Deckbuilder elements are creeping in everywhere, its like the new roguelike phenomenon. I’m not complaining though as I enjoy deckbuilding in games. Her Name Was Fire is a budget twin stick shooter roguelike that brings in a tarot deck style upgrade system that allow you to conjure new or improved spells to take into battle.
Instead of shooting, in this game you play with magic. There is a definite spell cast lag for a fire rate but you can decide to trigger spells early by letting go of the trigger button as it charges. The spells are less powerful but fire faster. In reality, it wasn’t something I ever really used because I found running around in circles and using an occasional invincible dash ability kept me out of harms way the majority of the time.
As you run around like a twin stick goddess working through the five stages of grief, you’ll be collecting gold coins for XP to level up your character. This then triggers randomly three generated cards for you to choose from. You’ll have upgrades to your speed and fire rate or upgrades for additional projectiles or piercing additional enemies for specific weapons. There are three starter weapons to choose from for a run but then there’s a good ten or so additional weapons you can unlock. Do you add more on or charge up the ones you’ve got already? These decisions keep you interested and on your toes as the striking jet electric blue spells pour out of you like emotions.
Once you’ve killed a certain amount of enemies, a server opens which is a tower that shoots bullets at you. Destroy those and you’ll be able to tackle one of around eight bosses (five per run). They are quite easy to beat but you can then choose to add on their main attack to your arsenal too or have a sizeable upgrade like additional health or a big power boost. Again this is fun and a visual treat.
Sadly, the gameplay outside of these choices gets dull quickly and its all down to a lack of canon fodder enemies. I think I counted 5 different enemies in total and none of them have interesting attacks. They also don’t attack in such huge waves that you become overwhelmed so long as you upgrade your speed once or twice. This means you get burned out just grinding the same enemies for many minutes before you actually get a boss to play with. Eclipse mode forces you to speedrun the game in 15 minutes which keeps things tighter and Her Name Was Fire is much more fun to play. I recommend it in short bursts only.
The main problem for me personally is that I bought this and Brotato at the same time. Brotato does the same style of gameplay but with tons more options and some actual difficulty to it. It is an extra £1 but it is definitely worth the extra for all the options, choices and load outs. Her Name Was Fire has the style and a solid upgrade system but sadly just needed to keep me on my toes a bit more to ensure I stayed engaged.
Her Name Was Fire
Some solid upgrade systems and twin stick shooting is let down by a lack of enemy variation.
Some excellent colour contrasts between the background and your attacks.
Lots of upgrades that are worthwhile with lots of load outs to try.
Eclipse mode stops you from fatigue by forcing you to finish the game in 15 minutes.
Total lack of enemy variation.
Sometimes enemies and their fire blend too much into the background.
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