Reader Review: Daemon Detective Gaiden (PC)

DAEMON_BOXDaemon Detective Gaiden is a downloadable PC game that pays homage to classic 8- and 16-bit 2-D platformers that were all the rage back then. My good friend Robbie Allen reviewed this game, so check out what he thought of it by clicking here!

I have the feeling that the creator of Daemon Detective Gaiden was a big fan of the Genesis game, Kid Chameleon, because Daemon Detective Gaiden reminds me of it quite a bit. Except not as good or as polished. Which is funny, because I often feel Kid Chameleon is a lot like Super Mario Bros., except not as good or as polished. That should give you an idea from the start where this game is going.

The story of this game centers around you playing a Daemon Detective named Yal, who is out to recover 120 paintings stolen by demons… for some reason. The game goes about the typical hop and bop 2D platformer style that was very popular in the 8-bit and 16-bit era of gaming, and while everything is indeed functional in Daemon Detective Gaiden, nothing feels really inspired and the whole game comes off feeling half-hearted.

The graphics are all small and muddy looking, making it hard to see what a lot of the characters and enemies are supposed to be. Heck, if this game didn’t have cut scenes, I wouldn’t have been sure Yal was even a person. One neat graphical touch in the game is that your character changes his outfit with every power up you get (and there’s a lot of different power ups in this game), but it feels like this detail is sadly wasted when you can barely make out any of the details on the character. The backgrounds and level layouts are also boring and filled with standard generic Mario brick layouts, and give you nothing to really look at or interesting.

The controls are also very sloppy. Everything feels slippery and the momentum of the character feels really off. Like he gains and loses momentum randomly. They definitely need some tightening as I often felt like every level in this game is an ice level, and all the physics just feel really off. Like when you get the fire power up and jump and shoot a fireball. I feel the fireball should either go straight in the air or fall down, but in this game it doesn’t really do either. It goes straight for a bit and then seems to fall with you, which doesn’t seem to make any sense. Yet when you shoot the fireball on the ground, it’ll go straight over gaps with no issues.

Also the music in this game isn’t that great either. I’d say they’re some pretty mediocre music loops, but even the looping on the music isn’t done right. When the end of the song comes up, it doesn’t do a clean loop or fade out, it just stops suddenly, pauses for a bit, and then starts over. It seems like something that could’ve easily been fixed with a little extra effort, but as is it just feels real sloppy.

The best benefits the game has is there are unlockable characters you can play as and lots of power ups, my favorite was the TNT Man that allows your character to defeat enemies by literally blowing himself up. However even the power ups aren’t without flaw. There are lots of powers that seem similar or unnecessary, almost like the creator was more interested in putting as many power ups as he could rather than whether or not the power ups were useful to the game as a whole.

Overall Daemon Detective Gaiden is far from a broken game, and with some polish… a lot of polish, it could’ve been a decent game. But as is, the game just feels sloppy and gives off a feeling like the programmers was going “eh, good enough” throughout the whole creation process. With all the indie games out trying to prove what creators can do, this one just doesn’t feel like it really cares at all. If this game was five dollars or less, I may have been more lenient with its flaws, but for $10 it really doesn’t feel remotely worth it. So I’m afraid I can’t recommend this one at all. Maybe if it goes on sale for half price, but even then you could find a better game for that price or less.


Kid Factor:

While I didn’t see anything in this game that would make someone want to keep their kids from playing it, I can’t imagine kids would get much enjoyment out of the game, thanks to the bland tiny graphics and lousy gameplay. –Robbie Allen

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