Someone let Austin Powers know I think I’ve found his mojo
It’s fair to say that I’m quickly becoming Punk and Lizard’s resident rogue-like reviewer. Seriously, it’s got to the point where I can feel my own stats increasing whenever I’m given a new rogue-like game to review. This time my health, speed and damage have all gained a noticeable boost thanks to the voodoo-infused game Full Mojo Rampage from Nicalis and Over the Top Games.
In Full Mojo Rampage you take on the role of a voodoo apprentice hungry for knowledge, and the best way to gain it is to appease voodoo gods known as “Loa”. These Loas are simple gods; all you need to do to earn their trust and favour is complete quests for them such as closing portals or collecting items to complete a voodoo ritual. These quests are broken down into individual levels, which are randomly generated to ensure that no two games are the same. Of course not everyone wants you to finish these quests. There will be hordes of enemies standing in your way, which are despatched with some super slick twin-stick shooting.
By now we all know the formula of how twin stick rogue-like games work. You avoid enemies and their projectiles while firing upon them, collect things to upgrade your character and die in the process. Full Mojo Rampage runs with this ‘death is not the end’ formula but tinkers with a few gameplay ingredients. First and foremost it’s quite forgiving. There’s none of this “instant death” malarkey and you can quite easily last a good twenty minutes or so without perishing because enemies occasionally drop HP for you. This is because to begin with, on the default setting at least, the enemies are fairly easy to destroy. You’ll find that you can circle around most of them without much trouble. Another thing that makes Full Mojo Rampage stand out in the sea of rogue-likes is its appearance; it’s not gone for the pixelated art style. I know looks aren’t everything, but it’s good to see a game that looks like it was made for the PS4.
Customisation is key
Full Mojo Rampage has a bucket load of collectables and secret rooms to discover and it is definitely worth going to the trouble of looking out for them. Some of these collectables are only useful in your current session like the mojos, wands and weapons, whereas others such as pins, coins and medals help you beef up your character in the loadout screen. The loadout screen can be a little hard to navigate, not to mention sparse, when you start playing but after a bit of gaming you’ll have, hopefully, collected enough medals, coins and pins to make a difference. On this screen you can change your character’s mask (which only has a cosmetic effect), increase your stats, unlock and change your base Loa (each has their own offensive spells and passive bonus) and switch/upgrade your pins (these offer different perks like extra slots for items or increased damage). As for the rooms there are shrines, vendors and mojo mixers to visit. Each room is useful in its own way. The vendor lets you buy and sell items (pretty standard), mojo mixer lets you combine two mojos (which combined their powers and free up a space to collect more) and the shrine gives you the chance of a random buff. The shrine can really make or break your run. One of my early runs I swapped half of my health for a massive increase in the amount of damage I could dish out. This meant that in that run I was more powerful than I am now after days of playing.
There is a lot happening on screen with your health displayed in the top left corner, the objectives and the map in the top right (which can be expanded with a click of the left stick) and all your items, spells, weapons and equipment along the bottom of the screen. You may think the screen would appear cluttered with all this on display but the developers have done a good job in making sure this is not the case, and it never interferes with the gameplay.
As you progress through the main campaign you will unlock other modes such as daily runs, survival, survival unlimited and endless modes. There are also cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes to try out, locally and online, but at the moment other online players seem a little sparse. If that’s not enough for you the game starts you off on the easiest (normal) setting for each quest and when you complete it you unlock the next level of difficulty, and there’s a few to unlock: hardcore, annoying, “Definitely not easy”, “WTH is this?”, and finally “This is VOODOOOO!” Each difficulty level ramps up the challenge of the game whether it’s by beefing up the baddies, adding bombs or even golden bullets (instant death) so chances are it’s going to take even the most battle-hardened rogue-liker a while to complete.
The trophy list makes sure that you delve into every dark corner of the game if you want to pop that platinum. There’s trophies for completing the quests, as well as completing them on each of the different difficultly levels, collecting all the items, levelling up to the max and jumping into online play
I know what you’re thinking: ‘another twin stick, rogue-like shooter, really, didn’t one get released last week and three the week before?! Why should I hand over my money for another one?’ I’ll tell you why. Full Mojo Rampage is, in my opinion, a rogue-like that you need to play. The humour, the fluidity of the controls, great graphics, the randomness of the levels all combine to make an excellent game. It’s one of those titles that hooks you in straightaway and before you know it you’ll have spent the entire evening playing it without realising. It also gets bonus points for not just giving nods to other games but also referencing TV shows like Game of Thrones (I collected the head of a king and laughed when its info stated that it “wasn’t Joffrey’s head”), movie stars (hello Wruce Billis mojo) and everything else in between.
NelMaNo Rating 9/10