Blazing Beaks is quite the experience. A rogue-like dungeon crawls filled with perilous enemies, hidden doors, weapon shops, and…ducks?
Blazing Beaks is a “duck based rogue-like”, as much as that tells you. Is there a plot? Technically that is a game mode, but no, there’s no real “story” per se. You, and up to three other people, can join together to traipse your way through randomly generated stages, picking up treasure, fighting enemies, and beating bosses!
You have a number of different characters to choose from, each with their own perks, or demerits, as well as their own starting gun. These perks can include reducing max hp instead of killing you on hit, or exchanging firing range for damage. As you blow up enemies, you can collect gold and items, such as abilities or passive skills. Be warned though, as not all passive skills are good. In fact, a lot of them are pretty awful. One beautiful example is “another player with the least health cannot shoot”. So why pick them up? Well, you can sell them for other, more legitimate items once you reach a shop. In a shop you can also buy a new gun or revive a teammate at the expense of health.
There is a bit of a drawback to this however, as each floor is a single room and there is no backtracking, so if you pick up a really horrendous skill and instead of a shop you get a boss? Well, have fun with that! I can tell you from experience, going into a boss fight with “reduced accuracy” was extremely painful. Each debuff item you pick up has a rating that will tell you how much it’s worth to trade in, and some may outweigh their risks to carry, while other just aren’t worth it.
The bulk of what I really love about Blazing Beaks is how fun it is to play with a partner. This is compounded by the fact that the game can actually be pretty annoying by yourself at times. Bosses can feel like a slog, and early levels aren’t all that enjoyable the twentieth time around, if not for the effect a buddy can have. Guns can also be really hit or miss, but most of the stating guns feel really “miss”, which makes the first couple of floors a bit of a tough sled as you repeat them over and over until you can manage to buy a decent weapon at the shop.
There are tournament and seeded modes available, where you can engage in party mode type games or spec your dungeon run to your own desires. The party games are mostly what you’d expect, a form of capture the flag, a deathmatch, a single randomized weapon for all players, a spear that you throw and have to pick up, and a heart dropping match. You can also put it on shuffle, which is pretty nice.
The art style is pretty retro feel, although all the bird based characters look pretty hilarious, and the music is… well, I can’t recall it offhand, which means it wasn’t bad, but wasn’t all that good either. I did sit down and play it for about three straight hours with a friend though, so that’s definitely saying something. Unfortunately, the game is rather “short”, and there isn’t a whole lot of depth to it. That being said, it’s a real quack up of a game, and you’d best check it out if you’re looking for some multiplayer games for your switch and are into rogue-likes. It’s a fine-feathered time.
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Article by Richard