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What’s Killing My Social Life This Week – RWBY: Grimm Eclispe

{WARNING: MINOR RWBY SPOILERS AHEAD }  

  It’s incredible to see what a fandom can really do to a person. You’d be milling around minding your own business, reading, listening to music, or watching a show and for a brief moment you would be fine. It would start slowly at first, masquerading as the tiniest hint of curiosity, a growing hunger to find out more about the thing you like. Questions will begin to pop-up inside your head and soon after, your search history. Who are the creators of the thing I like? What are their interests? What is their Twitter and Tumblr url? Can I meet them and how? W̧̕҉H̴͞E̷͜͠R͏E ͠DO̧ ̀T͟͠Ḩ̵E҉͏́Y̵͘͘ ̷̀͘L̵͡IV́E?͢͢ Are there other people who like the thing I like? Where can I find and talk to them? Where can I see their fanart. W͡H͏E҉R̡Ȩ ̛CAN̡ I S̵E͢E ̡TH̢ȨIR F͘IC͟? It is at that moment that you are lost, you are a fan. Surrender your emotions along with all hope of ever getting out. Make sure you strap in, the feels train will be departing soon. If you can’t find sturdy enough safety belts, then just cling to whatever other object you can find and smile as the turbulence tears your fragile body apart. Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone for this ride and that your gruesome death will be regarded with awe and/or embarrassment by future generations. Sew your limbs back on with the aid of an ungodly amount of hand-made clothing. Sometimes cosplaying can mend the wounds that fic and art cannot. Upload fan videos, ships, theories smut and whatever else you can contribute to the fandom. Above all, always remember to respect your fellow trash.

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  Which brings us nicely to the subject at hand, namely RWBY: Grimm Eclipse; the fighting game that made half the internet scream with glee. If you’re not familiar with it, RWBY is a show (available to watch on youtube or the Rooster Teeth website) that you should totally check out and I don’t know why you haven’t already. Seriously, go check it out, you’ll fucking love it.

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  Now, I was never a fan of RWBY and then –through the elaborate process listed above- I was (thanks Wondy). In fact I’ve become such a big fan that I’ve watched every episode a minimum of 17 times (with the exception of the One, whose end I keep skipping). So you can see how I might have regarded the game adaptation of the show with a certain bias in mind, but I digress. I knew full well that Grimm Eclipse would be a largely unfinished game when I bought it, but I spent money on it anyway (partly because I wanted to support something I felt so strongly about, but mostly because I am FNDM trash and would purchase shovelfuls of gravel if they were vaguely related to RWBY in any way, shape, or form). So, was it worth it? The answer is a resounding “eeh”.

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  You see, the main thing about RWBY -the show- (besides the amazing characters, immersive world and unique plot) is the combat and that’s where the game falls somewhat short. Indeed, through my playthrough I found Ruby and Blake to be the more fun of the four available characters and that’s because Weiss and Yang don’t feel like their show counterparts at all (or at least not enough).  To start off with Yang, her attacks lack the required amount of impact because of an odd delay between an action happening and the game registering that the action happened five minutes ago and those Ursai should have been dead by now. I’d jump in to pound a group of unfortunate enemies into the dirt, but special moves 1-3 wouldn’t actually damage them until a second after they had been cast. This, by the way, was not due to lag, because the game ran very smoothly and even when I was playing solo the problem still persisted.

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  Similarly, Weiss’ skills just don’t feel like hers. She’s supposed to be fast, elegant, powerful and deadly, but her abilities are pretty crappy. Her glyphs are terrible, her attacks lack grace and her dash move… oh her dash move. Remember in the first episode of Volume 2 how she picked up that swordfish and started stabbing away? Remember how even then we could hear the “shhh” sound of the air being sliced into small, confused, dying breezes? That’s what her dash doesn’t have and same goes for her other abilities. Her AoE does a considerable amount of damage, but doesn’t feel powerful enough, her dash does a lot of damage but often either misses or flat-out refuses to work and her projectile attack is the most underwhelming skill in the game, with a range of about 2 feet. It’s also incredibly slow and when I say slow I mean glacier speed. Basically, if you want to be hitting anything anytime soon, you’ll have to be within kicking distance of the target, otherwise the projectiles will just pop away into oblivion. Don’t get me wrong, it does a lot of damage, it just sucks in all other respects.

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  Comparatively, Ruby’s like –well- like a massive, crimson scythe cutting through Grimm as if they were papier mache. She’s quick, agile and while not very durable, overall really cool to play as. Her best ability is –in my humble opinion- Dust Blast. When cast, Ruby will hop camply backwards, firing a very deadly and explosive shot from her physically improbable scythe/gun. While incredibly awesome and fun to use, it’s marred by the fact that her aim is worse than a Stormtrooper with a moral compass (a trait unfortunately shared with everyone else in the game). Nimbly I’d hop around the Grimm, expertly kiting them all into one small, blastable spot, only for the shot to gravely wound a distant mountain approximately 100 miles in the opposite direction. As for Blake, she’s really fun too and I’m happy to say that her transition to the game has been seamless and very true to her character. All her abilities are very cool and satisfying to use, with the possible exception of her (again) really crappy gun aim. If you’re planning on playing as her, I’d recommend spamming Shadow Strike until all Grimm, in the vicinity get reduced to whatever it is the Grimm get reduced to. It’s pretty cheap to use and really, really fun.

  By the way, Grimm Eclipse is multiplayer-only and for whatever reason there’s no way to play the game in singleplayer or change characters while in-game.[Edit: Actually there’s going to be some fixes about that in the new patch (see below) so you will be able to play on your own, you friendless, laggy butt]. Upon hearing this I cringed, afraid that I’d be unable to find any lobbies to join, though I was happy to see that there were more than enough available games. Setting that aside, it’s really down to your own preference whether you like to game with others or not. Personally, I got the best of both worlds because –on the few occasions I was alone- I had all the enemies to myself, which meant I got to level up faster. Otherwise, if people joined my game I could spend whole minutes ranting about the show and characters, before they inevitably disconnected.

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  Now, I’ve been talking gameplay for the past few paragraphs, but have left out the combo system and that’s because I have mixed feelings about it. You see, in RWBY: Grimm Eclipse abilities other than your basic attacks cost energy to use and the only way to gain energy is either leveling up or killing things. On one hand, this mechanic makes the combat more rewarding by encouraging players to keep building up combos, which is great and really fun. However –as with most combo-y games- if your character get’s hit mid-fight then your combo count is reset and you have to start all over again. This may sound like a petty complaint, but it’s exceedingly easy to get hit when fighting against large groups of bloodthirsty, fanged enemies –especially if you happen to not have enough energy to, say, use an ability. Things get even more frustrating when the Grimm begin to synchronize their attacks so expertly, you begin to think their sole purpose in life is to interrupt your combos before you even get five hits in. I kept running into this problem with all 4 characters and attempted shooting at the enemies from a distance, but –as I’ve said before- no one can aim for shit in this game. In the end I just hacked away regardless and somehow managed to come out swinging (or at least swaying from side to side before collapsing). Maybe I just suck at video games and won’t ever amount to anything in my life, but it feels like the combo system still needs some tweaking to make it less punishing if you mess up. I dunno, food for thought.

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  Other than fighting, the game is pretty bare bones, consisting only of a 40 minute long story campaign and little else. Yes I know it came out on Early Access -like- three months ago and yes, Rooster Teeth are probably working on adding more stuff, but novelties aside there isn’t much to it. With no other game modes, no more than 4 playable characters and very little story, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse strikes me as a game with a lot of yet-to-be-fulfilled potential. I’ve seen the concept of team attacks discussed in forums, along with including more characters and more skills for existing ones, so maybe all hope is not yet lost. Ultimately it all boils down to one simple question: Why does no one ship Hourflask (Qrow/Ozpin)? They’re practically cannon already and I don’t think there’s anything more adorable (and tragic, spoiler alert) than Qrow holding onto his DEFINITELY NOT DEAD THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND HAVE A NICE DAY boyfriend’s cane. Ok fine, two questions. Are you a fan of RWBY? If yes, then this game will be everything you ever dreamed of, but might leave you wanting (at least until the next patch). If not then I don’t even know why you’re reading this. Play it with friends to your trashy heart’s desire, while the entire FNDM breaks down and refuses to acknowledge the Volume 3 Finale.

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Edit: Ok, so it seems Rooster Teeth have made a post here saying that they’ll soon be implementing an update to fix and/or improve on the issues above. At time of writing, the release date for the patch is expected to be around “the second week of March”, so I’ll probably be making a follow-up post concerning the upcoming changes in the game. And yeah, with that said, I guess this really is going to be the best game ever made ever.

-The Fairy Wizard

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Posted on February 24, 2016, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, Uncategorized, Video Games, What's Killing My Social Life This Week and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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