'll read the evil old ghost tome. What could possibly go wrong?

Unlike Darkest Dungeon, where you can avoid bad outcomes of random objects by using the correct item type, the chances of a bad outcome aren't worth the trouble in Vambrace.

Let me make this clear: just avoid random encounters and objects entirely. Whether it's a cave, a tight wall space, a ghostly hound, a moldy old spell book, a jewel clutched by a corpse, or an undead girl who wants candy... just say no to all of them. The risk isn't worth the reward in the vast majority of cases.

The only possible exception here is if all of your team members are extremely low on vigor and will die in the next room anyway. In that case, it might be worth hoping for a good outcome to randomly increase vigor. In every other instance, though, getting no reward is better than the (very high) possibility of losing health and vigor to the event.

Note that this only applies for the first mission to the Entertainment District. After completing that story quest, you will need to start interacting with random encounters to acquire items like Chains to craft better equipment.

 Don't open these!

Aside from random encounters, there's one other specific room type worth mentioning for its inherent danger: random treasure rooms.

The normal brown chests are the only objects that have the chance of becoming a mimic. If you're worried about unexpectedly losing health and vigor, just skip them and open everything else instead. Crates, boxes, and black chests are never mimics, so open those freely.

Recovering Health And Vigor

 This room is the key to survival, which is why it will never spawn when you need it

Keep in mind that your goal in the first mission isn't to reach the end and complete the quest to find Isabella on your first try. Instead, your goal is to find enough resources before dying to craft better equipment that will increase your vigor. 

After your first trip to the Entertainment District, head to the blacksmith (the building on the far left side of town). After talking to everyone, inspect the forge to gain access to crafting and make crafting stations randomly available in dungeon rooms.

When you have the resources, buy a Vest for your three companions, and then craft a Fine Vest for Lyric using these components:

  • Vest
  • Needle & Thread X 5
  • Splint X 3

Note that item selection at merchants is based on a random Merchant roll when you talk to them. Consequently, you may have to come back repeatedly after multiple expeditions to get enough Vests for everyone.

Other crafted items to raise Overwatch can also be helpful, but I found the Fine Vest to be the most effective at the beginning of the game since it keeps you alive longer on both the health and vigor fronts.

Keep in mind that when you are in a dungeon, your party can only use items at a campfire. Be sure to stock up on health and vigor items before leaving town if you have the funds, otherwise sell the random items you find to a merchant if you are lucky enough to randomly get one in a dungeon room.

Unlike other games of this style, the Overwatch skill isn't used to prevent wandering monsters from interrupting your rest. Instead, it directly affects how much you can heal without using items at a campfire.

The Entertainment event raises all party member's vigor by the selected companion's Overwatch skill (assuming you don't get a critical failure), while resting raises health by the Overwatch skill (ditto). Unfortunately, both also raise the geist meter by 5, whether they are successful for not.

You can do both events at a single campfire and get a big boost to survive... but you are much more likely to have the geist meter hit max level, which means a ghost battle every room. Only ever do both events at the same time if the campsite happens to be very close to the exit, or if you are on a map with a shorter number of rooms to travel.

Vambrace: Cold Soul Combat And Party Lineup 

One element that makes Vambrace harder than Darkest Dungeon is that it has a main character who must survive every battle. If Lyric dies, you automatically leave the dungeon and have to start over, which you want to avoid.

To keep her out of harm's way, put her in the far back position, and focus on taking out the enemies with ranged attacks first, especially if Lyric has low health. If only enemies who can attack at close range are left, they can't target Lyric at all while the front three companions are still alive.

When your front two allies get low on health and there's no campfire to use, swap out the 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 3rd positions for the next few fights. Let that third place ally take the brunt of the damage until you find the next randomized campfire room.

When running low on health and nearing the end of a map, there is an exploit that can be used to ensure your survival. If you enter a room that reverses your marching order from the previous room (walking left to right instead of right to left), running from combat is actually more beneficial than finishing the fight.

When you run, the party is thrown in the opposite direction they were walking. That means running from combat will place you at the opposite side of the room after having your walking order reversed (effectively bypassing the fight and getting to the exit door). This can be the critical difference between defeat and making it to the next area if the geist meter is full.

Which specific allies are available for conscription at the Hunter's Camp before a mission is entirely randomized, so you can expect to die repeatedly based on unlucky combinations of available recruits.

Ideally, you want one ally with a high Overwatch skill for when you run out of recovery items, one with a high Combat skill and the ability to attack long range, and one who can either heal or provide a protective barrier.

If you want any expectation of surviving multiple battle rooms, one of the best lineups consists of:

  • Lyric
  • Shadowmancer
  • Celestine (or Hedge Mage)
  • Fusilier

At first, the Dragoon seems like the best frontman, but the Fusilier can hit targets in any position, and his special flourish ability deals significantly more damage. If you don't get the Dwarf in the random party choices, a Dragoon or Berserker will serve as an acceptable replacement.

The Celestine is one of the best all-around options since she can give you a damage barrier but still deal damage to the enemy. If she isn't available, take the Hedge Mage instead. Note that she doesn't need the Combat skill since she deals no damage and only has healing abilities, so freely put equipment on her that lowers Combat. 

The Shadowmancer's usefulness is in both avoiding traps (which can kill you outside of combat quickly) and in the ability to deal consistent incremental poison damage to all four enemies at once. Poison damage is dealt at the start of an enemy's turn instead of at the end, so it can effectively kill creatures and free your party up to attack other enemies if you pay attention to the turn counter.

As a last resort, if nothing else is available, the Blood Mage is a solid back row choice since she can hit targets in any position.

 If you make it here without smashing your computer to bits, congratulations!

With these tips in mind, your on your way to making to the end of the Entertainment District and fighting the game's first boss!

How many tries did it take you, and what was your most effective party lineup and equipped item combo?

Vambrace: Cold Soul Showcases World in First Feature Trailer Fri, 17 May 2019 14:15:42 -0400 Glitchieetv

Vambrace: Cold Soul, the upcoming rogue-like title from Head Up Games, has finally received its first trailer, titled Feature #1: Town. It is the first of three trailers, with the second being Combat and the third Exploration.

Town highlights the main city in which Vambrace: Cold Soul takes place.

As laid out by the featurette, players take the role of Evelia Lyric, one of the only humans able to enter the cursed city of Icenaire. Given the enchanted Aetherbrace upon her father's death, players make their way to Icenaire.

Ruled by the King of Shades, the city's former inhabitants have fled underground to the town of Delearch, the focus of this first trailer. While the King of Shades amasses an army of the undead, the survivors fight to reclaim their home.

Delearch is the game's central hub, and it is where players will assemble a team of mercenaries, purchase equipment, craft new items, and customize Evelia, among other things. Because of the game's hard difficulty, it is wise for players to prepare before each quest, and Delearch is the place to do so. 

Vambrace: Cold Soul Screenshot
Players can choose from 10 different classes and five different races, each with their own unique talents. However, choose wisely and form the best team for each quest to ensure the highest rate of survival.  Once a companion dies, they are gone for good.

Vambrace: Cold Soul also features a seven-chapter story with various side quests that can be completed to unlock up to 26 thematic skins. Along the way, players will find codex pages to expand on the lore and history of Vambrace: Cold Soul. They will discover new creatures, companions, and defeat various enemies as they make their way to the King of Shades. 

Stay tuned for the second trailer, which promises to highlight the turn-based combat mechanics that make the game a unique entry in the rouge-like genre.

Vambrace: Cold Soul launches May 28 on Steam and GOG. Our review will follow.