Flash Friday: AntiVillain

Just when I thought I’d escaped GeminiGamer’s iron grip, here he is with a completely new series to draw me back in again. Suffice to say, I was surprised when my eyes caught on the latest E-mail I’d received from GeminiGamer’s Patreon about a game called AntiVillain. With things heating up in the Medieval Cop series and the side-series Medieval Shorts, you’d think he’d take some time to catch a breather. Coming out with a fresh, new IP was the last thing I expected, yet somehow he’s managed it. The latest game from GeminiGamer is called AntiVillain and its future as a series is decided by the reception it receives. So, does AntiVillain stand on its own two legs as its own unique series?  Can lightning strike not once, not twice but three times? Or is GeminiGamer finally losing traction?

AntiVillain follows the story of Rory Dedrick, a former blue-haired guy(?) turned villain after his girlfriend, Serena, dumps him upon being accepted into the Hero Institute. This hurts Rory so much that he decides to become a villain; and that’s pretty much where the game begins. Although the world intrigued me and I like the shift in usual perspective from hero to villain, Rory isn’t all that good a character and a long-shot from the pessimistic, sarcastic Dregg. As much as it pains me to say this, Rory just feels like a knockoff Dregg to me. The pessimism is there but none of the personality. Most of his lines are either satirical jokes or him just stating the obvious. His backstory also felt sort of rushed to me. We had five games containing subtle hints to Dregg’s backstory that slowly built up the hype before the reveal’s excellent execution in Dregg me to Hell. Not that I’m saying Rory’s story needed to remain a secret, just that the way we’re introduced to his motives is quite blunt and matter-of-fact. Why did his girlfriend even leave him when she joined the Hero Institution? He wasn’t a villain before and long-distance relationships are a thing. Also, why is his character sprite so… bright? It feels completely out of place and cartoony in what looks like a more gritty and realistic world with more defined features.

Maybe Rory will get some development in subsequent games. AntiVillain is an experiment so it it’s possible that GeminiGamer isn’t entirely sure of his character yet. It may seem like I’m ripping into AntiVillain like it’s the worst game in the world but it’s far from it. Now I’ve mentioned my distaste for the main character, I can talk about all the things I liked about Antivillian. When some characters talk, their full-body sprite is displayed and-apart from Rory-they’re all pretty detailed though there are very few. There is only really one main character, excluding Rory, and he’s pretty well-written and I found myself liking his character despite his abundant villainy. Bloodshot is an incredibly stylish vampire who’s new to the business like Rory. He exudes a whole lot more personality and doesn’t just progress the story, he even shows reluctance to fight the game’s final and only boss.

Did I mention the gameplay in AntiVillain? It’s easily the game’s best feature. Despite the story being epic and involving, the gameplay has always been one of Medieval Cop’s biggest problems. Most of what you do just involves interacting with certain objects and even the intense dimensional debates just task you with answering simple maths and logic questions.There are a few exceptions of course, but it isn’t all that consistent. In AntiVillain however, a unique twist is put on the classic gameplay of a turn-based RPG. Whenever you do an attack, even a normal one, you have to partake in a short minigame. There is a lot of variety in the games from stopping markers in certain areas, copying a short sequence of arrow keys and just straight up button mashing. They’re nothing revolutionary but they make a nice addition to the strategy-based gameplay. You have to pay attention to everything that’s going on constantly or risk missing your attack completely. It combines strategic and skill-based gameplay in a refreshing blend that’s a sight for sore eyes for those who have played a hundred classic turn-based RPG’s. It also reminded me of the Mario and Luigi RPG series that also combines interactivity and strategy in a different way.

Not counting Rory, everything else AntiVillain does is just as good as in Medieval Cop and Medieval Shorts. The humour the series is known for is present and still at full force making me chuckle to myself more than once. The music is once again well-timed, hitting at just the right moments and inspiring you to continue onward. Unfortunately, the grammar and spelling mistakes just can’t seem to take a break. I’ll admit, AntiVillain has flaws, quite a few in fact but what it does well is done really well. In a way, it’s almost the opposite of Medieval Cop with a sub-par story but creative, interactive gameplay although some of the battles drag on a little longer than I might of liked. Some of the negative comments I’ve made may make it sound like I didn’t enjoy it, but believe me I did; a lot. AntiVillain has a tonne of potential and although the initial experiment might of blown up a bit in GeminiGamer’s face, the resulting product looks more than promising. I’d love to see more.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Massive potential
  • Creative world
  • Interactive, unique spin on classic turn-based RPG gameplay
  • Awesome music
  • Well-written
  • Humour
  • Bloodshot

Cons:

  • Rory is a long shot from Dregg and isn’t all that interesting
  • Battles drag on a little longer than I would have liked
  • Why is Rory so bright?
  • Abrupt intro/backstory that feels rushed
  • Short

Verdict: 7/10

Play the game here: http://www.kongregate.com/games/VasantJ/antivillain-oneshot

Support GeminiGamer’s Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/user/posts?u=2572101

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