Wombo Combos With My Wallet: Abyss Odyssey Released

By Ben Barrett on July 16th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Live in Abyss Odyssey, buy a house in Abyss Odyssey, get your mail forwarded to Abyss Odyssey

Got them post-EVO blues? Don’t worry, the perfect solution has arrived. Abyss Odyssey is the latest offering of ACE Team, the Zeno Clash fellas and fellettes, and it’s a 2D combo of roguelike, platformer and fighting game. The most interesting of those is the last, with everything from move-cancelling to combo systems and character selection integrated into its campaign. Absorbing slain enemies’ souls will allow transformation into them, with a whole new set of abilities, in possibly the one single idea that’s had me most excited in months.

Honestly, the entire concept interests me. Fighting games are just gorgeous to watch in motion, but the ultra-competitive nature and learning curves more wall-like than Dota and EVE combined mean most fall short of experiencing them. After-thought singleplayers (Netherrealm Studios’ great works aside) don’t help either, nor the laughably inadequate tutorials. But ACE Team have taken the essence of them – the high skill ceiling and experimentation – and distilled it into a gorgeous shell that, hopefully, more people can enjoy.

Beyond those elements there’s a really interesting tidbit: a central server tracks every time the final boss is defeated, then will change the boss and other monsters forever at certain thresholds. How much of this is pre-programmed or an elaborate patching mechanism remains to be seen, but this sort of global co-op is brilliant for community building. The challenge for ACE will be to ensure it does not fall off as the game’s popularity naturally declines over time.

There’s more traditional multiplayer too. The campaign is full co-op-able, either locally or online, which could lead to some frightening combinations of title joke proportions. Versus, meanwhile, takes a form that may also be reminiscent to Nintendo fans as shown off in this trailer. If that just leaves you begging for more, and you’ve already checked out the 7 minute video from last week, here’s the new release vid:

You can grab Abyss Odyssey right now, still on its discounted pre-order price of £7.33 until around 5pm today. Alternatively, or additionally, use the comment section below to shout Justin Wong over and over again.

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34 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Carlos Bordeu says:

    Some people are finding the game too easy and some too hard… so we’re working on a patch to add a difficulty setting for the hardcore players and a friendly fire option for those who find it too hard in coop.

  2. Carlos Bordeu says:

    Here’s a link for those who say the game doesn’t have combos. You have to get the extra specials and learn the cancel point system. When you learn how to play the game, the combos are quite spectacular.

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/255070/discussions/0/46476691955603829/

  1. Choca says:

    Warning for anyone interested : the controls are really weird, the hitboxes even weirder and the friendly fire in coop makes it extremely hard to actually cooperate.

    • Ansob says:

      The controls aren’t weird at all, actually.

      The important thing to note is that Abyss Odyssey’s fighting game half isn’t Street Fighter, it’s Smash Bros. The game is literally Smash Bros (minus the whole damage = knockback distance thing, you just have an HP bar instead) with a structure a bit like Binding of Isaac’s (randomly generated “rooms,” sometimes with beneficial special events in them). It’s pretty great.

      The co-op friendly fire is definitely an issue, but ACE have posted (on the game’s Steam forum) that they’re considering adding an option to turn FF off.

      • mechabuddha says:

        Another thing I’ve noticed is that people have been complaining about there not being any combos or special attacks. They exist, but you have to earn them by locating special moves in the game world and leveling up. You only get 3 cancel points — and you have to earn those as well. If you’re expecting to just jump in and start chaining attacks, you will be disappointed. But if you stick with it until you get all 3 cancel points and at least 3 special attacks to cancel into, I hope you’d re-evaluate your opinion.

        EDIT: Not *you* specifically, but complainers!

      • DrGonzo says:

        That’s a shame, I love ACE Team, but I loathe Smash Bros.

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      SuddenSight says:

      Allow me to voice a counter opinion. I haven’t tried co op at all, but I found the controls very simple and intuitive. You even get the option of either X or R-stick for attacks (when playing with controller). I plays with keyboard too, and it works fine (though I recommend remapping the controls because I remember disliking the defaults). Clicking the R-stick to interact is odd, though. Not a big deal, you never need it during combat and the controls are easy to reassign, but still a weird default.

      The combat system is similar to Valdis Story (also a recent game, but a metroidvania, not an RL). You’re much slower than Smash Bros characters, so figuring out blocking (it’s just one button, but good timing and facing take practice) and keeping enemies stun locked are important. It has a typical progression of normal attacks that end up throwing them out of range, but clever sorts can use the cancel system to extend combos. The game has dodge rolling too, but there is an after dodge cool down you need to cancel out of if you don’t want to be stun locked by swarms of enemies.

      There is some platforming, as mentioned, but it is relatively minor and your character’s movement options are entirely serviceable.

      Sorry this post is so long, but I thought I would give people an idea of what the control system is like.

      • pepperfez says:

        As far as controls go, can it be properly played with an arcade stick/Hitbox?

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          SuddenSight says:

          Maybe? You need 3 buttons + 4 directions for fighting, +4 more buttons for your quick inventory slots. Then there is the interact button, a menu button, and an inventory button – 14 buttons/directions in all? You might be able to do without the quick inventory buttons, but it would be annoying. You might also need a key mapper – it recognizes my off-brand XBox style controller natively, but I cannot guarantee the same for every controller.

          • pepperfez says:

            So an 8-button stick with start and select buttons. Sounds manageable!

      • Choca says:

        The controls are simple enough but I would not compare the game to Valdis Story at all because I found its combat responsive and impactful whereas Abyss Odyssey’s felt floaty and unreliable to me.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Thanks. Steam reviews seem to suggest the same. I think I’ll hold out till these issues are fixed, aka winter sale.

    • Carlos Bordeu says:

      I respect your opinion – maybe you had other expectations for the fighting engine, but we had this showcased at EVO next to the Persona fighting game and got a ton of great feedback, with people coming back to play it over and over again (including the Injustice champion).

      We are taking feedback from all around Steam and we are looking into what we can improve about the game that makes it feel better.

    • kwyjibo says:

      Having ACE Team on the cover is basically, “Trigger Warning: Weird”.

    • sweetjer says:

      what a lame first comment on a pretty experimental and interesting game. the controls aren’t sluggish at all, they’re just complex and this dude doesn’t get them. there is a bit of heaviness to character turning which may translate to “sluggish” to some gamers, but fighting games are all about watching frames, and once you get used to the disparity between what the game does vs what you want it to do you will find that it works rather well. I think there’s some interesting stuff going on with the movement speed of characters and, in a contextual way, the placement of a fighting character with a fighting game moveset (and responsiveness) in a platforming environment. It’s a completely different thing to maneuver a level with jumping combos like jump jump dash + special or whatever than it is to traverse a level with the precision throttle of super meat boy. it’s not unresponsive, it’s just different. once you learn to expect what the game does (ie you are anticipating the correct response from your input) and not expecting the game to do what you want (but it doesn’t do because it does something different), it really opens up.

  2. Carlos Bordeu says:

    Some people are finding the game too easy and some too hard… so we’re working on a patch to add a difficulty setting for the hardcore players and a friendly fire option for those who find it too hard in coop.

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      quietone says:

      Sounds like an original and ineteresting concept. Will surely get it in the near future (once I recover from the summer sales)

      Best wishes to the guys in my favorite country across the Andes!

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      Wowbagger says:

      Nice to see you feeding back, can’t wait to give this a shot tonight. Chili is my favourite meat based dish.

    • Halk says:

      How about an option to quit the game and pick up where you left, like Dark Souls? It’s ridiculous not being able to quit the game without losing your run.

    • Tinotoin says:

      I found the game difficult, but I beat the final boss on my second playthrough. I wouldn’t say I’m expertly skilled or anything – and I did find it quite a slog – but the fact that I know my character will keep levelling and gaining new abilities makes me even more excited to run through it many more times. The game certainly doesn’t end upon completion.

      Great game.

      EDIT: I agree with Halk, a way to save and return would be excellent – my playthrough was about an hour or so and would be gutted to lose my progress if I happened to lose consciousness.

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    Bradamantium says:

    I’ve already completed my first playthrough (on the third run, which makes it seem a bit too easy) and it is, as one would expect form ACE Team, a novel concept. It’s also pretty great and I’m enjoying it a lot, but the ending is disappointing even for the sparse plot. Maybe it’ll change if I finish with all three of the main playable characters, but at present, it’s at the level of an old NES game flashing “NICE JOB” at you until you reset.

    • Carlos Bordeu says:

      The ending is kind of lame… I’m definitely going to set a task of extending it for when the community reaches the goal of destroying the first warlock’s mask. There is a lot of content that will get unlocked when the community reaches that milestone. We should be able to add more to the ending too.

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        Bradamantium says:

        Hahah, glad to see you acknowledge it. I still like the game enough that I’ve seen the ending a few times, so it’s got that going for it. On the community milestones, how will that work for new players? Will they have to beat the Warlock a time or two to get to the more difficult content, or are they stuck with the tough stuff from go?

        • Carlos Bordeu says:

          We’re evaluating it, but since it’ll basically be more content, rather than changed content, I don’t see why anyone would want o play the game with less stuff…

  4. ramirezfm says:

    Is it similar to Shadow of the Beast? Beat’em up platformer?
    Yes, you have to be ancient to remember Shadow of the Beast…

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      SuddenSight says:

      Okay, so I looked up Shadow of the Beast on Youtube, so all my knowledge comes from watching someone else play.

      Both games feature jumping and punching. But whereas the jumpy bits in Abyss Odyssey are generally quite easy, they look challenging in SotB. Furthermore, it seems that most enemies in SotB are one-hit kill, whereas most enemies in Abyss Odyssey take some whaling on before they die (hence the whole “fighting game” aspect). Also, SotB seems to be more exploration focused with set puzzles you must solve while Abyss Odyssey is very much a procedurally generated game without much in the way of puzzling.

      I hope that helps.

  5. pepperfez says:

    This is a game that I’d dearly love to see on GoG should that be feasible.

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    Rizlar says:

    This looks amazing, will definitely pick it up at some point. Who knows, perhaps it will even train me to be decent at fighting games!

  7. Froufrou says:

    I’m kind of disappointed my GC controller isn’t recognized since how heavy smash bros inspired it seems to be, but well… I know it would have been a lot of work for such a small minority. I guess Joytokey might do the trick.

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      Rizlar says:

      Have you ever used x360ce? It’s a program to trick games into thinking your controller is an xbox one, have used it to play many games with my old dualshock2 and it works a treat! Only slightly fiddly bit is figuring out exactly which files you need to stick in the game folder, everything else is automated.