Volgarr The Viking: Review
"Thank you sir, may I have another?"
Have you ever played a game that was so awesome, so fun, and yet so infuriating that your controller has cracks in it? Well, I think I found that game, for me at least. Volgarr The Viking will chew you up, spit you out, and then stomp on your slimy remains. But like all beasts, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Volgarr The Viking is no exception.
What's so great about it?
Well, if you like getting punched in the face, then Volgarr will make you feel right at home. The difficulty is unrelenting, and seeing how there is only one setting for the difficulty, you’re in for a shock. Volgarr acts as a reminder to all gamers that back in the day, video games were challenging, and didn’t hold your hand through every step of the way.
There are no “save points” in Volgarr. You start at the beginning of the level, and pray to the gaming gods above that you manage to make it to the half way point. Make it to the boss and then die? Have fun doing the second half of the level all over again.
The level layouts are challenging, unique, and fun. Each level has certain "elements" that you need to deal with, such as water and drowning, wind and getting thrown about, lava, etc. Once you beat Volgarr The Viking, the developers show you a "special" way to beat the game, which is actually the right way to beat Volgarr.
Doing so is ridiculous.
You need to get your upgraded shield, a helmet, and the fire sword. After that, you have to open two to three more chests without getting hit. The chests will then have a purple or blue flame inside. This fire will allow you to pick the "alternate" path of the next level.
During the alternate path levels, your purple or blue flames are now your lives. So, if you only collected one flame in the first level, you only get one life in the alternate path. Once you run out of lives, you go back to the "normal" path. You need to beat all of the levels on the alternate path (and collect a special item before the boss room in each level) to enter the secret final level. BEST OF LUCK!
The retro graphics will awaken your inner nostalgia gland, and you’ll probably wonder, “Why was this game not out for the Super Nintendo?” Good question; the Norse Gods over at Crazy Viking Studios might have the answer to that.
The combat is pretty simple; swing your damn sword. Other than that, Volgarr requires a lot of memorizing patterns and enemy spawns. The Red Skeleton warrior swings his sword twice, and then jumps over you. The Green Fishmen need to be killed with a spear, as getting close to them only results in getting stabbed. Then there are the bosses and their unique patterns as well.
The soundtrack in Volgarr is phenomenal; Kochun Hu has really out done himself. Each level has really epic and medieval soundtracks. They also do an amazing job of capturing the atmosphere of each level. So expect jungle-type tracks, water world tracks, and so on. Except that they are all really well done.
What is not so great about it?
Well, nothing. This game is damn near perfect. I seriously cannot think of anything that I did not like about Volgarr. Secrets in each level? Amazing. Hard and challenging bosses, level layouts and enemies? Hell yeah. Epic sound track? You got it!
I know that the difficulty might scare off some of you, but try to muster up some courage. Volgarr is a great game that you do NOT want to miss out on. I don't normally throw out a solid 10/10, but for Volgarr The Viking? I think that Crazy Viking Studios have very well out done themselves on this masterpiece. There is no reason to not get this awesome game. If you want to improve your gaming skills, or just take on a REAL challenging game, then Volgarr The Viking is for you.
Now if only Volgarr could make its way to consoles. That would be most epic.
A personal copy of Volgarr The Viking was purchased via Steam and released on September 13, 2013. Volgarr was developed by Crazy Viking Studios and published by Adult Swim Games. I played for hours on end, and I’ll always come back to this amazing game.