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PFP: Curly from Cave Story

RECOMMENDATIONS: https://www.backloggd.com/u/zeusdeegoose/list/recommendation-box/

"Welcome. Drinks are in the fridge."

I'm an African American male, Backloggdian a month shy of being here for a year, who lives in the middle of nowhere (Pennsylvania, US). Message me via Steam, Discord (zeusdeegoose), Twitter, etc if needed (or comment if it concerns a particular review/game). If you want to, you can recommend me games or straight up gift me them on Steam, preferably the latter.

All reviews shared are factored on the base game, so no mods will be factored into the overall score of a game. DLC/updates may be factored in if I feel they make a positive, or notable change to the overall game.

peep @yuzrnaime 's reviews if you like mine!

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yt channel coming soon lol

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Favorite Games

The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
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Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy
Cave Story
Cave Story
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Mega Man Zero

Feb 16

Recently Reviewed See More

Tried to enjoy it, but there was one small issue. It randomly crashed lmao

Will probably play sometime again, probably not on Switch either. I've read on the Wiki that this is apparently common on the Nintendo-emulated versions, but I didn't touch 3DS VC Shantae at all. Not risking it lmao

This review was originally posted on The Legend of Dark With Wiki, prior to it's closure and my retirement from said wiki, and is now fully archived on Backloggd. I do not condone NAN-A nor Inside System's actions. They have participated in morally grey actions within the community and inside the franchise itself. As such, these reviews can no longer be considered recommendations, and do not have any formal scores to them. I stress that you do not take these reviews at face value. Any content within this review is subject to being broken, questionable, outdated, low quality, or at times, unreadable. Additionally, these were made from a different point of view compared to my writings of today, so I please ask that you disregard any positive statements about NAN-A or Inside System. All of these articles may be found, in their original, intended form here, alongside their numerous revisions. Additionally, these reviews are liscensed under CC-BY SA 4.0, under wiki policy. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the review.

DISCLAIMER: This entire review is based off of the Early Access beta. However, we felt the game had matured enough to warrant a review. Regardless, any changes made between the review and the current Early Access state will also be reviewed when they release. If you have any issues with that, read the whole review to understand all our points first, and then send your remarks. You can also ignore us and send your death threats to Blad#2469 just because someone is hating on a game. Try your best.

Brave Dungeon: The Meaning of Justice. Need I say more.

Brave Dungeon 2 is easily one of the most controversial games in the series, right next to good ol' 3, however, for different reasons. 3's changes to the gameplay made it one of the more love-it-or-hate-it games in the franchise, but The Meaning of Justice has been all over the place. From its development, reception, and release. Online civil wars were started over this game. I only thought that happened to Sonic, but no. This happens all the time in other communities, like Gunvolt for example. This game was just a spiral of disappointment, at least for me. I just got into the community when I found out Brave Dungeon 2 existed. I didn't even know Brave Dungeon existed, so I beat that, hated it, and then just waited for it's sequel. I kept waiting until an anonymous person (who I'll reveal later) gave me a code for the demo. I played it and really enjoyed it. So when the Early Access released, I was pretty psyched. Of course, I didn't get it until recently, and then those next 9 months of my life waiting for this game happened. And it made me rethink my entire opinion of the game, and basically anything remotely related to Dark Witch. I still love this series, but waiting for this game was a pain. I'm going to come clean right off the bat and say that this review won't be very positive. The easiest way to put it is that Brave Dungeon 2, while not a complete faliure, is a disaster. It's not terrible, but I wouldn't think twice about calling it the worst in the series. And I'm gonna lay it all out on the battlefield. But before we begin, I've got a couple of guests here. For the first, and probably last time in this series' history, we have not one, but 2 guests here! First, we have the other bureaucrat on this wiki, Mali!

I guess I'll add a little bit of info: As you probably know (or don't know), I'm Mali, and like blad said, I'm the other bureaucrat of this wiki. I have some feelings to say about Brave Dungeon: The Meaning of Justice. It's a game that I originally thought of it as being the best game next to Dark Witch 2. With all of the hype given when the game was first teasered, new pixel art, recurring characters to help join your sides, and a brand-new environment that has paths that feel familiar, while some are new to the table. I honestly liked this game, and for what the Early Access had to offer, it offered a different side of things. yeah, it had everything that the teasers and the demo (only available to those who purchased the BD Physical pack), but from what I've seen more, I've wished that INSIDE_SYSTEM had done a better job with this game. Can't wait to go over the things I've found.

Second up is a notorious game modder, who gave me the demo code, and who was also responsible for adding Yamcha into this game. Here's Oersted!

While I don't understand this wiki stuff, I guess I'm here. Blad is adding the text for me since I dont do stuff with wikis like these. I did the thing with Yamcha in BD2, and I'm a fan of the game, I think. Stuff's complicated, with everything that goes on with it.

Finally, if this review is too long for you, I've included a TL;DR at the end. With that said, it's about time we reviewed this game, so let's get into the best part, the development!

Development
Yeah, I say the development, because how this game's development went is straight up comedy gold. Brave Dungeon 2 was revealed in 2018, to no fanfare. Like, I'm serious. All we got was Klinsy walking around a forest, fighting monsters, and using her revenge magic, RED FLAME PHOENIX! It looked interesting, though, and fans got excited. Brave Dungeon 2 was slated for a 2019 release, before being... delayed. Yeah, for the first time in Dark Witch history, a game has been delayed! It was jarring, to say the least. The first game might've technically been delayed by 4 months, but who the hell knew what a Legend of Dark Witch was at that time? The game wasn't even revealed at that point. So we waited, and come 2019... delayed... again. 2020... the game was delayed again, this time, indefinitely. But 2021 would thankfully give us news, for better, and for worse. NAN-A announced an early access, which would come out at an unspecified date. And I was pretty excited, but also a bit scared. Early Access games have a poor reception for being crappy and unfinished, but I wanted Brave Dungeon 2 as soon as possible, so I cut my losses and waited for the early access. I couldn't contain my excitement when in February 2022, the Early Access released, initially to positive reviews. And that's where Oersted comes in. Oersted already introduced himself, so I'll keep it brief. Oersted is a notorious Nintendo modder. His work ranges from RPG Maker Fes to Miitopia, Fire Emblem, and more. Lots of RPGs, to say the least. He also made/translated some PC RPG Maker games, so he has a lot of work under his belt. If you want a bigger description, see here. He dropped a multi-paragraph bomb on Steam, explaining his disdain of the game. And overnight, Oersted turned the 'Very Positive' reviews into 'Mixed'. Words are powerful, what can I say? Mali and I also published extremely long reviews, but nothing topped Oersted's review. Oersted also called out several poor positive reviews (ex. "yea."), which did get him (and me, although on a lesser scale) blasted a bit from Crippe, but this made the score drop even more. Unfortunately, this was counteracted with many other positive reviews, and now the game sits at a 50%. On the topic of reviews, what are our thoughts on the early access?

Early Access
The Early access of Brave Dungeon 2 is an even bigger joke than it's development history. We've got incredible amounts of reused assets, bugs that went over 80 updates without being fixed, borderline porn of Stoj being added, and all sorts of questionable stuff.

This early access was announced a while back, don't remember exactly when, but I went out of my way to buy it as soon as possible. What I got was a worse experience than the switch demo. This demo was originally released as a bonus for players who purchased Brave Dungeon 1's physical release for the Switch, and it's actually pretty impressive how much better this demo is compared to the entirety of early access.

As development progressed, NAN-A lied more and more about the developement, and the game progressively got worse and worse. It's impressive how NAN-A made the game worse nearly every update, adding new overpowered features, introducing new bugs, and such.

There isn't much else I can say here. It's a mess, and most Dark Witch fans are starting to realize this, which is great. The more people that vocalize their disdain for this game, the more likely NAN-A is to make the game ACTUALLY GOOD.

I can't agree more with Oersted here. Personally, I haven't invested into much Early Access games, but even then, I could tell this was ass. Don't buy Brave Dungeon 2 in it's current state, because you are ripping yourself off at $20. Wait for a price drop, don't even bother. Oh wait, the game will cost $30 AT LAUNCH. $30. I'm not convinced. Not only are we on version 0.93, there are still a crap ton of bugs, and on top of that, there are a lot of issues with it, bugs not withstanding. Brave Dungeon 2 is simply not worth it at this point in the game. But if there's one good thing about Brave Dungeon 2, it has to be the soundtrack.

Music
This is really one of the only unambiguously positive things we have to say about this game. This OST is awesome. Seriously, I did an entire gamerip just to listen to it outside of the game. I'll make it public one day, but it needs some fixing. I can't think of any bad tracks to it's name. I'd go more in-depth, but I don't know all of the tracks yet, and I don't play with headphones on. So for now, I'll just leave it at that. The only negative I have to say is that Nightmare re-uses themes from Brave Dungeon. A remix would've been nice.

In my opinion, this is the only redeeming factor of the game. Every soundtrack in this game is almost as great as Dark Witch 3's and 2s. I know Raito is only the only composer yet again, which can be noticeable with how many instruments he reuses in the soundtrack, but I have to say that this game will have an exception. My only issue is the battle theme, the intro, and the title screen. I wished that Raito had done a better job with this. especially the title screen. it's LITERALLY just the Brave Dungeon title screen and Dark Witch 3's title screen, but with different instruments to give it a different feeling. While that may be a bit of a change in pace, it's noticeable for a huge fan like me, and I could've expected something else. I give the music s solid 8/10 for this game.

Story
The overall story of the game is soulless and uninteresting. I can sum up all 3 main stories in one sentence.

Al's Story - Get through big mazelike forest to make a path to Hampden Tower. Klinsy's Story - Get through 3 mazelike archives to get books that can break the seal to Hampden Tower. Papelne's Story - Build a town and bridge, completely unrelated to Hampden Tower for some reason.

That's it. There's no more to the initial stories, no real character development. Things are pulled out of nowhere like Mari suddenly having the ability to sense danger near bosses in Al's story. This is never brought up again, and is only used in two cutscenes. Why even introduce something like this?

When it comes to the fourth and final chapter, there is borderline no story. When done right, this can be really good! It's not good. Each character, after unsealing Hampden Tower, was defeated by the spirity within it, and was thrown about the land, similar to Live-A-Live's final chapter. HOWEVER, each character simply just... Retreated. They weren't defeated or anything. They simply fled because every character suddenly became a coward.

When you find everyone, they all suddenly become "Brave Heroes" and stop the spirit of Hampden Tower. In the end, they all go their seperate ways, with some being paid. No development, no dificulty.

As a +12 hour RPG, this was one of the most disappointing parts of Brave Dungeon 2, and unlike Brave Dungeon 1, there's a lot of dialogue in this game. At random points, more notably in Al's story, a cutscene will just... begin. No fanfare or anything, the screen just goes to black and shows the heroes slowly walking. It was really jarring when I got to a campsite and then... nothing. It just takes me out of the experience and is really distracting. Thankfully, you can skip the cutscenes, because the actual dialogue is nothing. Don't even bother with the story here. It's not that good. I should also note that this game has literally no official translation. Yeah. Everything comes from internet translators, so the dialogue is... well... Typos flood your screen, and everyone sounds like a robot. I'm going to cut NAN-A some slack here, he barely knows English, but I'm sure there are a lot of people who would be willing to translate the game for NAN-A; why not get Circle/FHW to do it? Say what you will about the other games' translation, but anything is better than fucking Google Translate. NAN-A even opened a channel in the Early Access server where you can improve the translation, which ultimately proves redundant as the official translation is coming later. So what's the point? NAN-A didn't even commit to the FULL MACHINE TRANSLATION. This is absolutely laughable, and when my screen fills with Japanese text, I just burst out laughing. If you're going to be lazy, at least commit to it. I think it'd be less of a blow if the game was in full Japanese.

EDIT 1/28/23: I think that last part is now false? I’m not 100% sure, but Google Translate is now used for the entire game. Hooray. Why it couldn’t have been like this 80 updates ago is beyond me, but at least I can read the text now. Also, fun fact: they use impact in the team talk menu. Yeah, I’m not kidding.

EDIT 2/23/23: This is no longer true, and now the entire game is translated by an anonymous third-party. It took way too long, though.

Gameplay
Overall
The gameplay style is mostly overhauled, and I think it was for better and for worse.

Brave Dungeon 2 is structured like this; you have 3 stories to play as, each sporting different gameplay styles. Because of this, some stories are better than others. Why we couldn't stick to one playstyle for the entire game is questionable, but I'll entertain the idea. The battle system is the same across playthroughs, so lets get the redundant stuff out of the way, before we get to the 3 stories.

Dungeons
The dungeons in this game are so much better in this game. First of all, the game takes a sort of open-world approach, at least for Al and Papelne. Al has one big dungeon, and you collect keys along the way to progress. Believe it or not, this system is actually pretty fun. The main problem with it is that there's no fast travel. So often you'll have to bash your head against the wall just to get to the next map. It's not terribly annoying, but I should still point it out regardless. Papelne's dungeon is an open world game, which is kinda cool. You craft materials, but you tire out pretty quickly, meaning you have to go back home and rest up. Klinsy's playthrough is more akin to the original Brave Dungeon. The level up system is also different. You have 10 stars to fill, and once you complete 5, you get the level 2 stars. Fill the Level 1 and 2 stars and you get a class change. Then you have 3 more levels to unlock and then you get Rank X. Throughout filling the stars, you get buffs depending on how much star is filled. You can switch around stars, giving a large margin of player choice, which is always a plus in my book. Overall, I liked the dungeons more in Brave Dungeon 2. They're a solid improvement over the first Brave Dungeon, for the most part. But we'll get to that later.

Battles
The battles in this game are not fun at all. The main issue is the insultingly easy difficulty. I played on Lunatic mode, the hardest difficulty you can play from the start. And while the game is insultingly easy, battles take forever. I suspect the only thing that changes with difficulty is the amount of HP enemies have. I switched from Lunatic to Very, Very Easy, and I noticed enemies died within 2-3 hits, but on Lunatic, it took several hits before they died, leading to a much more tedious experience. Yeah, the other Dark Witch games did this, but if you knew what you were doing, this was a non-issue. They made you experiment with the game's mechanics, and that made you a better player. Even the original Brave Dungeon did this. Brave Dungeon is also debatably an easy game, but it did difficulty well. Enemies were slightly buffed, but they also took the same amount of damage to kill. So what's the point of playing on Lunatic? More EXP, but in this game, EXP is heavily skewed in your favor, Lunatic or not. You get so much exp, and at one point I was 8 levels above the enemies in a new floor. What's even worse is the godawful bosses. I deeply apologize to Litty, because these bosses are a drag. And worse yet, they re-use bosses left and right. Jesus Christ, I never want to see the ghost boss in my life ever again. And this Shady boss fight can kiss my ass. The Flubber one also sucked as well. Let's go every single one, shall we? The ghost boss is so tedious. He makes it so some opponents can't attack, and this fight nearly broke me on Lunatic. It's just not fun, and it doesn't matter on lower difficulties as you can easily 3-shot this guy. Shady's fight is easy if you break one of her rules. If you use Hyper Freeze, Shady's clones attack your entire party. But this fuels your revenge meter. So if you use Mari or Al, just spam their revenge magics, and then use Seama to attack the real Shady. It's so easy to do, and if you're at a high level, you can just tank the fight until you win. Good game design, ladies and gentlemen. Breaking the rules makes you win the fight effortlessly. Finally, Flubber. He'll grow big at some points, and you can't attack him. But just... don't attack him when he's big. He literally will not even attempt to attack you. God, I thought the Syega Machines in 3 were bad, but this... it SUCKS. Enough said. To make matters even worse, these run into the same issue as Brave Dungeon in that the battles get repetitive. There's barely any variety in the battles, and when there is (the boss battles), it sucks. I don't know what else to say, the battles in this game just aren't good. Overall, the battle system in Brave Dungeon 2 is decent, but the battles themselves are terrible, and this pretty much killed the game for me.

Al
Al is a big improvement over the dungeon crawling from Brave Dungeon. First off, the dungeon design was really good in this game. Aside from the fact that you can force open everything, this was easily one of the best parts of Brave Dungeon 2, for as much as that's worth. But other than that, I have no real complaints here. The enemies also chase you here, and that means you can actually run away from encounters now. Battles are really easy, but it's nice that NAN-A allowed us to do this. Even he knew the battles sucked in this game. You also fight bosses, but if I remember correctly, there's no real reason to do it, unless it's a scripted boss (which is necessary for progression). You can also craft Seama items, but they aren't all that good, save for the speed ups. A glitch is in the game that allows you to have infinite keys though, so go wild. Overall, this gets a 6/10 from me. Not bad on it's own, but with the issue of combat, it went from good to just bland.

Klinsy
Okay, so I haven't really played enough of Brave Dungeon 2 to know about Klinsy's side to the story, but from what I've seen and can tell is that the gameplay takes more of like the original Brave Dungeon. The enemies are static, most of the stages have a 1 block gap in between, and during the story, you find Stoj to play as. There are also some seals that are more like a puzzle game. You have four different types of blocks, and you have to find where on the board does it match the blocks you can have. You can choose to brute force it, but you have to wait a bit until doing it again, or you can escape the battle(?) I don't remember.

Going back to Stoj, oh my gosh, they have OVERHAULED her design! I know it's the same pixel artist that worked on the first Dark Witch, but jeesus! Stoj looks nothing like her original counterpart! I can say the same for Neville, too. Her new look is pretty on the spot and an overhaul, too. The eyes on her pixel art don't look as weird as what they've looked like in the original and Dark Witch 3. (I'm bringing 3 up because she looks nothing different than her BD look) However, they reverted back to the original pixel art for her second-class change, which can be a bit tacky, but instead we get her smiling. That's the first time she is smiling! Not a big detail to point out, but once you look at her revenge artwork, it's sick.

I think Klinsy's stage is the worst playthrough in Brave Dungeon 2. Not only does it revert all of the good changes from Al's playthrough, the bosses are absolutely the worst part of the game. It singlehandedly ruined my entire experience. The dungeon design is like the original Brave Dungeon, flat and boring, and even though there are gimmicks in the stage, they all fucking suck. The playthrough also has puzzles that interrupt the flow of the game, and are PISS easy. They also nerfed Stoj so hard, it's not even funny. In Brave Dungeon, admittedly she was a bit overpowered. She did decent damage, and had some really good healing skills. But you took a lot of damage in Brave Dungeon, and we can't have any difficulty here! In Brave Dungeon 2, she won't be doing damage anytime soon. This was a bullheaded move. So the only time you can do damage with Stoj is with her Revenge Magic, which isn't that good. Sure, it hits all enemies, but it does zero-to-no damage. Ultimately, Stoj went from one of the best party members to straight up useless. Klinsy's playthrough introduces weaknesses, and while that sounds cool, there are only, 2-3 elements, which is LAME. I thought this was Brave Dungeon, not Mega Man Zero. Hitting a weakness doesn't do much anyways, it only does 10 more damage. But back to the bosses, FUCK ALL OF THESE WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BODY. Once I got to the Lava Library, I genuinely thought my playthrough was over at this point. I died over 5 times before I beat him on VERY VERY EASY. The other bosses are piss easy. For the love of god, DON'T PLAY ON LUNATIC, or these bosses will take FOREVER. I give this a 3/10. It was a complete drag, and it was just plain unfun. Plus, the Stoj nerf was just insult to injury.

Papelne
Papelne's story was the only story I liked in this game. Yeah, in my opinion, it was actually pretty fun. And you know why? The godawful battle system is almost entirely optional here! You can avoid pretty much any battle here. From what I remember, the only time combat is required is to get white pearls from the seals, which is a bit of a grind. Papelne's story is a semi-open world game, where you travel around a map. You have a stamina meter that doesn't automatically replenish, but thankfully you can upgrade it, and the map is pretty small. You also move decently fast, to travel is a non-issue. Outside of traveling, it's basically a town simulator. You get materials to craft stuff, and then you use those materials to level up the town. Most stuff is optional, but the buildings are needed to beat the game. The town simulator is quite relaxing, and for the first time, I didn't want to stop playing the game. I completed it in one long session, and it was a blast. If this was a bit longer and the grinding was cut to a minimum, I'd buy it as its own game. I give it an 8/10.

Papelne's Story is as empty as GM_Flatgrass from Garry's Mod. Charl has hired you to build a city on an insland unrelated to Hampden Tower, which is somehow "right next to it". You then Build a tent, crafting station, inn, warehouse, staff building, and bridge. That's it. That's the entire story. Patty joins after you make the Inn, and Rudy can join if you visit an optional "Lost City" which is home to some Dog like Fae, along with two other more humanoid Fae when you have Patty in the Party. You can't access the town without having Patty, so it's pointless going before you have her. You then have to go to a beach on the other side of the map. WHY? After you build the bridge, you fight some bigass bird. You kill it, bridge is repaired, and nothing of note happens. Cue the final chapter of the game.

Final story
The final story in Brave Dungeon is unlocked after you beat all the stories on one file. You start off with Blad and Stoj. Yeah, yikes. Blad is really weak when you get her. Sure, she levels up very fast, but why even make her this weak to begin with? Oh right, because they want you to get the other characters, which are actually good because you spent one-third of the game with all of them. Yeah, this is stupid. They did Blad dirty, even though she won the popularity poll. A shame. Also, is it just me, but why does her idle animation look so cute? My final party was Blad, Stoj, Al, and Mari. Turns out that was a good choice because Al and Stoj have a skill that gives everyone BARRIER AND GUARD. Yeah, that made leveling up Blad easier. And if you have a capacity meter accessory, you can just break the game in two, like a Zero boss. To add insult to injury, Lovely Heels is an Al healing skill that's just way too overpowered. I don't know what else to say, this game is really easy. And that's coming from a Dark Witch 2 mega-fan (and spoiler alert, that's my favorite game). At least Dark Witch 2 had Lunatic Mode, which was amazing. Anyways, at Hampden Tower, you have 4 dungeons. You don't need to do them, and they really only exist for grinding purposes. Intentionally making the player grind is not good game design, game! But go on, I guess. The worst part is that you CAN'T LEAVE HAMPDEN TOWER UNLESS YOU DIE TO A BOSS IN THE DUNGEONS. Needless to say, this leads to frustration, as if you barge straight into Hampden Tower with Blad and Stoj, like I did, you get BONED. And you'll be looking for a long time on how to actually escape this place. What happened to the anti-frustration features from 3, as poorly designed as that game is? But whenever you want, you can fight Charl.

Alright, time for a confession. I cheated on the final boss, and I'll explain why. I was right at the finish line, and I thought, "Will the final boss really make me change my mind?" Why should I waste hours grinding just to even try the final boss? So you know what? Fuck it. Typically I avoid cheating in games unless A. I beat the game, or B. I make it seperate from my main save. The only time I really violated those rules was with Terraria, but that was just to get silver bullets so I could actually fight the twins. So that's what I did. I got Oersted's files and fought the boss that way. This game was just completely unfun at this point, so I can't care less if I cheated. But if you want to call me out for cheating, that's fine. I don't really care. Just as a self imposed limitation, I used a Level 100, pre-new game plus save.

Alright, so Charl. His first phase is rather easy, unless you're underleveled. You fight his first form, which just stands there, occasionally using rather powerful moves. Well, powerful for Brave Dungeon 2 standards. This is the only time in the game where I saw someone take over 1000 damage in one move. Wow, how impressive! Can you make any attack remove over half someone's HP next? Next, after you kill Charl, you get into Charl's ultimate form. There are 5 targets on screen. I actually don't know if you're required to kill the other targets, but that doesn't matter, because Al + Blad = powerful attack that hits all enemies. This fight is so short that I don't have anything to say about it. Neat design, though.

Postgame
Fanart
A first for Dark Witch. A dedicated fanart section so you can see some of the art that is directly advertised by NAN-A to promote other people's artwork. However, most of it is directly related to the character Mari, and the main translator and the beta tester for Dark Witch: Crippe. I do not know why NAN-A chose to add a bunch of Mari art into the game, but that's nothing compared to the biggest issue of this section: The Lwed, NSFW images that have been featured directly by NAN-A. Adding lewd art into the game was easily one of the most boneheaded decisions NAN-A could've done here. I don't object to an art section entirely; nor do I object to T-rated games having mildly sexual content, take Skullgirls as a random example; but Brave Dungeon 2 is a family-friendly game on it's own. And the artworks here went way, WAY too far. And yes, I don't care that the first Brave Dungeon was rated T, this is fucking unacceptable. One has Papelne thinking about cake (not a dirty joke), one where Urken has half of her ass on screen (thankfully her panties are covered by her conveniently placed foot), and one where Stoj has a pretty revealing costume. And no, I don't care that she's 5000 years or whatever, nor do I care that it's fictional. Fuck that logic, and fuck you if you're defending this stuff. If I wanted almost-naked young anime girls, I'd play Gal-Gun, not Brave Dungeon 2.

Oh, and guess what NAN-A did? He retweeted NSFW of Seama as well to promote the game.[1] Are you kidding me?

Bajel
After you beat the game, you can unlock Bajel. Perhaps Oersted could make a write up below, because I couldn't care enough to get her.

Bajel is certainly a character that's unlockable. Her moves are generally a bit stronger than most other characters, but she's still weaker than Al, since Al is the obvious protagonist. Some of her passive skills used to be good, but they're pretty niche due to not having much room to grow at all, since the only challenge that remains is Nightmare, AND she joins at Level ONE. Like Stoj however, she can ignore damaging tiles on the floor due to the fact that she has wings. So as a party leader, She might be a better Stoj, but outside of that, she's nearly useless.

Nightmare
In this game, Nightmare has the same look and feel as the original. Hell, it even has the same music, and the retextured red and black eneimes as the original with all of the previous bosses coming in without any changes whatsoever, giving more of the fact that INSIDE_SYSTEM loves to reuse content in their games. However, the game has the original + new layouts with some provided by the fans who've worked with the Early Access program. The final boss was stated to be something completely different, but all it was is Zizou with her sister, Mati. This boss has even more HP than what she had in the original (She had 15 million but is currently unknown how much she has now), and they're extremely hard to beat offensively, and it requires additional setups in order to actually defeat the boss.

Zizou and Mati are certainly a fight. With a recent update making status ailments worse against enemies the higher the difficulty is (Version 0.93.3), the already nearly impossible fight has become even harder. Oh, and this fight was implemented before the two even reused "Was that meeting despair", so the fight was complete and utter silence outside sound effects! It took about 30 updates for music to be added here. Kind of pathetic, huh?

Guess what happens after you beat Nightmare? Spoilers for anyone who hasn't beaten Nightmare yet, but you don't even get to play as Zizou or Mati! What's probably going to happen is that Zizou and Mati are going to be added as DLC, and I have proof! Check out the Brave Dungeon 2 page, and you'll see why. This was the biggest insult when it comes to BD2. Instead of unlocking Zizou/Mati through... oh I don't know, BEATING THE GAME! Just make them paid DLC for everyone to buy for $2-10 dollars (that's my guess). DLC in RPGs is very hard to get right. Most often, it's done poorly. Look at Persona 5 Royal, for example. It had some nice costumes for purchase, which is nice. They also give you the original Persona 5 DLC for free, which is great. But the paid personas. Oh my god. Izanagi-no-Okami Picaro. Buy this and you win the game. So if this is really DLC, just make it good NAN-A. Don't make it a cakewalk (hell, some difficulty would be nice), make them actually worth a damn, and don't do this in the future.

The Good
The music is a banger.
Exploring is fun.
Nice character designs.
Great pixel art, with smooth animation. The whole game looks pretty good, and the art style is pretty consistent, compared to the original Brave Dungeon.
Decent character progression. The Mind
Some decent improvements to the gameplay.
The Bad
The battle system.
Bugs. We really couldn't find a place to put this, but yeah, this game has so many bugs, it's not funny. And people think Sonic 06 and Cyberpunk were bad with this. I already mentioned one of them, but Oersted can easily list many below.
Like hell I'm listing all of the bugs. Wait until the full release and I'll consider making a list.
Terrible boss fights, getting borderline unfair at points.
Poor story, which really sucks for an RPG.
Klinsy's playthrough.
Some parts are untranslated. (Note: This seems to be no longer true)
Some fps drops at points, particularly if you run the game above 60FPS. We noticed some short freezes, particularly if you're in a new area for the first time in one session.
Re-used assets.
I'm just gonna personally add my thoughts onto this part. This has when a common issue of ANY game INSIDE_SYSTEM has released. Yes, even spanning all of the way back to their Touhou games back in the 2010s. Touhou: Unorganised Heroes is i believe the first game he'd worked on, and it is baffling to see that the designs for the enemies came all of the way from this game, with some still acting the same way without any changes whatsoever. For Brave Dungeon though, some of the enemies have new attacks, which puts up the pace a little bit, but my issue is this: Ever sinee the first Dark Witch, they basically brought all of the enemies from that game and put them in here without any major changes to the design at all. It's like if Nintendo were to make the Goomba or any enemy from Super Mario 64 and use it in every subsequent Mario game after that. It would just look really werid to some, especially me. And the music? I know I've talked about this already, but while Raito's music are all bangers with some sounding a bit boring, most songs reuse the same instruments instead of finding new instruments to make music with. It just makes eveyrthing feel the same and such, and I řally REALLY hope that NAN-A will take a different direction with The Legend of Dark Witch as a whole.
Another thing we couldn't really mention. This game re-uses a crap ton of assets, and while the other games did this a bit, it never stopped being noticeable here. The attacks look goofy at points, like Patty's attack, which is annoyingly slow.
The Early Access program is a disaster.
Mindless difficulty, even on Lunatic.
Difficulty spikes are frequent, leading to lots of frustration throughout 15 hours.
Conclusion (all 3)
Overall, Brave Dungeon 2 is frustrating. Not because it's really all that bad. The core gameplay could be fun, but Brave Dungeon 2 is brought down by issues that bog down the whole experience, and as a result, Brave Dungeon 2 didn't do any justice for the original Brave Dungeon.

Our scores are as follows:

Scores
Reviewer Score
Average (rounded) 3/10 (5/10 with original scores)
Blad 3/10 (originally 6/10)
Mali 4.5/10 (originally 7/10)
Oersted 2/10
And that unfortunately ends the review series on a really sour note. This game has a bunch of promise, but it ended up half baked. No joke, this is one of my least favorite games of all time. Note I said "least favorite", not "worst". Objectively, the game is below average, but it doesn't feel like a below average game. What should've been a slam dunk crashed and burned. I must note that when I reviewed 3, I didn't TYPE IN ALL CAPS LIKE THIS. That's because that game was so close to being great, but they dropped the ball. This game actively frustrated me. It fails to improve over Brave Dungeon, and just isn't a good game period. I also didn't mention this because it applies to all of the games I review, but this one in particular; if you like Brave Dungeon 2, great! As long as you acknowledge the flaws it has, that's totally fine, and that's not the point of this reviews. You can enjoy a game in spite of it's genuine flaws. But if you blatantly ignore the issues with a game, just hear us out for once. Ignoring the problems with a game doesn't make it go away; it just makes the series worse. NAN-A will see the positive reception of these games, and keep doing that, and improve it. Look at Episode 2, and, in some eyes, Episode 3. If NAN-A sees the mixed/negative reception, he'll fix the future games even more. So if you like Brave Dungeon 2, that's fine, just don't force everyone to like it. Also, some of you may be asking why we're reviewing the game now instead of waiting for the full release. After all, that's not fair, is it? I'm just going to say this: I don't care if it's in Early Access. NAN-A wants us to pay $20 (EDIT: 4/11/23: NOW 30$) for this. A game that's technically not finished yet. I can only name a few indie games that meet/exceed 20$, and when they are, they're well worth it. Celeste, Cuphead, OMORI, Skul, CrossCode, My Friend Pedro, and more. Or one of my personal favorites: Afterbirth. These are all worth 20$, and these are well acclaimed by critics and players alike, and in Isaac's case, it's worth 25$. If you want even more stuff with Isaac, it costs 50$. And it's worth every penny, at least from what I've seen. So when Brave Dungeon 2 comes along as a 20$ game that's not even finished, it's just pathetic. If you're seriously saying "Don't review the game as it isn't finished", you can't review Sonic 06. I'm less insulted by including a free demo with a physical edition, as it has a bunch of stuff with it, including a demo. That's awesome. But this game? What a fucking joke. Some of you may have noticed how long this review was, and that's because I wanted this game to be good. I wanted it to be up there with the likes of Dark Witch 2 and (arguably) 3 and 1. But it just didn't win me over, and there's no way in hell I can recommend this game. Not only is it worse than mediocre, unlike some of the other Dark Witch games, this game is just utter hell throughout this runtime, and even more insulting, this is coming from my favorite game franchise of all time! And to see NAN-A put out something so unambiguously revolting is baffling. I've ranted for a bit, so let's end this.

TL;DR: Brave Dungeon 2 is not worth it, and I'd heavily suggest avoiding it if you enjoy anything fun at all. It's barely worth it's asking price of 30$, let alone 10$. This is worth 3$ at most. While it has some good music and some decent fundamental gameplay, it fucks up what it got right before and is ultimately a terrible game, and the worst in the Dark Witch franchise. Yes, sorry Yuzrnaime, even worse than Break Rock Syega Crystal and 3. The only reason you should play it is to see yourself in the credits if you're there, and nothing more.

Anyways, my work here is done. I really appreciate your support throughout the entire journey, and I hope you all enjoyed the review series. If Mali or Oersted want to add stuff to the end of this, they can. Anyways, see you guys once Dark Witch 4 releases! And pray to god it's good. Because if it's not, I'm retiring from this series.

And thus ends the Dark Witch review series, not with a bang, but a whimper.

This review was originally posted on The Legend of Dark With Wiki, prior to it's closure and my retirement from said wiki, and is now fully archived on Backloggd. I do not condone NAN-A nor Inside System's actions. They have participated in morally grey actions within the community and inside the franchise itself. As such, these reviews can no longer be considered recommendations, and do not have any formal scores to them. I stress that you do not take these reviews at face value. Any content within this review is subject to being broken, questionable, outdated, low quality, or at times, unreadable. Additionally, these were made from a different point of view compared to my writings of today, so I please ask that you disregard any positive statements about NAN-A or Inside System. All of these articles may be found, in their original, intended form here, alongside their numerous revisions. Additionally, these reviews are liscensed under CC-BY SA 4.0, under wiki policy. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the review.

For a series like Dark Witch, you'd expect way more spinoffs, right? Well, that couldn't be farther from the truth. We only have 3 spinoffs, and today I'm gonna look at all 3 of them (or 2, but we'll get into that later). First up is Rudymical.

Rudymical
Rudymical is a rhythm game, where you slash balls (i forgot their official name) in 3 directions and jump to avoid hazards. You have 4 difficulties, one unlocked by beating the game. It's a retelling of The Legend of Dark Witch 2, plus a furry who's looking for a good time, and fights herself. I'm assuming Riva was out for breakfast, as she's all but absent in this game. There are 2 versions with some differences (mainly in the difficulty, mobile and the console versions. Today, I'll look at the console versions, as the controls are a little better (at least in my opinion).

Gameplay
So you know Rudymical from The Legend of Dark Witch 2? Well, this is basically that mode, but bigger. As I mentioned, you slash balls and get ranked on your performance. The ranking system is harsh, and you can only miss 1-2 balls to get an A rank. Easy and Normal can be fun at times, and they're pretty easy to S-rank. You have 14 stages, all based on the music of Dark Witch 2, which is amazing. By S ranking stages, you get some new characters/skins. New to the console versions are a 2-player VS/deathmatch, and achievements (if you play on Steam). There are 4 difficulties, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. And this is my main issue with Rudymical. It's either too hard to be enjoyable, or too easy to be worth a damn. I play on Normal, but for the love of god, do not play on Hard mode, unless you got a good night's sleep, because you need really good reaction times to even get the Syega Crystals here. And don't even get me started on Lunatic. On Normal, the game is WAY easier, so I suggest you play on this mode, but Normal is too easy, so I just end up kicking ass. If Rudymical could give a decent balance towards the two, I'd be praising it a whole lot more, but in it's current state, I can't really enjoy Rudymical. I'm really sorry, but it was just too much to take. Another issue I have is with the notes themselves. This is coming for an above average rhythm game player, so keep that in mind as some of the issues I have with this game stem from that. The balls bounce around at varying speeds, depending on how they feel. This just threw me off, and while it gives the game personality, it made the game worse. The circles that appear around your character somewhat mitigate this issue, but that just gives me less time to react to on-coming notes, which makes the game even more frustrating. To add to another issue with the notes, you often have to hit notes twice in succession, even on Easy mode. Another annoying part about Rudymical is the sound effects. While you can turn off the voices (and I highly suggest you do), you can't turn off the ball bouncing noises, which is pretty annoying, and it threw me off even more. Finally, the offset is annoying to set up. If you've played a game like Muse Dash, they make setting offsets as easy as pie, but in Rudymical, no such sandbox exists, and overall made setting offsets extremely frustrating.

This is also a bit out there, but I wish this game had a lot of other songs as well. Yeah, I know. But hear me out. I'm not talking about other songs from other games, no. What about the entire series? This series has some of the best VGM I've ever heard, and it's a shame only 14 songs got used. And if NAN-A can reuse hundreds of sprites, why can FHW/Esquadra reuse some songs? Hell, throw in the arranged songs. You can make it a DLC, but unfortunately, that's probably not going to happen, given that the game is 5 years old now, bordering on 6 (how the time flies, huh?).

Conclusion
I know I complained a lot, but this is coming from an above average rhythm game player, and seeing a lack of certain features other rhythm games have is disappointing. I really wish this was made by a seasoned rhythm game developer, otherwise I think it'd be a lot better. Despite that, this game is alright. Although its difficulty is poor, and it's on the short side (seriously, only 14 songs?), the gameplay is pretty basic for what it is, but fun, and if you're a Dark Witch fan, you'll probably get a kick out of it. If you want to slash balls for an hour, this is a decent pick. Just be wary of the issues I've mentioned. Overall, I'd give it a 6/10.

Dark Witch Connect!
Alright, up next is Connect. Connect is a matching puzzle game, and you use revenge magic to get a higher score, and that's really it. Yeah, it's not really that big. There's a mission mode where you can get more Tres. You use Tres to unlock more characters, and if you unlock a character, you can use their revenge magic. You can also level up your character, but all it does is That's about as far as it goes. To be fair, unlocking new characters is satisfying, but that's about it really. There's also no English translation unfortunately, but you can get used to it.

Conclusion
Overall, I'm not sure what to think of Connect. It's pretty shallow, but it's also free, so I can't knock it too much. So I'm abstaining from rating Connect. But I will say, if you have time to kill, Connect is alright.

Break Rock Syega Crystal
Break Rock Syega Crystal is the last game we're looking at today. It was released in March 2021 for And...roi... oh no. Yeah, I'm an iPhone user, an unfortunate disease, I know, but there's not much I can do here. I do own a Kindle Fire, which is an Android device, but 1. that thing is really, REALLY old, and 2. it only has 1GB of RAM. Yikes. I know there's a way to use Android apps on Windows 11, but... it's Windows 11. I don't like having 2 diseases at one time, so no thanks. And yes, I know Bluestacks exist, but I'm not installing it just for one game. So... shit. Review's over.

OR IS IT? There exists something called YouTube, so maybe I can get a gist of the game there.

Break Rock Syega Crystal is a clicker game. You tap for 2 hours on end and you have a hunger mechanic. I'm not sure what happens if you run out of food, but I presume you die and reset. Anyways, you click until the meter at the top depletes, and then the game stops. Doesn't that sound AMAZING? Yeah, I'm glad I skipped this game. My good friend Mali described the game as "a buttload of shit, with nothing making any sense to it at all." This truly is the greatest game of all time.

Conclusion
Overall, save for Break Rock Syega Crystal, I think the spinoff games are worth your time, particularly if you're a Dark Witch fan. They're not really that deep, but they can be fun in short bursts (more so Rudymical). If you're looking for a longer lasting experience, I'd stick to the main Dark Witch games, however.

This review was kinda filler, because the next game... ooh boy. We're looking at Brave Dungeon 2, and that's going to be a ton of fun. I don't have much else to say, other than stay tuned. Good things come to those who wait, and it'll be good. I promise. Anyways, see you guys later!