Kickstarter has its ups and downs, sure, but there are projects that showcase the ingenuity and DIY ethos of small developers to a tee. Strength of the SWORD ULTIMATE is one of those projects. The two-man team over at Ivent Games (Lyubo and Georgi) wanted to build the sort of “old school” brawler that the market sees little of anymore, though they quickly learned they were in over their heads. The penultimate edition seeks to expand on the existing version, Strength of the SWORD 3. The “3” in the title refers to the developer’s idea that they want to finish their trilogies “right off the bat”. No first or second game needed in this trio.
Strength of the SWORD 3, released in 2013 via PSN, showcases a beat ’em up set in a fantasy world in which the player assumes the role of a war golem. This magically forged automaton battles against the Dark Mechanism to (of course) save the world from utter destruction. The story is, well, a story… but that isn’t what you’re here for is it? NO! Do you want a fast-paced brawler that mixes in fighting game mechanics all in a stylish package? Sure you do. A better version with more weapons, more customization, more modes, and more enemies sounds even better doesn’t it? Of course it does.
The core game features a single player campaign and survival mode, and the world is one filled to the brim with various enemy types. Enemies will come in waves across the four worlds and 11 stages, and thanks to their enemy AI algorithm, will learn and adapt their tactics as the waves progress. So far, it appears with each new area there is at least one new type of baddie to slay.
Gameplay is king with Strength of the SWORD ULTIMATE and judging by various demos spotted on YouTube this developer duo has produced a game that not only looks responsive but plays with a haste that is usually reserved for character action games.This isn’t a Bayonetta or Devil May Cry, but it certainly appears to be a meaty stew of brawler, character action, and precision combos. The game recently had a huge spotlight cast on it by popular Let’s Play creators Super Best Friends Play, with a quick play through of the original PSN version to showcase a bit of what current backers and future players can expect.
Something that immediately stands out, aside from the really stylized slow-mo effects on certain attacks, is the Move Set available to the player. All the tools are available from the start, with certain weapons bringing in variation to the mix by either adding new moves or taking away core ones. One of the first stretch goals Ivent Games put on the docket was an expanded armory for players to choose from. The standard sword and board could be replaced by a whip sword and energy shield, and so on. That stretch goal has already come to pass with more to come. The more money raked in, the more platforms the ULTIMATE edition will be available on. The PS VITA has already been secured and it appears the Wii U is a go as well. They’re also aiming for a possible PS4 and Xbox One release if the loftier goal of $100,000 can be reached.
The major proposed additions include PVP (combat, Co-Op gameplay, and something known as “Dark Mode,” which will serve as an extension of PVP in a way, allowing players to square off against a Dark Swordsman after a number of successful bouts. The Swordsman begins at half health, has a slew of different powers from what one normally faces in PVP and gives a lot of loot for damage dealt. If a player defeats the Dark Swordsman, a Dark Token is awarded. Three of these tokens will allow players to enter into PVP matches as the Dark Swordsman complete with an entirely different set of powers. There are even proposed weekly PVP tournaments with players divided into houses and special weapons for house champions.
Backer rewards run the usual gamut of “Thank you” messages, soundtracks, artbooks, and Early Access including “Dark Swordsman” at $45 (limited to 200). Those who choose to donate that amount will get unlimited access to “Dark Mode” and their name in the credits in a list of “Dark Swordsmen”. The game, at this point, is technically funded as the original goal was a meager $14,000 though the project now sits at just under $40,000 collected. There are 18 days left in the campaign’s run and it appears that the other stretch goals are within reach. The game has also been recently Greenlit via Steam’s Greenlight services. The Kickstarter page for Strength of the SWORD ULTIMATE can be found here.
Know of a game that should be featured on the Kickstarter Spotlight? Are you a developer wanting to get the word out? Let us know via the comment section below, on Twitter (@APGNation) or @ScrivenerJeff.