True Meteor Reincarnation
I never knew a meteor could die, let alone be reincarnated, but apparently so! At least according to the recently released True Meteor Reincarnation, a Shin Megami Tensei style dungeons ‘n demons crawl ’em up.
Meteor takes the familiar form of a classic first-person dungeon crawler, dropping you into a cold, metallic dungeon full of horrors, armed with only your trusty sword and gun. While the exploration gameplay is somewhat straightforward, the real spice comes from the various beasties you’ll encounter. The beasties in question are the hellish ‘Jammons’, which, while sounding like some kind of delicious dessert are in actual fact flesh-eating demons that sometimes also become your new best pals.
That’s because – just like the Tensei series (or on a good night out at the pub) – the various monsters you encounter can be bantered with, providing for a small chance of them joining you instead of smashing your face in. The primary boon to recruiting these Jammons is an improvement the damage caused by your ‘magic’ attack. However, joining forces with soulless hellspawn also brings some other sweet perks, like the fact that other Jammon of the same type will be more likely to leave you in peace.
The gameplay itself follows in the relatively minimalist footsteps of its retro dungeon predecessors, such as Wizardry, and even takes the minimalism a degree further due to its origin as a Game By Its Cover 2016 game jam entrant.
There’s no character creation, inventory management or even experience points or levels to worry about. Instead, character development comes from upgrades carelessly scattered around the maze-like corridors. These come in the form of new swords and guns lying around the dungeon, which increases the damage done with the respective weapon, while new armour can be found that rather increases your maximum HP by 10. For me, the arcade-like character development is a shame, but admittedly it does keep gameplay streamlined and brisk.
As with most games here, the old comes with a dash of new. The obvious departure, this time, is the crisp 3D graphics, with the maze being smoothly rendered at an eye pleasing framerate. The way the automap was implemented is also a neat touch – seamlessly zooming out to a bird’s eye view at the push of a button, and another tap zooming you right back to first-person. It’s a great way to incorporate an automap without breaking the flow of exploring.
For all the impressive polish for a game jam entry, the limited timeframe does rear its ugly face in other areas. The combat is, admittedly, pretty repetitive. Having both the gun and sword options, or even magic for that matter, doesn’t really serve a whole lot of purpose since there is no reason not to simply use whichever you’ve powered up the most. Also, a bit of a cheeky exploit for the unscrupulous (read: me), the automap reveals the area around you regardless of whether you’ve explored it previously or not. This means, should you choose to take advantage of this, the maze-like nature of the levels is largely mooted.
Rough edges aside, Meteor Reincarnation is an enjoyable dungeon crawler, and at 5 floors, has enough meat on its bones to last, but doesn’t overstay its welcome.
True Meteor Reincarnation | Download