SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech (Switch): COMPLETED!

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech (Switch): COMPLETED!

As a fan of the SteamWorld games, I’ve no idea why it took me more than three years to get round to buying this, let alone actually playing it. Maybe because it’s an RPG I though I’d need a run up? Anyway, here we are, late to the party.

My first impression was “Oh no, what have I bought”. You see, I knew SteamWorld Quest was an RPG but I didn’t know it was a card-based RPG. And I don’t like card based RPGs. In fact, every other card based RPG I’ve ever played (Lost Kingdoms and Baten Kaitos come to mind immediately) I’ve given up on because I just couldn’t enjoy the combat. You can imagine my disappointment when I realised this was another one of those.

I stuck with it, hoping that unlike all the others, it would click. That the SteamWorld world was enough to get me past the gameplay. And you know what? It did click! And I really got into it!

Now, I didn’t get very deep into card deck strategy or some of the more complex card types. I hoped that wouldn’t be necessary, and as it happens, it mostly wasn’t. The deck I ended up with was much the same deck I started with, albeit with different quantities of some cards, upgraded cards, and a few replaced, but by and large I stuck with the originals. You see, it isn’t actually that difficult a game, and I never lost a single battle. In fact, my characters only died two or three times and I managed to revive them. Furthermore, when I unlocked the two final characters I went back to redo some of the early chapters of the game again, on a harder difficulty level hoping that would level them up quicker, but forgot to change the difficulty back again afterwards. I actually completed most of the game on the hardest setting by accident.

I should probably mention the game itself. The plot is about a wannabe hero, Armilly, who worships Gilgamech, a hero from the past. Today’s heroes, though, are an elitist club who would rather play golf than actually do heroing (and are a bunch of cowards anyway), and won’t let Armilly join their guild. Then, Bad Things happen, all the “heroes” are kidnapped, and Armilly and friends set off to save them. Which kickstarts a larger adventure involving Gilgamech himself, who now thinks his heroic deeds have been forgotten and so he’s decided to resurrect an old evil so he can defeat it again and regain his kudos. And yes, that goes a bit sideways.

Gameplay is a mixture of walking round areas smashing weeds and crates and trying to get a hit in on baddies when you see them, and then a normal RPG battle (with randomly drawn cards) when you do. Some cards require a number of points in order to play them, whereas other cards generate points. Each round you can – points permitting – play up to three cards, with each having varying effects like you’d expect from an RPG, such as healing, physical damage, elemental damage, status effects, and so on. If you manage to play three cards for the same member of your party in one round, then they trigger a special extra (fixed) card. I expected it to be frustrating that the cards I want never came up when I needed them, but actually, if you’re flexible you can work round it and you can discard and re-draw up to two cards each round anyway, so it wasn’t often an issue. Plus, as I said, it’s a pretty easy game so even if you can’t play any cards in a round it’s not the end of the world.

As RPGs go, it’s not a particularly long game. I think I beat the final boss after about 18 hours. I unlocked New Game+, but to be honest I don’t think I’ll be giving it a go. As much as I did enjoy the game despite my dislike for card mechanic role playing games in general, it isn’t something I really want to spend a lot more time with. Not when I’ve got *gestures at pile of shame* anyway.

Oh, but I am VERY excited about SteamWorld Build. I played the demo a while ago and it’s fantastic.

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