Review | Full Mojo Rampage (PS4)
Full Mojo Rampage, which has been available on Steam for more than a year now, has made the jump to console, bringing the voodoo-inspired roguelike to console. How will it hold up?
The story of Full Mojo Rampage is quite simple, as it follows a voodoo apprentice completing various quests to gain the favor of the Loa, which are powerful spirits at the heart of voodoo. Each of the four missions gives you a quick summary of what’s going on, then sends you off on the procedurally-generated environments.
Full Mojo Rampage is a twin-stick shooter roguelike, so gamers can fully expect to die quite often as they traverse the various stages. The layout of each mission is random, typically comprising of three to five required stages and a handful of optional side stages.The main stages typically have a simple requirement, such as “Collect x number of chicken eggs,” or “Destroy these two objectives to advance”, and, though they change in graphical nature, they can honestly start to run together; Collecting spider butts, chicken feathers, and rum all felt basically the same.
Each main level will take you to a different location, with enemies unique to said location. For instance, in one level you may fight zombies in a murky swamp, while another has you exploring the dangers of a Victorian mansion.There are some basic types of enemies, such as one that will charge towards you, and one that will strike from a distance, that occur in all stages. With so many different types of levels, you never really know what to expect. You will also need to take on some challenging bosses once you make it to the final level of a mission.
As you explore each level, you can come across chests, items, and even tombstones, which contain secret items. The items you get are, of course, random, and come in two forms; Consumable and equipment. The consumables can do a variety of things, such as restore your health, summon a giant minion to help you out, or even change your attack type from a green projectile to something powerful, such as a laser or a spread-shot.
In terms of equipment items, you can gain a variety of different Mojos, including voodoo dolls, which were designed, in part, by contributors to the game. These items offer up a wide breadth of upgrades, and there are even places inside each mission, known as a “Mojo Mixer” where you can combine some Mojos together to make a more powerful one.
The equipment items, while there are a few that are exceptionally powerful, for the most part honestly don’t feel outstanding. I never felt like the reason I died was because I didn’t have good enough gear; I always felt like I made a mistake while fighting and running around the screen.
There are also items that you can collect, the voodoo pins, which can be equipped at the beginning of a mission that can grant you some help. One, for example, allows you to start off with a healing potion, which is quite useful if you expect to be hit a lot and don’t trust the enemies to drop enough health, while another may even let you retry upon dying.
The side stages can be anything from a shrine to grant you some gold and/or some useful equipment, a shrine with a Loa offering you a boost for a debuff (such as twice the health with no healing allowed), or another stage with a unique goal. This goal can be something such as defeating a powerful foe in a rather strict time limit or helping out a bunch of hapless zombies that are being attacked by skeletons.
The random element of roguelikes can definitely set you back, however, with enough skill and sharp reflexes, you should be able to overcome even the odds when you get very few useful items…. to an extent.
For instance, in one playthrough, I messed up and, at one of the shrines scattered throughout the level, had accepted a “Double health, but no healing!” challenge/buff. By the time I reached the boss, I was in dire straits, but managed somehow to succeed in the mission and make it through, even without any amazing equipment. The next mission presented a straight three required stage scenario, and I thought it would be easy, particularly since the buff/challenge was no longer in effect and I was, essentially, starting fresh. To my shock, however, I died first few seconds, as the enemies dished out a huge amount of damage, so that my failure to dodge two attacks saw me fail.
Once you die, you get to change your chosen Loa, which affects your spells, as well as purchase and change other things, such as masks, default pins, unlock more Loa, and level up your character, providing that you have gained enough experience prior to dying to do so.
This drastic leap in difficulty could turn a few off, however it helped keep things challenging and, in this reviewer’s opinion, fun.
One final thing to note on the gameplay is that it does feature a multiplayer aspect for either online or local co-op, or competitive play with modes such as Capture the Flag. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to find anybody to play these modes with, so I cannot comment on how well the multiplayer works.
Graphics and Sound
In terms of presentation, Full Mojo Rampage is a good looking game with sharp graphics and deep aesthetic. Each of the levels look nice, and, while they can become bland after a while, the enemies are also designed with care. The interface, however, can feel a bit on the large side, and it can be annoying to be hit, or even killed, by an enemy you can’t even see due to it.
The music, while it may not have players singing along, does a great job at helping set the atmosphere for the game.
Full Mojo Rampage is a fun little twin-stick roguelike, though it does have a few flaws. The story honestly doesn’t do much to make you care about the world, which is a shame, and the interface can cause issues as you dash through levels.
These minor gripes aside, fans of roguelikes should find some fun with Full Mojo Rampage.
Final Score: 3.5/5