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Game Info:

Leowald
Developed By: Myroid-Type Comics
Published By: Myroid-Type Comics
Released: August 9, 2019
Available On: Windows
Genre: Action-Adventure, 2D Platformer
ESRB Rating: No Rating
Number of Players: 1
Price: $14.99

Thank you Myroid-Type Comics for the review code.

Even though Zeran’s Folly could have easily been a standalone product, the developer, Myroid-Type Comics came out with a sequel. Leowald takes place eighteen years later with the son or daughter of Lone and Abby, two out of the four protagonists from the preceding entry. Like their parents, Felix or Felicia has an itch for adventure and traveled to the land of Leowald in search of the Fairy Pearl, and joins the Big Chest Guild as a result. For the few of us that played the previous entry, the setting and narrative may have seemed to come out of nowhere with the blunt ending that it left us on, but the developer added an epilogue to Zeran’s Folly that leads smoothly into Leowald.

Leowald is a 2D action-adventure platformer with lots of spikes, pits, and platforms! Before you take on dungeons, you start off in an overworld where you can chat it up with the various non-playable characters scattered throughout the hub world. The majority of NPCs will simply give you speeches about the world and what they do, while the rest are merchants who will sell you items, abilities, and even play minigames with you. Inside the dungeons is a maze-like structure. You must make it through the areas with dozens of enemies trying to kill you by either running headfirst or lobbing projectiles. Some dungeons require a bit of exploration as you'll need keys to reach the boss room. Bosses can range from extremely hostile attack patters with loads of projectiles or interesting gimmick bosses. One boss that stood out for me was a boss heavily inspired by the Breakout game. Leowald is mostly a linear progression through levels with the exception of the halfway point where you have a chance to take on a handful of dungeons in any order of your choosing.

In the beginning, you'll start of with the well-rounded Duelist Sabers, a set of swords that focus on mobility. The unique abilites of the sabers have moves such as a dive kick and a semi-invincible dash attack. Halfway through, you'll start to unlock more weapons such as the Golem Meteor (similar to a yo-yo) or Fairy Wand (a magic wand that shoots orbs). Whether you choose the boy or girl, weapons have no notable variance. Nevertheless, dialogue is different depending on the character chosen; Felix's personality tends to be more headstrong and has a bit of cockiness to him and his choice of words reflects that. Felicia, on the other hand, is much more curious and holds an air of innocence. Besides the achievement for completing the story with both, the different dialogue between the two characters is worth checking out.

Leowald
Highlights:

Strong Points: A better camera than its predecessor; role-playing elements and an improved equipment system can lead to unique playthroughs; platforming and combat are simple, yet engaging
Weak Points: The last stretch of the game isn’t as crazy as the prequel; not a whole lot to do after completion; doesn't stand out much on its own and relies a lot on playing the previous entry to get the most out of the experience
Moral Warnings: Not as explicit as Zeran’s Folly, but still contains graphic violence of which enemies explode into blood and bones; every swear word in the book as well as blasphemy; the female player character has many outfits that show off her cleavage; sexual dialogue through innuendos and double entendre; blackjack is one minigame that can be played; lots of supernatural elements, magic, and occult imagery; Satan is encountered in the game and plays a role in the story; God does exist in the world as some characters do worship Him, but there are also other gods that are mentioned and seen

A level-up system is tied to the weapons, giving Leowald more of a role-playing feel. Each weapon obtained have ranks ranging from F as its lowest, to S as its highest. Enemies in certain areas and depending on your progression also rank up and you can deal as low as half the standard damage or double the damage depending on the rank of the enemies in the area and the rank of your weapon. Alongside weapon rankings are also armor rankings which determine how much or little damage you take. Unlike the weapons, armor rank is much more simple, being upgraded by talking to an NPC after points in the story are met. Some weapons can feel similar to each other but every weapon is viable to beat the game with.

Major beneficial changes were made compared to Zeran’s Folly and show that the developer is listening to feedback. One of the issues with the prequel was the camera, where the lack of options for it could lead to some cheap methods of lost health. This time, the camera work is much better which leads to way fewer instances of unfair losses of health. Another welcomed change is the switching of the talent system with runestones. In Zeran’s Folly, to have your character's abilities have extra effects, you had to talk to specific characters during certain times or points throughout the game. This time, all you need to do is find the runestone and you’ll earn a talent for every weapon you currently own.

A lot of assets are reused from Zeran’s Folly, from character models to enemy types. Something like this is acceptable for a direct sequel, and the reusing of assets means that you’ll be able to meet many characters and see how they are doing nearly two decades later. You’ll come across many familiar faces that are expected, and even a few others that are an (un)pleasant surprise.

I played the game all the way through with a controller and the default bindings are awkward as the attack and interact button is different where in other games they are one and the same. To pause, you have to click the left thumbstick which is one of the oddest methods of pausing I’ve ever witnessed. Good thing that every key or button can be remapped to your choosing. The music is of the same style as Zeran's Folly. However, there is more attention to where each soundtrack is placed. In particular, after one hectic moment in the story with a metal-based soundtrack blaring in the background, the next part is more calming, with the music and scenery to match.

One issue I did come across is the ending sequence. It wasn’t as insane as Zeran’s Folly and did leave a bit to be desired from a gameplay perspective. It is a rather strange choice as Leowald overall focuses more on its gameplay so ending things on a more narrative note is peculiar. With the way things ended, it seems like a sequel, DLC, or extra content added in a later update will be the case. You can play Leowald without knowing a single thing about Zeran's Folly, but the developer expects you to be aware of it with the constant callbacks, references, and returning characters making it not stand out on its own all that much. There also seems to be missing some significant postgame context as to where Zeran’s Folly had the Necro Pits (random procedurally generated levels that use their own set of currency and equipment), Leowald has nothing of the sort—at least from what I’ve seen.

Leowald
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 34%
Violence - 2.5/10
Language - 2.5/10
Sexual Content - 2.5/10
Occult/Supernatural -2.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7/10

Zeran’s Folly had no qualms about going from zero to one hundred. It was like that stand-up comedy special that you would not take your mother to at all, as it went below the belt in terms of its appropriateness. In a surprising twist, Leowald manages to tone down all that debauchery. Don’t get me wrong, this still isn't a kid-friendly picnic. Violence is still abundant with enemies exploding into a confetti of blood and bones. Swearing is still prevalent with the typical f**k, sh*t, b**ch uttered, with blasphemy too. Interestingly, there isn’t any nudity present this time around. All sexual content is either through dialogue with double entendres or innuendos or though Felicia’s rather revealing optional costumes.

One of the minigames that can be played is Blackjack/Twenty-One. It is a luck-based way to earn money without working for it, but it is still simulated gambling. Supernatural, magic, and occult are still commonly seen throughout the journey. For a change of pace, the Templars do make a return being the good guys and support the protagonist this time around, although some of the knights reference homosexuality when spoken to. There are also other gods mentioned throughout the story, and you even meet one halfway through the adventure. Just like how there are worshipers of God in the world, it’s only fitting that The Man Downstairs, Satan, also exists. He does play a role in the story with his involvement being a pretty big spoiler, so I’ll just leave it at that.

A sequel doesn’t always have to improve on its prequel. Sometimes it might simply be a way to add content and features that were unable to be inserted previously. In the end, Leowald is more of the same with some additions that benefit the experience. On the standard difficulty, it is a bit easier than Zeran’s Folly. The new Destroyer (Hard) Mode can make the experience much more challenging with a lot of restrictive elements. It’ll take just as long to complete Leowald as it did Zeran’s Folly, which is about seven to ten hours. Even though this is still an entry for adults, a simpler narrative makes for more wholesome content in general. For those who were completely turned off by Zeran’s Folly's corruptness, some of you might be pleased to hear that Leowald isn’t all in your face about it. There will be a lot of references and callbacks that will be missed if you are completely unfamiliar with the previous entry. I can recommend this to people who are looking for another platformer to put time in and don’t mind too much adult content.

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Cinque Pierre

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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