LoL Anniversary – 2012, Nami

League of Legends turned 10! And although the event has already ended and although you cannot receive any more rewards, I’ll continue my series of posts, showcasing my favourite supports from each year. Seven years ago on December 4th 2012, Nami, The Tidecaller, was introduced into the Summoner’s Rift. She’s a vastayan Enchanter from the tribe of the Marai, who’s able to control the tides to protect her allies and punish her enemies. 

I already talked about Nami in an early Stray Sheep but I haven’t talked about her Lore yet, so if you want to, you may as well look that post up but this post is only about Nami while that other post just mentioned her on a side note.

Lore

In the seas to the west of Mount Targon dwells a tribe of Vastaya known as the Marai. Long ago, these mermadic creatures discovered a rift in the depths. The rift bore a horrible, creeping darkness which sought to exterminate all forms of life.

At the center of their village, the Marai placed a glowing rock known as a moonstone, which is said to be infused with the celestial magic of the heavens. Its haunting, ethereal light protects the Marai from the creatures that crawl from the abyss.

Every hundred years, the moonstone begins to dim which is why the Marai choose their fiercest warrior to retrieve a pearl from the rift and exchange it for another moonstone from a luminous wanderer from Targon’s peak. 

The Marai were only able to send out one warrior, though, as the creatures of the Rift feast on their energy and would grow stronger if they’d send out whole armies to the rift. While whole armies would get wiped out immediately, a single warrior equipped with the legendary Tidecaller’s Staff, capable of controlling the tides, would be able to possibly elude the dangers long enough to return with the pearl safely. 

Nami always wanted to be a Tidecaller but since she’s quite impulsive and young, she didn’t pass the trial, which lead to a different warrior, called Rasho being chosen as the Tidecaller instead of her. 

Rasho dove into the depths of the abyss. A week passed, then another. An entire month the Marai waited for their Tidecaller’s return, but there was no sign of Rasho. No Tidecaller had ever failed to return.

Since someone had to return with the pearl, Nami ventured into the Rift on her own, returning after several days with the pearl, the fallen Tidecaller’s staff, and a look of quiet horror in her eyes. 

Though furious at her impertinence, the village elders nonetheless admired Nami’s bravery and officially designated her Tidecaller. Nami ascended to the surface and rode the tide to shore to meet the landwalker.

The landwalker, however, was nowhere to be found. Nami instead found an elderly woman whose grandparents saw the last moonstone exchange. She explained that there was no moonstone as the Aspect of the Moon who’s the only one to conjure a moonstone has fled Mount Targon.

Nami was unwilling to accept this. She vowed to find the Aspect and retrieve the moonstone. The lives of her people depended on it.

Using the power of the mystical Tidecaller staff to summon a perpetual pool of moving water beneath her fins, Nami took to land to continue her quest.

Determined, the Tidecaller swam into a brand new world.


So, that’s her Lore basically. You may want to check out the comic that got made for this store. It’s really well made!

Lore vs Kit?

Passive: Surging Tides

All allies (and Nami) gain movement speed when being hit/targeted by her abilities. This bonus is doubled when Tidal Wave is being used.

Q: Aqua Prison

Nami sends out a bubble into the target direction damaging, revealing and suspending all enemies hit.

W: Ebb and Flow

Nami unleashes a stream of water onto the target champion or herself, which then bounces to nearby unaffected champions up to twice, alternating between enemies, allies and herself.
Ebb and Flow heals allies and damages enemies.

E: Tidecaller’s Blessing

Nami blesses herself or a target ally, causing her/their next three basic attacks to deal bonus damage and slow the target hit.

R: Tidal Wave

Nami sends out a tidal wave, dealing damage, knocking up and slowing all enemies hit. As mentioned, allies hit by Tidal Wave receive the Surging Tides bonus twice. The slow scales with the travelled distance.


Nami’s kit makes her a great enchanter for all kinds of situations. You’re able to set up ganks, kills and teamfights, using Aqua Prison and Tidal Wave, while also using these skills to disengage. You’ve got decent utility and healing in your kit when playing Nami on top of a lot of slows, two knock ups (though Aqua Prison’s knockup’s lasting a lot longer than Tidal Wave’s for instance), and some damage for both your team and you.

Runes and Builds

For runes, I generally use a similar setup to Sona’s. Nami is super squishy just like Sona and Janna. Especially since she’s also immobile, she’s often at the risk of falling prey to assassin’s and enemies with CC and gapclosers. Hence, you’ve got to watch out for those and be careful of how you spend your mana, as you will always need enough to cast your Aqua Prison or your Tidal Wave to disengage. Nami already has a lot of mana-regen built into her kit, which fits as she’s an aquatic champion and water and mana… and you know? Anyways, Manaflowband, Biscuit Delivery and her items still help her out a lot, with Biscuit Delivery granting her three cookies with increased Mana Regeneration on top of more Maximum-Mana while Manaflowband grants you more mana regeneration based on how much Mana you’re missing. With Nami, I usually build Ardent Censer into Athene’s Unholy Grail into Redemption and then go for some tankier options based on how the game goes.

In patch 9.23 (the preseason-patch), however, Shurelya’s Reverie is getting changed so that it builds out of a Forbidden Idol and so that it grants increased healing as well, so I may swap out Redemption for Shurelya’s Reverie, depending on the game’s state as Shurelya’s Active offers even more movement speed on top of your Tidal Wave which is great for some chases, disengages and other maneuvers.

As mentioned earlier, I try to build up as much AP as possible with my Enchanters using the Mana Regeneration that gets converted into AP with Athene’s Unholy Grail and using the Cooldown Reduction that also gets converted into bonus AP with Transcendence. This way I’m getting more ability power without really building damage, so I won’t be able to run out of Mana all that easily in the late game while still spamming my abilities out and healing allies, buffing them up, CC-ing enemies and pushing forward in general.

Nami is my favourite champion of all time as she has a diverse kit, some great utility and is overall just a lovely champion. I play her a ton and can’t wait to try out new runes and builds with her in this preseason! I hope that this little post showed her best sides to ya and showcased her well. Anyways, this is it for today. I wish you a great time.

See you in the Rift!

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

Edit: I know, I’ve said that I’ll make one post per year of League’s existence but I also said that I’ll feature the ones I’m actually playing and only one per year, which makes the next few years rather hard to choose from as I don’t really play all that many Support Champions that came out past 2016, apart from Pyke, I guess? So, in the end, there will a few less posts than the total of ten posts I’ve planned but this format of showcasing champions, explaining their lore and abilities and strategizing about them, will return for sure! Eventually.

LoL Anniversary – 2011, Leona

2011 was the year where one of the first aggressive supports were introduced. Leona, The Radiant Dawn, is Vanguard from Mount Targon that provides her team with both CC and a frontline that is able to increase her allies’ damage on targets hit by her abilities. So let’s just get into it with his showcase!


The Lore behind Leona, The Radiant Dawn

“Imbued with the fire of the sun, Leona is a warrior templar of the Solari who defends Mount Targon with her Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak!”

Leona was born in the tribe of the Rakkor, a warrior tribe that’s honing their skills to fight “the war at the end of the world”. “Rakkor” means “Tribe of the Last Sun” and they believe in the existence of many worlds before this one though those earlier ones have been destroyed by a great catastrophe. Their seers teach them that this Sun will be the last and that they have to protect it at all cost, fighting all of those that threaten its existence.

“To the Rakkor, battle is an act of devotion, an offering to keep the sun’s light shining.”

As soon as she could walk, Leona learned to fight, mastering the skills of both sword and shield rather fast. Her tribe expects of their warriors to fight and kill with no mercy, and Leona was no exception. Leona was fascinated by the mists wreathing the summit and often wondered what was beyond it, which lead to her often fighting those vile creatures and entities coming down from the summit. 

One time, however, she encountered a golden-skinned and shimmering boy with bat-like wings and horns who didn’t speak her language nor knew how to get to safety, obviously being lost and frightened. Although her teachings told her to attack instantly, she couldn’t do it and instead helped him find a pathway to the Summit.

Once back at the tribe of the Rakkor, she, however, got accused of failing her duty of the sun, as a boy called Atreus saw her leading the creature of the mountain to safety instead of killing it. She didn’t deny this fact and was soon to be punished in a trial by combat. Her opponent was none other than Atreus. They both fought well but nobody was able to deal a death-blow, resulting in a long and evenly-matched fight. Leona fought with her sword and shield while Atreus was well-equipped with his spear – and nobody could predict the outcome. 

As the long fight dragged on, the Sun started sinking into the horizon. At that point, an elder of the Solari marched into the Rakkor-camp with three golden-armoured warriors, calling a halt to the duel. The Solari were adherents of a martial faith in worshipping the Sun. The elder was lead to the Rakkor-camp by dreams and an ancient Solari prophecy of a “warrior whose fire burned brighter than the Sun, a daughter of Targon who could bring unity to the celestial realm”. The elder believed in Leona being said daughter of Targon and upon learning about her offence, his beliefs were strengthened. 

“The tribal seers warned against interfering in the duel, but the elder was adamant; Leona must come with him and become one of the Solari, to be fully instructed in their beliefs. The Rakkor were fiercely independent, but even they paid heed to the holy decrees of the Solari. The warriors lifted Leona from the pit and bore her wounded body from the Rakkor toward her new life.”

At the Temple of the Solari, Leona learned the ways of the sacred order and how to worship or even praise the Sun. In time, Leona rose to command the “Ra-Horak”, the Followers of the Horizon, becoming known around Mount Targon as a just and zealous servant of the Sun.

Her life changed forever when she was ordered to escort a young member of the Solari, Diana, who vanished months before but now returned to the Solari and who had great news that could shake the Solari’s foundation and that shall only be revealed to the elders of the citadel.

When presented to the elders, Diana spoke of the Lunari, an ancient and proscribed faith that venerated the moon, and how all the truths the Solari clung to were incomplete. She described a realm beyond the mountaintop, a place where the sun and moon were not enemies, where new truths could show them fresh ways to look at the world. When the elders rejected her words and named her a blasphemer, Leona knew that she’d be the one to end the heretic’s life.

Leona noticed the incredulous fury that Diana built up at the elder’s denial, but before being able to react, Diana already flung forward, burning the elders with orbs of silver fire in the blink of an eye. A hurricane of cold lightning was surged by white flames, blasting Leona away from the chamber. Once she regained consciousness, Diana was gone and the Solari were leaderless. Leona made it her mission to end the heretic’s life for killing those that she couldn’t protect.

“Diana’s trail was easy to find. The heretic’s footsteps were like shimmering mercury to Leona’s eyes, leading ever higher up the slopes of Mount Targon.”

“Eventually Leona reached the top of the mountain, breathless, exhausted, starved and stripped of all thought save punishing Diana. There, sitting on a rock at the top of the mountain was the same golden-skinned boy whose life she had spared as a child. Behind him, the sky burned with blazing light, a Borealis of impossible colours and the suggestion of a majestic city of gold and silver. In its fluted towers and glittering minarets, Leona saw how the Solari temple echoed its magnificence and fell to her knees in rapture.”

The golden-skinned boy spoke in old Rakkor-tongue and told her that he’s been waiting for her to follow him ever since she saved him. He offered her miracles that would lead her to know the minds of gods. Without hesitation, Leona took the boy’s hand and was engulfed in a column of searing illumination that stabbed down from the heavens.

“The warrior who came down the mountain looked the same as the one who had climbed it, but inside Leona was much changed. She still had her memories and thoughts, was still master of her own flesh, but a sliver of something vast and inhuman had chosen her to be its mortal vessel. It gifted her with incredible powers and awful knowledge that haunted her eyes and weighed heavily upon her soul; knowledge she could only ever share with one person.
Now, more than ever, Leona knew she had to find Diana.”

So, that’s the story of how Leona came to praise the Sun and earn her powers in pursuit of the Lunara, Diana. As with the other champions that I’ve featured in this post, the kit fits rather well with this overall theme of justice brought by and for the Solari. 

Kit vs. Lore?

Passive – Sunlight:

Leona’s abilities inflict sunlight to enemies struck by it for 1.5 seconds. Allies (other than herself) consume the Sunlight, dealing bonus magic damage upon those marked by it.

Q – Shield of Daybreak:

Leona’s next basic attack gains 50 bonus range, deals bonus magic damage and stuns her target for one second.

W – Eclipse:

Passive: Leona gains bonus armour and magic resistance, scaling with her own bonus armour and MR.

Active: For three seconds, Leona takes reduced pre-mitigation damage from each tick of damage for up to 50% damage reduction. She also gains bonus magic resistance and armour (on top of the passive part’s). 

Then, she explodes, dealing magic damage in the area around her. If she hits an enemy, she retains her bonus resistances and reduced damage for another three seconds.

E – Zenith Blade:

Leona projects a solar image of her sword, dealing damage to all enemies hit by it. If she damages an enemy champion, she will dash towards the last enemy struck and root them for 0.5 seconds.

R – Solar Flare:

Leona calls down a beam of solar energy to the target location, dealing magic damage to all enemies it hits and slowing them for one second. Enemies hit by the flare’s centre are instead stunned for the same duration.

My thoughts on her (take it with a grain of salt, I’ve only reached Gold this season)

Leona’s kit makes a great vanguard for those scenarios where your team doesn’t have a tank or all that much CC yet. Of course, you can never have enough crowd control, which is probably one of many reasons why op.gg ranks her currently at Tier 1. Her passive provides some good amounts of magic damage to your team’s abilities and attacks in team fights, while your Eclipse and Solar Flare are great abilities to apply Sunlight to as many enemies as possible. Earlier I mentioned how she was one of the first aggressive supports back then. That’s mostly because of her ability to aggressively engage into fights at level 2 with her E+Q combo and more of than not secure blown sums or even kills on the bot lane. Her ability to dash onto the backline and lock them down with crowd control makes her great against squishy supports, but she may also get threatened by poke-supports that will try to constantly harass her (as she’s a melee-character) and narrow down her health to the point where she can’t all-in anymore. 

Rune’s and builds:

For runes I usually go with Aftershock into Font of Life for Leona, followed by Conditioning and Overgrowth on top of Cosmic Insight and Biscuit Delivery. I enjoy having the attack speed in there but you may as well change that for scaling cool down reduction or go for adaptive force.

Aftershock gives us some bonus resistances and extra damage (similar to Leona’s W) after we lock someone down with our CC, giving us some bonus survivability when going in. Font of Life marks enemies whose movement we impair, resulting in our allies’ basic attacks healing them for a portion of our health. Instead of FoL, you may also want to take Demolish to take down some early tower plates/towers. For me personally, Conditioning is a must-have, as it grants you free resistances and a bonus percentage of resistances that scale well into our W and Aftershock, but when facing poke-heavy teams, I’d recommend swapping it out for Bone Plating. Overgrowth grants us bonus health, whenever a minion dies near us. Instead of that, you may as well take Unflinching, when facing against CC-heavy teams, as you gain more tenacity through that. 

As for builds, I usually upgrade my support-item (relic shield) to the last level as fast as possible, as it not only grants as more tanky stats and cooldown reduction but also more (frequent) stacks (up to a maximum of 4), hence better pushing and more gold, but also better healing from Relic Shield stacks! Afterwards, I usually build Zeke’s Convergence if my ADC uses a ton of basic attacks. If he doesn’t (aka if he’s more of a caster) than I take Knight’s Vow as my second item. Knight’s Vow grants us more survivability as we get healed by a portion of our ADC’s damage dealt to champions but also take a portion of their damage, which results in our ADC not dying as fast. If you need the survivability, go for Knight’s Vow. If you’re ahead, go for Zeke’s. Afterwards, I usually build the Locket of the Iron Solari (for obvious reasons). It also gives us a nice shield for all allies near us and some extra resistances. I usually stack health and resistances on Leona to make her as tanky as possible, so you’ve got to watch out that you don’t build MR against a full-ad team and just match your items to your enemies. 


Anyways, this was my post on Leona. I hope you enjoyed this one! I have a ton of fun writing about characters I play a lot and going into this guide-ish style of writing while also exploring and summarizing the plot for people that may not know it. I vaguely know bits and pieces of different characters’ lore but I never actually sat down and read all of it (or rather most), so this is a new for me as well. In hindsight, I noticed that I got quite a lot over my estimated 1.3k words and managed to write up 2k words, so this post is a lot longer but I didn’t really know how to summarize the plot even more.. Oh well!

Have a nice day 🙂

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

LoL Anniversary – 2010, Sona

Nine years ago, Sona, The Maven Of The Strings, got introduced to League of Legends, which is why I’m showcasing her in today’s (well, technically yesterday’s) post!

Thanks to my studies taking up a lot of time, I wasn’t able to finish yesterday’s post in time, which is why we’re taking a look at Sona in today’s post!

Lore

As an infant, Sona was found abandoned on the doorstep of an Ionian adoption house, nestled atop an ancient instrument in an exquisite case of unknown origins. Being unusually quiet and content, the caretakers thought that she’d be adopted rather fast, but what came across as good behaviour was actually her inability to talk or make any sounds at all. Hence, she stayed in the orphanage until her late teens where she had to watch in silence as potential new parents walked off without her.

During that time, the caretakers tried to sell off her instrument to collectors of all sorts but for some mysterious reason they either brought it back to the orphanage or it showed up at their doorstep in no time after its disappearance.

Sometime later, the Demacian woman Lestara Buvelle learned of the instrument and embarked to Ionia and sought the orphanage. After seeing the instrument, Lestara adopted Sona immediately and left a generous donation at the orphanage.

Pentakill Sona alongside the other band members

Under Lestara’s guidance, Sona learned to play the mysterious instrument, the so-called “etwahl”. In Sona’s hands, it played tunes and melodies that were able to reach the hearts of those around her, rendering her able to manipulate the emotions of her listeners without ever writing down a single note or speaking a single word. In secret, she discovered that her etwahl is able to slash through objects at distance, a deadly skill that may come in handy upon mastery.

And that’s basically Sona’s lore. She’s mute but gifted with a mysterious talent to play the even more enigmatic etwahl and not only heal allies but also attack enemies, using her music. This can be seen in her kit as well which not only includes a healing spell but also utility, damage and CC, making her a great enchanter, focusing around AoE-abilities.

Passive – Power Chord:

Sona’s abilities generate a unique aura around her for three seconds that empower her allies with different effects, based on the ability cast. After casting three abilities, she’s also able to use an empowered basic attack that gets enhanced based on the last ability cast.

Q – Hymn of Valor:

Sona sends out two bolts of sound to the nearest enemies, prioritizing enemy champions and dealing magic damage.
Aura effect: Allies within the aura deal bonus magical damage on their next attack within three seconds.
Power Chord – Staccato: Her basic attack deals even more damage.

W – Aria of Perseverance:

Sona heals herself and the most wounded nearby champion.
Aura effect: Allies within the aura are shielded for up to 1.5 seconds.
Power Chord – Diminuendo: Her basic attack reduces the enemy’s size and damage output by a percentage for three seconds.

E – Song of Celerity:

Sona gains movement speed for three seconds, extended to seven seconds if she doesn’t take damage.
Aura effect: Allies within the aura are also sped up for three seconds.
Power Chord – Tempo: Her basic attack slows the enemy for two seconds.

R – Crescendo:

Passive: Reduces her basic abilities’ base cooldown by a percentage, based on R-level.
Active: Sona plays an irresistible chord that damages and makes all enemies struck by it dance for 1.5 seconds, hence stunning them (unable to move, cast or attack).

Kit vs. Lore?

Sona’s abilities reflect her lore quite well as all of her abilities are about music and her ability to affect the people around her (both enemies and champions) with the melodies she plays. Her Hymn of Valor resembles the secret technique she mastered, slicing enemies and dealing a lot of damage, especially later on when she’s a decent amount of magic amplifying items. Her Aria of Perseverance resembles her gentle soul that is trying to find a place by healing others with her music.

The fact that she’s rather versatile thanks to her Passive makes her excellent in all kinds of scenarios. Using a basic attack that’s been empowered by her Q, lets you poke down enemies rather easily, while both her W and E empowered basic attacks are great for scenarios where your allies are threatened by assassins or other damage dealers. Her E also enables you to chase down enemies when you’re in a good position, while her ultimate is able to lock down enemies, which can be used to both engage and disengage.

However, while she may be versatile and rather useful, she’s also quite squishy with a base health value of only 482! Once you get caught, you’re more than likely going to die, which makes her quite easy to learn (spam those abilities!) but hard to master (positioning and passive-choice).

Runes and builds!

As for my rune-setup, I usually go for a similar page to Janna’s, in which I’m going with Summon Aery and Manaflowband in the first tree but then I like to go for Transcendence (which gives us 10% Cooldown Reduction at level 10 and also grants us bonus AP for excess CDR (cooldown reduction that goes over the cap of 40%)) and either Scorch (for games where I’m going to poke a lot) or Gathering Storm (for games that will be concluded in the late game). In the second tree, I either go for Cosmic Insight and Magical Footwear OR I swap out Magical Footwear for Biscuit Delivery (which gives us a cookie every two minutes until six minutes into the game that each grant us health- and mana-recovery while also giving us permanent maximum mana).

My items are the basic Enchanter-items, Ardent Censer > Athene’s Unholy Grail > Redemption. Afterwards, I usually go for Zeke’s Convergence (more CDR, some resistances, extra damage for our ADC upon using your ultimate ability) or Shurelya’s Reverie (movement speed active for your allies around you on top of some good stats).

(My items in my last game. No stats. We won’t look at the stats. I did kinda well but Katarina is great against Squishies like Sona, so I may have recked up a few deaths. Cough. Cough.)

Athene’s Unholy Grail not only grants us some extra magic resistance, ability power and cooldown reduction but also grants us more ability power for every 25% Mana Regeneration that we get through items, resulting in a ton of ability power from Ardent Censer, Athene’s, Redemption, and Shurelya’s. Hence we not only heal more but also deal more damage on top of being able to spam out abilities and turn the tides with our abilities. That’s basically the enchanter-build, I usually go for.

Another variant would be to take Kleptomancy and poke the living heck out of melee-matchups, but since Kleptomancy is getting replaced by Kaleidostone in the next season, I won’t be talking about that.

As for items, you could also go full-ap and deal a ton of damage while not doing a too shabby job at healing but I personally enjoy my enchanter-build a lot more as I usually am able to heal a lot more, power up my allies and stay longer in combat thanks to all the mana-regen I get.

So, that’s today’s post. I hope you enjoyed seeing my thoughts on Sona while also learning a bit about her lore (or hearing it again).

Have a nice one!

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

LoL Anniversary – 2009, Janna

League of Legends turned ten years old, this year, which is one of many reasons to celebrate!


Hence, I thought I’d make a few posts (though a bit late) about my favourite champions in my favourite role, kind of like a introduction to those champions or a guide without the strategies and all of that but with more lore and reasons for why I enjoy playing the featured champion. I’m a Support Main and mostly play hard-engage and enchanter/babysitter supports but I’ve been trying to get better at poke-supports as well, lately with Xerath as my latest addition! 

For the sake of not making one super long posts (with probably around 10k words), I’ve decided to instead feature one post per champion per year, with ten featured champions/seasons in total! I may continue this sort of posts afterwards as well or feature two champions in one post if there’s a bit less to say about them, but I’ll decide that in the future, probably.

Before we head into the first post, I’d like to talk about two things:

1 – I decided to rename the “Late to the Party” “column” into “The Gaming Journal” where I’ll post anything that isn’t a review while also keeping it gaming-related. For instance, my goal is to make multiple posts regarding my first steps in MHW once I’ve started playing that, similar to what DerLoarp did (back in the day) at petebackwelcome, a blog that no longer exists. 

2 – Currently, you are still able to receive a ton of extra rewards in League of Legends for just playing the game, if you’ve created an account before Oktober 16th (I believe?). There’s not only the Anniversary-exclusive “Annie-versary”-Skin but also a lot of extra rewards like bonus capsules, tokens, gemstones, chests & keys, skin shards, TFT-eggs, a random Legendary Skin Permanent (!) and other rewards that are awarded by playing ten games. You’re eligible to receive these rewards until the end of this week, so you better hurry if you’d like to get those freebies!

Back when I started, Zyra has just come out, I believe, which was somewhere around 2012 (I was 13 back then). Hence, I don’t know what League of Legends was like up to that day but I certainly enjoyed playing champions that came out before that. In fact, my first support champion was Taric, The Shield Of Valoran! But while I’d love to feature him in these posts here, I can’t do it at all, mainly for the reason that he’s been updated to a more fabulous version of his former self that I’m not really playing right now. 

After he got changed a couple of times, though, I switched over to some other support champions and amongst them were Morgana, Soraka, Fiddlesticks and – the champion that today’s post is about – Janna, the Storm’s Fury! 

Note: I’ve only named these five champions, as they are champions that I actually play and as these came out in 2009, don’t flame me.

Janna, The Storm’s Fury can be called a protective spirit or even a goddess of the poor people in Zhaun and the sailors on Runeterra’s seas. She’s been known for ages and stories about her helping those in dire need have been told in many countries. Janna, which is the Shuriman word for “Protector”, often shows herself in the form of a blue bird that helps those that pray for her or as a breeze that warns the sailors of approaching storms. 

There’s a ton of cool and cute short stories that you can read in League of Legends’ “Universe”-page that show you all of her different sides: The Protector and the Storm’s Fury

In-game her abilities reflect her windy character quite well. 

Her passive ability, Tailwind, grants her and all allies that move towards her increased movement speed while also granting her bonus damage based on her movement speed on her auto-attacks and her W-active. 

Her Q-ability, Howling Gale, summons a whirlwind at her current location which gets bigger and travels wider the longer she charges it, damaging and knocking up enemies that it hits.

Her W-ability, Zephyr, not only has a passive part that increases her movement-speed when it’s off cooldown but also has a damaging active part. When you skill your W, the blue bird known from her Lore flies around her.

Her E-ability, Eye of the Storm, shields an ally champion or turret, granting them protection and attack damage. This shield is rather big but decreases over time, though the cooldown gets reduced for every champion knocked away/up or slowed by her abilities.

Her ultimate, Monsoon, first knocks away all enemies and stuns them for a brief moment before slowly healing all allies in the area around her.

These abilities make her an excellent enchanter who’s able to protect her allies with a lot of disengage-abilities, overall utility, a shield and an AoE-heal. Because of that, she doesn’t usually pack all that much of a punch, making her quite an easy target to kill when caught out of position. In the laning phase, I usually poke enemies with my Zephyr and Auto-Attacks, so that we eventually can engage on them and take a kill or blow their summoner spells. When they try to engage, I try to disrupt them from doing so by placing a Howling Gale nearby and knocking them up before they try anything funny. 

Champions like Nautilus, Thresh, Blitzcrank and Pyke are usually your worst enemy when you’re playing Janna, as they all have a hook or grab of sorts on top of other sorts of follow-up-damage or crowd-control.

However, I usually perform rather well when I’m playing against poke-matchups, other enchanters or champions like Alistar or Rakan who try to engage with their abilities and set up a kill or two with their abilities, as their W-abilities can be cancelled with Janna’s Howling Gale or Monsoon ability. 

My rune-setup for Janna usually looks like this. 

Summon Aery allows you to poke a lot more while also adding a bit more shield value to allied champions. Mana Flowband lets you regenerate a lot more mana. Celerity increases Janna’s movement speed by 1% but also makes all movement speed bonuses 7% more efficient, which is great to have on her thanks to her passive and Zephyr. Scorch is great for games where you’re able to poke a lot, as it adds a lot of extra damage over time to your W-damage. You’ll want to poke a lot, as you most likely will take Frostfang over Coin and as you’ll want to stack up your Mana Flowband relatively fast, using Zephyr. Alternatively, you may want to take Water Walking instead of Scorch – if you want to roam more – or take Gathering Storm for longer games. In the second tree, I usually go for Inspiration with Magical Footwear and Cosmic Insight. Magical Footwear saves you 300 Gold on shoes but also grants you a bonus of 10 movement speed while Cosmic Insight grants you 5% of cooldown reduction (CDR), max CDR, Item CDR, and Summoner Spell CDR.

If you want to, you may as well go for the Resolve Tree (2nd) with Boneplate Armor and Revitalize for increased shielding and healing on top of a bit more survivability. 

Note: This is just my set-up, you may play it in every other way if you want to as well. 

As this post has now ended up being a lot longer than usual, I’ll abbreviate the item-section by just saying that I usually go for 

Ardent Censer -> Athene’s Unholy Grail -> Redemption and then go for some tankier items like Shurelya’s, Solari, or Zeke’s Convergence. As for boots, I usually take the boots of mobility as they make you go fast. Depending on the enemy team, though, you may want to opt-in for Ninja Tabis, Mercury Treads, or the Boots of Swiftness. 

Anyways, I hope that you enjoyed this type of post. Tomorrow, I’ll be featuring another enchanter support but from 2010! 

Feel free to comment on anything you liked or disliked. Have a nice day 🙂

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

TSS#37 – Five Games Challenge

What games would I choose if I only had five games available to me? What’s this “challenge” Naithin of timetoloot.com is taking part in? Why are we doing this at all?

Well, today’s Stray Sheep is about these questions and my thoughts on the topic, on top of my selection! Enjoy 🙂


On the 5th of October, twitter user @Octav1usKitten published this tweet here, kicking off a “challenge” of sorts, where one has to pick five games to play for a whole year! Later on The Gaming Diaries, they made a post, listing their choice of games, which lead to quite a lot of people in our nice little Blaugust-community to share lists of their own and… well, then there’s Naithin. 

Naithin from timetoloot.com went as far as creating an actual challenge of playing only those five games for the entirety of November (and maybe even later on as well?), which you may look up the hither side of the internet.

If you’re interested in doing anything like that, go check out his rules. If you’re interested in seeing what it’s like to limit oneself to only five games, check out Naithin’s blog. 

Anyways, while this is surely interesting, I thought about making a post about my theory of the best game-combination and then submitting a list of my own to the world wide web! 


So, at first, I’d like to say that it’s hard for me to stick to one game for a great time-span. My steam library shows it as most of my games are around the 6- to 9-hour mark. Usually, I get bored with a game or need to take a break from it after a few hours of total game time and then a rather long break happens and I forget the controls and mechanics and then some real-life-stuff happens and I suddenly won’t play a game anymore. That happened in Assassin’s Creed 1’s case (RIP Late to the Party #3) and it also happened to a ton of other games. (I’ll get to it in the future for sure, though!)

Hence, if I were to make a list of games to play, I’d probably have to not only cover a vast range of genres in those five games but also make it a list of games that I could replay a ton! 

So, I think, that the challenge behind playing only five games for a year is the fact that you need a certain amount of variety in it. A variety in Genres isn’t needed, in my opinion, though! I think the trick to “surviving on five games for a whole year” (as someone who plays games a lot more than a “normie”, of course) is being able to play the heck out of those games and to have a variety between pairs of games and not between the genres.

Off to my list then!

1 – My first game would be a rogue-like to make things different on each run!

Thanks to procedural generation and some other mechanics there’s a new challenge after every death! Rogue-likes usually feature a ton of different combinations of powerful items to make every run special while also providing one with a rather simple approach on the story/plotline!

Therefore I’m choosing Enter The Gungeon!

It’s a bullet-hell-type of twin-stick-shooter/rogue-like game with a few different characters, a ton of different guns, and even more puns! I haven’t played too much of it for quite some time (and it received a lot of updates in that time) which is why I’m still rather new to it and will have to learn everything again!

Honourable mentions would be: The Binding of Isaac Rebirth/Afterbirth, Dead Cells, Cultist Simulator, Nuclear Throne, Risk of Rain 2, and Slay The Spire.

2 – For this game I would choose a story-heavy RPG that features a lot of stuff to do.

An Open-World-title would be great here, too, especially as there’s a lot of Loot-Shooters (like the Borderlands franchise) that would cover those points.

I’m choosing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for this one!

I’ve never played “through” Skyrim and usually only took certain sides, did certain quests and never tried the other side of the same game! Also there’s DLCs that I’ve never touched on top of MODS that I’ve never installed. I know people that have sank in about a thousand hours (or even more at this point!) into Skyrim and I guess that Skyrim would be great as the second game.

In Contrast to Enter The Gungeon there’s a lot less puns (if any at all) in Skyrim which is a bit of a bummer (jk) but there’s a lot more options when it comes to character customization, role-play, stories, and choices! I feel like this would be important when it comes to the challenge here. When you’re tired of “too much story” or when you don’t have too much time, you go for a rogue-like-run. When you’ve got more time or you’re frustrated with the random aspects, just tune into Skyrim with a lot more scripted events, weird and funny bu- I mean, features… and a bigger world!

Hounourable mentions: Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Breathedge, and Warframe!

3 – For the third game I’d choose a competitive game that can be played with friends and that features a high skill cap!

Competitive games usually demand a lot of people, like map awareness, high APM, map knowledge, game knowledge, good decision making, and a ton more. In shooter games you’ve got to be good at aiming and know a lot about different strategies, for instance. I mostly play RTS or MOBA games when it comes to competitive games, though…

Therefore my choice here is League of Legends.

Well, I already play it almost every day for a round or two after uni, so I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to guess that I’d include this title. I only reached Gold IV this season, hence there’s plenty of leg-room for improvement and training to do. I’m also missing only about 8 champions and there’re many champs that I haven’t played at all, yet, so maybe there’s some more I like, on top of new champions coming out soon, including the new Support-Marksman, Senna.

As a Support-Main, there’s also a lot then I can learn in the Role-Department. I play Mid-Lane and ADC sometimes and am rather average on those lanes. Occassionally I try myself at Jungling (as it’s basically a Support for the whole map) and my worst lane is the Top Lane, mostly as I find it rather boring (being isolated from the rest of the map and all of that^^).

I enjoy playing LoL and I like the community, so I won’t go into the whole “Supporting a company full of bad people”-debate. There’s cool and inclusive rioters for sure at Riot Games, just like there’s probably good Blizzard employees.. and I doubt that there’re any companies in the video game industry that are inherently good or inherently bad.

Honourable mentions would be: Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft 2, and, I guess, Overwatch.

4 – For this I’d choose a game that you can play for a great amount of time with, again, a ton of things to do without any pressure.

Competitive game can be tilting, frustrating and stressful, hence a relaxed game would be great complement to those. On one side there’s League of Legends

…and then there’s Stardew Valley!

I. Love. It. 

I guess that Graveyard Keeper is scratching the same needs while also being a lot darker and recently having a tavern added to it on top of other updates… but sadly, Graveyard Keeper is finite while Stardew Valley’s “story” is infinite with always something to do and plenty of updates coming rather frequently!

Hence, honourable mentions: Graveyard Keeper, Autonauts, Forager, and Diablo 3 (I find the grinding rather relaxing in D3, tbh).

5 – Anything goes, hence my choice here is Monster Hunter World:

It has cool fights, awesome armours, weapons and also the Palico Cats that support you and are rather cute! There’s also some RPG aspects, challenging content and a wide range of weapons!

I’d also be able to support friends using that support-horn-thingy (yep, I haven’t played it, yet, but I love all MHW-Streams and -Videos, I’ve seen so far, and I can’t wait to play it with some friends from my old school).

The last game (in my theory) is a game that one can sink a lot of time into for the sake of enjoying it. Something you haven’t covered yet, something that you like, something that you haven’t played enough of. You can add another genre, stack more genres, whatever, as long as you enjoy it. (Or rather, I found this the most efficient thing to do)

Honourable mentions: Nier; Automata, Warframe, Risk of Rain 2, Minecraft, Terraria, Hearthstone, and Dungeon Of The Endless.

So there’s a plot-less game, a plot-heavy game, a competitive game, a relaxed game, and finally, a game one loves to bits that one can play all year long.

So, this is my idea of the best way of choosing games. Of course, “rogue-likes” aren’t necessarily the way to go for everyone but you can surely change that out for a card game, a racing game, a phone game or anything else that scratches your urges and is rather lite on the story but offers a ton of replay value. The second game would cover the need for interesting plots and lore on top of the RPG-needs^^

What are your thoughts on these? Is there anything that you’d choose differently or would your choice/strategy be similar? 

Also, on the last note, I won’t participate in a challenge like this at all….or rather not at this point. As I want to proceed with reviews on this blog, I’d like to not be limited to five games only for a year, as that’d mean that there’d be, at max, five reviews! Or at least some other kinds of content that I’m not quite sure of yet. At least, I wouldn’t be able to show off some of those nice Indie Games out there.

Anyways, feel free to discuss my “strategy” and my choice of games or even submit your list of games! Also check out King Octav1usNaithin, and The Gaming Diaries!

Have a nice day 🙂

Note: I changed the Header to now just say “TSS#xx” instead of “The Stray Sheep #xx” as I thought that’d be a bit better. Any thoughts on that?

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

Indietail – Pool Panic

I’ve never been a fan of games that had anything to do with sports. There’re football games, soccer games, golf games, and… well, pool games. Speaking of pool games, today’s review is about Pool Panic! 

Developer: Rekim Games
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Genres: Sports, Indie, Puzzle, Adventure, Action
Release Date: July 19, 2018
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, Switch
Copy was purchased

Pool Panic takes the classic approach of pool or billiards games and flips it the bird. There are 100+ levels in a ton of different settings and areas that all feature different mechanics that make this game feel like more of a puzzle game than an actual sports game. 

“It’s the least realistic pool simulator!”

– Rekim Games

You’re a walking pool cue ball that’s navigating through the world to uhm… beat all levels. The store page claims that the game plays best with a controller but I personally found the mouse and keyboard controls to be a lot easier to handle. 

Your goal for each level is to toss most to all other pool balls into the pockets before putting in the 8-ball and finally walking down the pocket yourself. Most of the time, though, there’s a twist. On top of the normal goals, there’re also side goals which include “no fouls” (pocketing the cue ball), finishing the level in a set amount of time, finishing it with only so many strokes, and finishing the level with all balls pocketed! You can complete these missions one step at the time or try to achieve them all at once, which leads to a bigger challenge, however, I so far only went for those redos to get them all but never tried to achieve all at once. 

But that seems rather realistic, right? Well, here comes the puzzle-aspect into play:

You need a certain amount of balls in the holes to finish the level, so the game makes it harder for you by throwing in all kinds of random elements at you. In one level, for instance, I had to sacrifice humans to a monster in a cave, then sacrifice their remains to our Lord and Saviour C’thulhu (just kidding, it was just a random altar for probably someone else) to unlock the whole, before eventually pocketing that 8-ball! In another I was running a marathon, there was also a fishing level or an air hockey level, a spider level, and overall there are just way too many different levels in all kinds of different worlds! 

I really liked one level in a medieval area where you’ve got to take part in a jousting tournament but my favourite probably was one of the earlier levels where you’ve got to bait raccoons with meat from the BBQ before then pocketing all those boy scouts and raccoons! 

There’s a huge overworld with a ton of different areas!

The overworld is relatively open with only a few barricades here and there. To proceed into new areas, you’ve got to finish previous levels, resulting in you gaining a way to overcome those barricades. There was a horde of bears stopping me in one place, so naturally, I had to find the bear hunter to scare those bears away!

But then again, you usually can access a lot of areas to some degree without having completed the earlier areas. I definitely would recommend checking out other areas in between if you’re getting frustrated with certain levels.

Speaking of bear hunters, bears and spiders: They’re all presented in the form of legged billiard balls. 

There is a huge variety of billiard balls in all kinds of colours that each have different effects and properties. Some balls are scared when you look at them, some balls that throw you when you get too close to them, and some balls that cause little earthquakes to happen when you annoy them. There are even goalkeeper-balls with arms that stop you from pocketing other balls and dancing balls that dodge your cue ball if you aim at them directly!

Presentation-wise Pool Panic really reminded me of Adult Swim for some reason. It uses vibrant colours and the world is truly unique – and also fun to walk on. The Adult Swim-iness probably was a feeling I had when I looked at some of the balls’ faces that were terrified by me aiming my cue at them and eventually sending them down the rabbit ho– I mean, pocket! Pool Panic uses a vibrant colour palette and some great music by Grandmaster Gareth. The colours, music, and animation are really fitting for a title that is so unique and… droll!

But although Pool Panic is shining when it comes to the world, the presentation and the creativity, I must say that it’s a bit frustrating to control.

I’ve mentioned that I preferred the mouse+keyboard controls before, and I must say that that’s mostly due to the fact that it’s near to unplayable with a gamepad. Even with a mouse however, there may be times where the game acts up, e.g. after locking onto a ball. Sometimes you just try to tune the direction a little bit and your cue just goes crazy! Luckily, after a bit of fine-tuning in the sensitivity department, it becomes playable and a lot less frustrating. I still would call the need for tuning here a flaw, though.

Overall, Pool Panic is indeed the least realistic billiard game I know!

The puzzling-aspects are great, there’s always a new take on levels, the different balls are brilliant in their facial expressions and overall I had a blast playing it. The controls might be a bit frustrating for quite some time but I was able to return to it after a break and play on, so I guess, it’s manageable. On top of that it also has co-op, a versus mode, a ton of achievements, some extra challenges, and the Panic Mode where you’re fighting against the clock! So, there is a lot of value in here! Hence the recommendation. 🙂

Have a nice day!

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

Indietail – The Swindle

Being a student, I wasn’t able to fund my new PC until I found this job here. It seemed rather easy: Scout for flaws in the security systems, watch out for the guards, break in, take everything valuable and leave without getting noticed! 

Sadly, I’m not Kaito Kid or Lupin III and, hence, not a good thief.

Therefore, my new PC has still to wait but at least you get a review on The Swindle, a steampunk cybercrime rogue-lite about breaking into buildings, hacking their systems, stealing all their cash, and quickly running away again before the police show up. 

Developer: Size Five Games
Publisher: Size Five Games
Genres: Stealth, Jump 'n Run, 2D, Indie, Rogue-lite, Action, Platformer
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, PSV, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, WiiU
Copy was purchased.

> London, 1849_

> In 100 days, Scotland Yard will activate their breakthrough Artificial Intelligence technology,
> codenamed “The Devil’s Basilisk”_

> Its surveillance capabilities will be total. If the project is completed,
> your career as a master burglar will be untenable_

> Steal it before that can happen_

So, off we go onto some heists into the Slums! The clock is ticking before the Devil’s Basilisk is ready for Launch!

100 days seems like a long time but it only resembles 100 runs, no matter if we fail or if we’re successful. 100 runs to earn money to purchase new upgrades, skills and tools but also 100 runs to increase our affinity to unlock new areas and eventually be able to hack into Scotland Yard itself and win the game.

We’re heading into procedurally-generated houses and mansions in a few different areas, each more packed with security and possible loot than the other!

At first, we only have the Slums available – they offer low rewards at relatively low risk. In the beginning, we only have our jump-n-run-abilities available to us and have to try to be sneaky to get into those mansions. There are security guards, walking their routes, but none are equipped with microphones or dangerous guns and they all usually only pack one hit. More often than not, though, I got caught off-guard by some robot or was spotted due to my greed and stupidity. You are your biggest enemy, it seems. 

After every run, you get to either go back to your airship and upgrade your characters or just go for another heist.

Getting the level 1 hacking skill is of utmost importance, however, as it quadruples your profits whenever you hack a PC. Once you get that skill, you should try to unlock bombs, as the procedural generation sometimes leaves you with unaccessible rooms and dead-ends. There’re also times where the building itself has no visible opening, resulting in frustrating runs with no earnings at all, although that’s happening rather seldom. 

And then, eventually, you’ll be able to go into the Misc-Tree and buy your first upgrade to unlock new areas. Now there’s locked doors, mines, enemies that pack multiple hits, and overall it became a lot harder but your profits are doubled as well, resulting in faster upgrades and, in my case, in bigger greed. 

Yeah, the greed. The most frustrating part of every game, I’d say. When your teammates throw a won game as they wanted to earn some extra kills on their way, or when you just go for the last few hits on the raid boss and get killed thanks to your stupidity (or rather… mine… I should know better, you probably do). 

Greed’s the reason why the doom-day-counter was ticking faster for me than for everyone else (probably). 

Sometimes I died because of me forgetting about fall damage… Sometimes I died because of landmines that I failed to hack… Sometimes I died because of me greeding for another computer-hack instead of just bailing with 3-6k pounds. 

And before I even reached the fifth stage, I already reached Day 0: Gameover. 

I had to start anew from Day 100 on, losing all of my progress and upgrades. But while a few heists were frustrating, the overall game wasn’t. It’s highly challenging, seeing new types of enemies and mechanics is interesting. There is a degree of strategy involved in the selection of upgrades, tools and skills. I liked the game and kept playing for a few more heists – until I stopped due to having to get ready for the Halloween Party I wanted to go to. 

The colour-palette and music are interesting, and whenever your character gets caught, you respawn as a new character with a new look and a new name, both randomly generated! There’s also the world which is looking cool – but then again my view might be clouded due to my love for Steampunk games! 

The presentation is topnotch in my opinion and while the learning curve is rather steep in the beginning, I really wanna become a master thief like Lupin III or Kaito Kid, resulting in me enjoying the game in itself and its challenging aspects. 

But let’s get to some flaws, at last, before rounding up this review: 

There is a certain problem with the generation of the levels that I found rather bothersome, even though I only encountered it once in about 230 heists… being locked out of the mansion. There are cases where the mansion you’re scouting has been generated in a certain way where it doesn’t let you in through any doors, mainly for the sole reason that there are no walls. You either have to bomb your way in or you just leave and start another Heist, which is bothersome for the sole reason of you losing one day.

There’s also the fact that explosions should result in big sounds that the guards should notice – but they usually don’t notice you, unless they are equipped with a microphone – and even then, they hardly notice. I would like it if they A.I. would pick up on stuff like this but the game is already hard enough as it is, so I shouldn’t complain about that stuff! 

Apart from that, I didn’t encounter any problems or flaws in the game design. And while it surely is annoying when you lose a day or two because of bad level-generation, the game takes care of that by giving you the option of hacking Scotland Yard directly, for a price, of course, to give you a few more days until the Devil’s Basilisk is finished. 

Conclusion-time!

I enjoyed my time with The Swindle and, therefore, really recommend this game. I love the aesthetics, the gameplay and the overall idea of heists and the doom-clock-timer! I hope you enjoy it as well.

Anyways, cheers!

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

Note: I changed the date of this review to November 3rd as it bothered me that I accidentally posted two reviews on the same day. It’s a bit of an OCD-thing, so I can’t really help it. I’m sorry for that post-edit. Also, I put this little IntPiPoMo-section down at the bottom of this review after having already posted it, as I signed up for it after the day I posted it. Doesn’t make too much of a difference, though.

And another note: I did not perform any crimes IRL to fund my new PC parts. That was just a small introduction for the setting, similar to a small exposition. Please don’t call the cops. Thank you.

Indietail – Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition

It’s time for Día de los Muertos – the memorial day of the dead! And for that we’re playing as the agave farmer, Juan Aguacate, who’s helping with the preparations in his village only to find his childhood friend, Lupita, be kidnapped by the undead villain Carlos Calaca to be sacrificed in a ritual to unify the world of the Living and the Dead and rule over them all! In our attempt to save Lupita, we are killed by Carlos only to find ourselves with the mask of the famous Luchador himself and some epic superpowers! Strap on for a review of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition!

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Champion Edition (Trailer/Shop) is a Metroidvania-Action-game by Drinkbox Studios that is combining a colourful art style with 2D-Sidescrolling-Action, a lot of humour and tons of fighting!

Developer: Drinkbox Studios
Publisher: Drinkbox Studios
Genres: Action, Metroidvania, 2D, Platformer, Beat 'Em Up
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, Playstation Vita, Playstation 3 & 4, Xbox 360 & One, Nintendo Switch & WiiU, Linux
Copy received for free during a giveaway

It’s using classic elements of the Metroidvania like wide branched out maps, paths that can only be accessed using certain abilities, and a lot of exploring! To proceed we’ve got to fight our way through waves of enemies in arena-levels while solving Jump-‘N-Run-areas in some of the wider levels and overall follow along in this rather linear story. 

The story itself consists of going through different “temples”, fighting against Carlos’ generals and getting stronger to ultimately face Carlos himself and unlock one of two endings. 

The fighting makes use of a wide range of attacks, throws, kicks and special attacks that also help you to get rid of previously encountered roadblocks. It feels rather fluid and you can chain almost all attacks to one another and unleash incredible combos on your unknowing foes! Truly fun!

And yet, the game itself is rather lacking in terms of difficulty. In my first playthrough of the game, I didn’t have any difficulties with the enemies at all.

There are a few different types of enemies that come in different colours, giving them different properties and making you fight each in a different style but most of the time you’re able to send all of them flying with a few simple button-presses. Some enemies are more annoying than others, for sure, and there are times where you need to shift between the world of the Dead and the world of the Living to fight them while also dodging the attacks of the enemies in the other world but it seemed rather lacklustre when it came to difficulty which was quite a letdown.

At some point during the final levels, you encounter two new enemies, though, that can give you quite a hard time. At first, you face them as mini-bosses but then you encounter them on the next few levels as well, which is a lot more challenging. The sudden rise in difficulty rose my total deaths to a two-digit number (not factoring in the final boss fight), but I would have loved to see a more consistent rise in difficulty as you might see in other games. 

On top of just brawling your way through enemies, you can also find collectables in some interesting side-quests and puzzles, or upgrade your abilities and health/resource bars. But adding more damage and survivability to your character could be a reason for why the game felt so easy in the first games. On top of that, there’re way too many checkpoints in the early levels, even in areas where you can’t possibly die. Meanwhile, in later levels you’ve got to do Jump ‘N Run passages in dangerous spots with checkpoints that are far away, making a sudden misstep even more frustrating.

A great of making your way harder, however, is to buy costumes.

Costumes provide you with special perks that most often come with negative debuffs! For instance, there’s one that grants you “massive damage” but you also receive “massive damage”. My favourite one, though, was the El Diablo costume that grants you enhanced attacks and lifesteal but decreases your maximum health by a hefty amount!

But setting the difficulty aside, it was rather fun. There’s a lot of humour and even when you’re just smashing buttons and chaining attack after attack, you can have quite a fun time with this game. The game is mocking itself constantly, working with Mexican stereotypes and referencing other games while also adding running jokes into the mix that made me chuckle quite a bit here and there. 

There’re collectable Choozo Statues (a direct reference to Metroid‘s Chozo Statues), for instance, or posters in some cities featuring Luchadors of all sorts from all kinds of different games! Next to “Los Casa Crashers” (Castle Crashers), “La Mascara” (The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask), and “Mega Hombre” (Mega Man), you can find a lot more references in the game, which is most often a true delight!

The aforementioned art style is capturing that Mexican vibe quite well!

There are a lot of bright and vibrant colours involved while you’re in the world of the Living – while you see a rather dark and enigmatic colour palette in the world of the Dead. This mix of colours is quite pretty and caught my eye when I first stumbled across screenshots of this game. The music is rather fitting for the whole aesthetic and the overall Mecixan feel but it didn’t stick to my ear all that much. It’s not a soundtrack that I would recognize in a playlist or something like that, which is a bummer of sorts, I guess.

To conclude, I’d say that Guacamelee! is a delight to play. It’s a lot of fun and while it is rather short with its estimated ten hours of gameplay, there are a lot of sidequests and backtracking that one can do. There’s also the devil’s challenges that one may want to finish, on top of the Hard Mode which did a lot right for me. I guess that using the Hard Mode the game’s worth the recommendation, however, I’d recommend using the Super Turbo Championship Edition as well as it adds a lot to the game in terms of costumes, powers, puzzles and Hell, itself

So, while I do recommend this game, I’d still say that it might not be something for everyone. Those that want a bigger challenge might not be satisfied with the main game but might have more fun with the Hordes-mode/Arena. I guess, the game is worth its money but, when in doubt, one can always wait for a sale on steam, right?

Hasta luego! (I hope I used that right..)

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

Note: I put this little IntPiPoMo-section down at the bottom of this review after having already posted it, as I signed up for it after the day I posted it. Doesn’t make too much of a difference, though.