Embark on a quest to eliminate the evils that plague an unfortunate village in this addictive RPG game that involves battles, upgrades, and item combining, resulting in an RPG that seems too good to simply be a flash game.
RPG games can either go one of two ways for me: either they emanate quality from the outset and end up delivering an engaging and impossibly addictive experience, or they simply fail to do so by being an entirely drab and mediocre-or-worse adventure with no substance and no soul. I am unlucky (or stupid) enough to often be faced with the latter of these two scenarios, which leaves me sitting in the diner of disappointment ordering the waffles of regret drizzled with an ample coating of bitter dejection, the sheer dissatisfaction painted on my face like a mediocre portrait of sorrow and also sheer confusion as to why I even ordered the regret waffles at a diner that, due to its name in the metaphor, was always going to be a letdown anyway. One game that has conversely allowed me to swim in the warm, well-maintained swimming pool of gaming satisfaction (and also use another ridiculous metaphor) is Arcuz: Behind the Dark, an anomaly of the often generic RPG genre from Funnaut that feels like all that it is missing is an original SNES controller. Read on, my friends, and grab a towel of high expectation to dry off from the waters of contentment.
Like Zelda, Only Freer
I usually hate comparing games to other iconic games to which they bear striking similarity, but Arcuz truly is a hugely entertaining homage to the Zelda saga. The game involves assuming control of your character (you can name him whatever you want) and investigating some evil happenings that are occurring in and around a village. Though there isn’t much to be said about the storyline, the game absolutely shines in the gameplay department, offering you the chance to battle a variety of enemies with an arsenal of different weapons and an impressive number of upgrades; all of this is also based on a wonderfully stylish interface with some distinguishing graphics and an inventory system that is often reserved for games that you actually pay for. Not bad for absolutely free, huh?
Personal Development (Upgrades)
Your character’s development is based on an experience system whereby you level up in true RPG style, gaining experience along the way during battles which converts to attribute points when you level up; these can be used to increase your strength and other characteristics, making you a better warrior and therefore a more suitable candidate for vanquishing evil from these lands. Skill points can also be used to increase the damage and effectiveness of your weapons and eventually allowing you to learn special attacks such as ‘hurricane’ or ‘energy wave’, all of which have their own power and effectiveness against the enemy. I find it difficult to convey just how addictive it can be trying to max out all of your weapons proficiency points and your special attacks; it makes you feel like there simply isn’t enough time in the day with which to fill said time up with more Arcuz gameplay.
Another feature that stands out in Arcuz is its inventory system, which when it comes down to it is a simple click-and-drag affair that allows you to equip items for use with hotkeys (1,2 and 3 for potions, and I/L for special skills). The system also allows you to combine objects in order to add special properties to them, such as giving powerful properties to your weapons by adding certain stones that you find in your quest. As well as being extremely functional and easy to use, the menu system, as well as the rest of the game, is quaint and an almost Gameboy-like in appearance, with fairly simple but exceedingly stylish graphics and a general aesthetic that cries out old-school RPG.
Underestimation is Your Error
It would be a mistake to underestimate Arcuz’s ability to entertain you. Its graphics are extremely charming and the gameplay addictive. Supported by a menu and inventory system that is feels fairly advanced for a flash game, Arcuz: Behind the Dark is a game to eat up your spare time like procrastination during exam periods.