Clunky Hero Review
Recently I was given the opportunity to travel to a peasant village in a far, far, faraway land. In Chaosmonger Studio’s latest title “Clunky Hero”, you find yourself in the boots of a peasant by the name of Rufus, who is enjoying his pleasant peasant life with his wife Brumhilda. All seems to be well when the protagonist’s wife is stolen by our antagonist “The Evil One”, and our hero clads himself in the finest armor and weaponry money can… wait… nope he dons his stolen love’s mop bucket and takes up her broom to set off and rescue her. You also come to realize that this “Evil One” has unleashed his hordes of minions upon our daring hero’s village. It is your task to rescue your dear Brunmhilda and put an end to The Evil One’s reign of terror!
Clunky Hero what we know:
In Clunky Hero’s current state I find the game’s graphics simple yet polished, and the combat a bit repetitive… tirelessly repetitive. I’ve found during my playthrough that with the myriad weapons, you can get your hands on, combat varies slightly in terms of damage and reach. They all seem to have the same scripted animations regardless of what you wield. Perhaps it comes off a bit nit-picky, but it didn’t really give me that burning feeling to seek out all the weapons in the game. While we are on the topic of combat, I have found it to be incredibly simple and as I progressed further in the game I found a lack of challenge even when it came to fighting each of the area bosses due to the game NPC’s tending to just walk up and wait for you to attack without putting up much of a fight once you did. Even early on without the aid of such abilities as double jump or dash, I found myself running through and melting my adversaries with ease and little to no frustration. It would be nice to see the difficulty amped up a bit in future updates.
The various enemies that populate the playable area are very well thought up and they can be Hilarious to downright creepy, so that variety was definitely a plus in my book and encouraged me to explore more of this land to see what hilarious horrors the devs have thought up. The Original Soundtrack added some much-needed atmosphere to each playable area, and you can tell the devs wanted you to not only see the area you were in but hear it as well.
The Dialogue is a jumbled mess of gibberish akin to Animal Crossing and it added a touch of levity to the already humorous utterances of our hero and the NPCs he comes across in the game. In the early stages of the game, I got a real kick out of the 4th wall-breaking dark humor, but as I progressed throughout the game the novelty quickly wore off as this became an almost constant rolling theme throughout Clunky Hero’s story. I found that outside of the interactions with the NPC’s for a quick funny quip, I didn’t feel incredibly compelled to do their side-quests due to the constant meta dialogue, taking me out of the shoes of our protagonist and making myself feel like I was playing a visually pleasing, but otherwise dull side scroller.
I also found that even early on in the campaign I had come across a few bugs that would in any other case make me not want to continue playing in its current state. One such bug rears its head during a sidequest for one of Clunky Hero’s NPC’s where you are tasked to free a rare bird that belongs to the quest givers people. Upon reaching the area where the bird is being held captive the cage seems to be missing preventing me from freeing said the bird, prompting me to say “ meh not worth” and along I went to complete another task. I was also plagued by invisible boxes blocking me from jumping between platforms, and seeing as this requires quick reflexes, I am sure you can imagine my frustration when I get within closing distance of safety only to be blocked by an invisible wall that sends me plummeting to my death in treacherous brambles.
As I have said previously it’s these instances that aggravated me to the point where I would put the game down and not come back for some time. Perhaps If there were more save points I wouldn’t be so aggravated at losing my progress to an invisible barrier.
In Conclusion, I feel Like Clunky Hero lays the framework to be a good 2D-ish Metroidvania sidescroller but falls short on its almost constant meta-storytelling, repetitive jokes, as well as the dull and redundant combat. The lack of any real RPG elements aside from the ability to acquire basic skills such as double jump leaves me with a lack of actual character progression that games with RPG elements usually have in spades. All in all, I give “Clunky Hero” 2 Clunky Bucket Helmets out of 5.