8Doors: Arum's Afterlife Adventure

released on Apr 08, 2021

8Doors is Metroidvania style 2D action platformer game based on Korean afterlife world view. Explore 8 different area of purgatory by becoming the main character 'Arum'. Solve the mystery of happening on purgatory through fight against the specter and lead fugitive souls to the right path.

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Tava bem legal, até que eu cheguei num chefe que vc tem que fugir nele... e eu acho q foi uma das piores lutas contra chefe que ja vi na história dos games, ent dropei o jogo

I quickly liked the setting and art style, until I encountered a bug that didn't let me continue the game. I'll return to this if they patch it.

This review contains spoilers

When this game doesn't get in the way of itself, it can actually be a fun time.

Level design is all over the place, ranging from interesting exploration to headache-inducing platforming (including escape sequences). Fast travel is one point per area, but for vital items that you might have missed, enjoy traipsing ALL THE WAY back through areas. I know that shouldn't sound bad in a Metroidvania, but this game started to grate on me after a little while when it came to going back to explore stuff.

Bosses are varying levels of okay-to-bad, in some cases just based on whether you're in the second phase or not. There are several bosses with attacks that follow based on what side you're on, so even if they telegraph the move to give you an opportunity to react, rolling past them or jumping in the opposite direction they're facing just means you're going to take a hit on the other side of them because they 180 on a dime.

In the case of one boss, you have an NPC assisting you for parts of the fight and it felt like the boss had a larger health bar because of this. I don't know if that's actually the case or not, but the fight felt like a slog because the boss had homing projectile attacks that would only come after you and since you're doing about 90% of the damage for this fight, you spend a good portion of the fight at times just dodging instead of being able to take a swing while NPC occasionally gets in a single hit every thirty seconds or so.

Weapons/weapon skills are a mixed bag, because some skills are vital abilities needed to make progression in the game and in conjunction with your ability tree, sometimes create really awkward scenarios just because of the dev's design choice. One weapon has a secondary ability to shield you from inclement weather and other hazards and you're required to use it against a boss. You have an ability that lets you check the health of a boss by using your weapon skill to hit the boss. What happens when you're forced to use a weapon that just acts as a shield when you're next to a boss? You end up standing there next to a boss, probably looking like an idiot.

I'm not suggesting that ability (seeing boss HP) is particularly important or necessary, but there's lots of little design decisions that don't make a lot of sense like this. That same weapon I mentioned can protect you from a hazard as long as you have it up, but you can't jump while you're using it and there's an area where you have to navigate down while holding up said weapon and there's spikes on either side of some ledges you can land on. What do you do if you land on a ledge? Well, you stand there until you decide to take a lot of damage because you're going to have to eat the hazard, the spikes, or both in order to proceed further down. If you get to that area, you'll probably understand what I mean, because I promise I'm making it sound way less annoying than it is if you have even a passing interest in getting secrets and exploring rooms.

Design rant incoming:

I think the most criminal design moment is the first (yes, there's two!) escape sequence you find around the halfway point in the game. You get about a half-screen's worth of distance from the boss the whole time and the sequence is probably somewhere around 90 seconds of precision platforming. Since your character has the ability to switch between their normal form and their companion's form (that of a giant frog that can use some gate-smashing abilities), you learn quickly (by dying) that you need to be in frog form to start the run.

When you get to the point where you need to use the frog's ability, you have to wait an extra moment longer than you think you do to use the ability. This is because the ability is tied to the same button as the roll / air-dash command and the prompt that shows up when you're in range of using said ability doesn't cause the ability to become active. You actually have to stop in order to activate it, THEN you can get things moving again.

You keep platforming and work your way further over and find another gated section your frog has to smash through in a different way. It's a charge-up move, so you need to stick the landing and set it up quickly because it takes a bit of time to get going. There is an ability on your ability tree that shortens charge time for frog's moves, but we'll come back to why this mostly doesn't matter shortly.

Assuming you get through all that, you think you're probably home free, so you do a bit more platforming (or just eating damage so you can use I-Frames to exploit air dashing and ignore some of the platforming), and reach a ledge. You can see another ledge on the other side, so you do what you know and jump/air-dash across to the other side from the ledge...and die because you were expected to fire a projectile past the edge of the screen that you could see to hit a lever to bring that platform over to the other side so you could clear a particular jump over there in order to keep going.

So, you rinse and repeat all this until the platforming goes right. Or quit the game. Because even though you have save checkpoints throughout the game, the developer of this game thought you should start right from this boss escape sequence over and over until you got it right. I mentioned that the charge time reduction ability wasn't really relevant, and this is largely why -- if you didn't purchase it before this point, you're definitely not purchasing it now. Since slight goofs bring the boss about 33% closer to you in each instance, it takes very little in the way of mistakes to have to restart the fight. I could easily see people giving up on the game during that fight because I already wasn't having a good time and mostly just wanted to play to see the end of the game instead of because I was enjoying myself.

End of design rant...or is it?

The next area of the game, you get a double jump ability. Use it by jumping in the air and then jumping again. Simple enough, right? It even has a sound cue to indicate the second jump happened. And this is where I think what should be a quality one would appreciate might exist because there was an issue with coding.

Your abilities you gain in each area get a lot of workout from them to make you feel like you're getting the most out of them. This particular area that requires double jumping has A LOT of platforms and wall jumping to navigate around. The problem is, sometimes you jump once and you suddenly hear the double jump sound. Lo and behold, you press the jump button again and nothing happens! Kinda makes me wonder if the sound cue was added in because something was wrong with the double jump and they wanted you to hear the cue so you could make a manual adjustment on the fly -- which I had to do probably several dozen times over the course of the next two areas.

TRUE end of design rant.

Beyond that, lots of little dialogue mistakes (mostly misspellings, but one particular story scene they refer to the character as "she", but then instruct someone multiple times to keep an eye on "him") and some impressive screen tearing in certain areas.

Soundtrack is okay, regular enemies are mostly fine. The one shining element of the game is that there's a lot of dialogue you can access if you really want to seek it out by going back and talking to the usual NPCs each time you make progress to a new area. Story's nothing to write home about, but they did do a solid job trying to establish some worldbuilding, so kudos for that, and it's largely why I give this two stars.

I quit at 70% area completion according to the game and I don't really see an interest in carrying on. It's not that I couldn't -- I just got tired of fighting the game and weird design decisions that made the experience less fluid than it should have been. I think it says something that I was looking at someone's map they made to make sure I didn't miss out on secrets, only to find out that -- in regards to the second sequence -- they quite literally mention that you shouldn't attempt the second sequence if you're in a bad mood and not having a good time trying to handle the controls. OOF.

Get it on deep sale, or get it in the Humble Monthly Bundle like I did. Not the worst Metroidvania, but it really tried to shoot itself in the foot with a rocket launcher.

É um metroidvania interessante, possui um universo original e uma historia bem emocionante.

Mas sofre de certos problemas, como a pouca variedade de inimigos em cada mapa, tornando todos os desafios repetitivos, em todas as 8 áreas elas só disponibilizam 4 tipos de inimigos... É só isso, nem para ter cerca de 50-60 obstáculos diferentes. Infelizmente isso também fica no mapeamento do jogo, onde quanto mais você anda você percebe que não há variedade de um local diferente do anterior ou divergente, fazendo com que boa parte das áreas sejam esquecíveis, aprecio como um plano de fundo é criado durante um mapeamento de metroidvania mas aqui ele se tornou tão presente a ponto de eu perder o tesão que tinha por toda a arte "gótica" que eu pessoalmente gosto muito, eles continuam bons no geral mas uma pena ser tão limitado.

A trilha sonora é decepcionante, sei que é um assunto subjetivo mas senti que todas elas duravam cerca de 30 segundos e ainda assim entravam em loops constantes a todo momento, alguns não chegavam a irritar, por serem osts calmas e outras me coçaram a cabeça, no geral acabou que a ost é muito esquecível, triste, nada que me fizesse pesquisar após horas jogando. Porém queria desabafar o quão inútil é metade do shop do jogo, os frascos que enchem sua vida e energia são de boas, porém em relação ao deposito de almas e apagador de memorias... Uma completa perda de tempo, me vi upando o primeiro pra depois eu receber uma recompensa fraca em side-quest, talvez sua única função seja expandir o numero de almas coletadas, ainda assim só recomendo ir até 6 almas, mais que isso só mostrará uma progressão mais chata para o jogo, já que você precisará upar suas habilidades o quanto antes para futuras progressões, além de sufocante tira a fluidez da caça as almas que você encontraria por ai, não é recompensador.

O fato de você comprar uma planta que apaga suas memorias tambem é um item que me irrita, do quão inútil ele consegue ser, é até uma ideia interessante no qual você poderia tentar outras habilidades que nunca tentou, mas tudo isso se torna inútil logo quando isso bagunça o seu inventario e se você se arrependeu da compra, não pode voltar atrás porque esse jogo salva até o ultimo fio de cabelo o seu progresso automaticamente, por um lado é um mérito mas por esses motivos acaba incomodando, além de que a progressão gradual lhe mostra que conseguir esse item não vai ajudar em nada, poupe seu dinheiro com esse item se possível.

Seus personagens são muito divertidos, todos os npcs são carismáticos e memoráveis, era sempre divertido conversar com um após a mudança de um grande evento. As habilidades e armas também são bem boas e bem aproveitadas, todas as que você pegar terão relevância para outros obstáculos futuros nas fases, isso mostra que seu inventario não será de todo nulo, as batalhas de bosses se tornam bem mais divertidas com os usos e aprimoramento de cada uma.

No geral o jogo entrega uma bela historia sobre paternidade, em um visual bonito com conceitos de universo interessantes, mas uma pena que seu lado em exploração e musical é mal aproveitado, mas num todo tive um saldo positivo, irei acompanhar os futuros projetos do studio, pois tem potencial e espero que esse jogo sirva como uma ponte de aprimoramento para novas ideias.