Songbringer (Playstation 4 Review)
With the continuing popularity of The Legend of Zelda, there are plenty of devs out there that wish to pay homage to one of the most popular games to come from Nintendo. Enter Wizard Fu Games, who have taken the Zelda formula and gave it their own individual spin, with a few added extras, in the form of Songbringer.
Songbringer has a fair few similarities to the Zelda series, being a non-linear dungeon crawler with plenty of enemies dotted about the map, but where Songbringer really shines is in its unique differences.
Each game is procedurally generated depending on the seed number entered at the start of each run meaning there’s real replayability with Songrbinger in that each run will be a different adventure. What’s also good is if you find yourself struggling with a particular run, you can enter a new seed number and see how you get on. There’s also the opportunity to reuse a seed number to attempt the “complete a run in 2.5 hours” trophy/achievement.
Wizard Fu Games have also decided that to add an extra mode that’s been missing from the Zelda series: permadeath mode. For a game that can be challenging at times, a permadeath mode is likely to frustrate even the most experienced dungeon crawler aficionado.
I did come across a bug in the controls more than once where the directions would lock for no apparent reason. There are enemies that will confuse the main character Roq, and make controlling his movement difficult but this issue happened multiple times with no enemies around. While it’s not game breaking, the rate at which it happened was frustrating. However, this was the only bug I came across so it can be put down to an annoyance more than anything.
Songbringer is a fun game that will give you a strong nostalgic feeling but playing through it, I couldn’t help but feel there was something missing. I’ve spent a while trying to pinpoint that nagging feeling whilst playing through Songbringer and I have the feeling that it lacks some of the charm that you get with the Zelda series. Don’t get me wrong, Songbringer does have its own charm and it’s an enjoyable game, but it’s hard not to compare it to the game that’s inspired by.
There are some enemies and bosses that can feel overpowered and either difficult or nigh on impossible to defeat. But the beauty of the procedural seed system means if you’re struggling, you can load up a new number and have another crack it.
Lastly, thanks to it being nonlinear, and if you’re looking for a challenge a step down from permadeath, you can always take on a more difficult dungeon first and work your way back to a lower level dungeon. It’s nice to mix things up a bit and feel like you have a bit of control over how you want your story to play out.
Songrbringer isn’t for the casual gamer as parts can be quite difficult and the more casual gamer may not find the ever-increasing difficulty, and in some cases difficult from the start, enjoyable. Although for Zelda fans, Songbringer will be right up your street if you’re looking for a dose of nostalgia mixed up with some new features for you to get your claws into.
Overall Songbringer is an enjoyable game that nails the Zelda dungeon-crawling aspect while still managing to bring something new to the table with the procedural seed runs, permadeath mode and a cast of unique and amusing characters.