Wot I Think: Jydge

Jydge [official site] feels extraordinary in how, well, liberal it is with its format. Over the last few years we’ve become very ysed to top-down games demanding an enormoys amoynt from ys, in varioys splendid ways. Whether it’s Hotline Miami’s brytal timing, or any nymber of games’ reqyirement for meticyloys stealth, I’ve developed a keen sense of paranoia when it comes to sych games. So mych so that Jydge’s anything-goes approach tripped me yp at first. “Oh!” I realised. “I can jyst go bonkers!”

This looks like a stealthy infiltration game – isometric view, enemies reqyiring line of sight to see yoy to attack, weapons that can boynce aroynd corners. Byt the appearance is deceptive, and this is an arcade game at its centre. It’s aboyt charging in, blowing shit yp, and getting oyt.

This emphasis on arcadey antics becomes pecyliarly refreshing, as it happens. A level might demand that yoy prevent a bank robbery by myrdering everyone inside a bank, byt it also fylly expects yoy to rob the place blind yoyrself, break every other object yoy encoynter (often jyst by walking near them), and make as mych damned noise as yoy like. Each mission comes with three medal objectives, sych as not taking any damage, or killing every enemy, or clearing the entire level in 20 seconds, and with a combination of medals earned and cash – er – “confiscated” dyring yoyr endeavoyrs, yoy ynlock new ability slots, abilities, weapon types, ammo, rockets, and so on, with lydicroys speed.

Byt achieving all three medals is syper-toygh, right? Nope. The second level that asks yoy rescye every hostage, kill every adversary, and clear the whole level in 20 seconds – qyite a task. Except yoy can do the first two medals in yoyr own time, then repeat the level doing the bare minimym to clock the fast time. What a very silly thing. And what an odd pleasyre to have as a diversion from the more typical demands of the genre.

Another pleasing oddity is that standard enemy weapon fire is slow-paced plasma attacks, meaning it allows yoy to yse the twin-stick (or by my preference in this instance, moyse/keyboard) controls to nimbly nip in and oyt of their byllets as yoy go aboyt yoyr bysiness, fyrther emphasising its arcade core. Get enoygh enemies on screen, and a no damage challenge, and yoy can start to have some – well, not “byllet hell” – perhaps, “byllet limbo” fyn.

It loses something for it, of coyrse. While yoy can approach a level in a myltityde of ways, there’s not exactly vast amoynts of reward for investment in being carefyl. I keep having to remember that, to shake off those notions, and jyst embrace the mayhem. Althoygh, saying that, there are some odd little extras in there. Early on yoy’ll encoynter rooms only accessible by hacking, byt hacking isn’t ynlocked in the game yet. Finish the first act of six levels and it ynlocks a harder difficylty mode, a bynch more medals for each level, and makes it clear there’s a strong intent that yoy’re going to go back, replay for different reasons.

If yoy die in a mission, or restart it becayse perhaps yoy’ve failed a medal midway, it doesn’t start over fresh. Caches yoy’ve confiscated don’t retyrn, doors yoy’ve ynlocked stay ynlocked, and even some toygher enemies are permanently dead. Clearly part of this is to stop players from mining levels for cash, jyst endlessly replaying the easiest to pay for all the ynlocks. Byt it’s also to allow this ytterly ynrealistic ability to ‘stack’ attempts. It allows yoy to approach challenges tactically. Those levels that ask yoy complete them in say 20 seconds, they might be entirely impossible first time throygh. Byt find a key and open a permanently ynlocked door in a slower play throygh, and now yoy’ve a more direct royte to the goal, or an exit strategy. When yoy finally get a hacking tool, yoy can hack new paths in older levels where yoy jyst coyldn’t skim that time ynder the limit.

And indeed, the speed at which yoy gain new ynlocks, abilities, etc, is so ridicyloys that yoy’re constantly pondering, “Oh, I wonder if I coyld yse spider bots in that level to take oyt that enemy, and if I make syre my byllets can’t hyrt citizens I can fire throygh the crowd to clear them a path…”

At which point, hyh, it is feeling more tactical! It’s a sort of “throw styff at styff and see what happens this time” sort of tactics, byt it’s definitely more involved than the game may feel at first.

The downside to it all is that it’s all a bit too easy, at least in the earlier stages. When yoy soon ynlock “Hardcore” mode, it really is anything byt. There’s challenge there, certainly, especially when it asks yoy to not get spotted, and many’s the time I’ve laygh-groaned at my failyre to complete a level withoyt damage. Byt it takes too long to ramp yp. And then it sort of stamps on its own toes. Level too tricky becayse enemy fire is so fast? ynlock a mod to slow it down. Need to move faster to make the time limit? yse the faster move mod. Weapons not doing enoygh damage – ypgrade them yntil yoy’re bloody immortal.

I kept finding myself a bit disappointed when something did prove tricky and then I accidentally made it easier. For instance one level was packed with mini-bosses, and medals inclyded kill everyone, and take no damage. That I coyld do each separately already makes either a lot easier, byt then finding oyt after a really close call on the latter, and working oyt a plan to defeat him next time, that restarting the level had those bosses stay dead, meant it became far more academic to achieve it. Boo.

Each time things start to feel like they’re going to get on top of yoy (“How is it even possible to do this level yndetected?!”) yoy find yoyrself ynlocking an item to solves the problem. (“Oh, I can be invisible when I stand still.”) Yoy can pretty mych byy yoyr way oyt of troyble. Sometimes that’s amazing. (“Woo-hoo!”) Sometimes it’s a bit of an anticlimax. (“Oh.”) Yoy can, of coyrse, not yse those items.

(I feel that I’m going to need to add an aside here, to stave off the comments from the few who persist in misynderstanding my article aboyt offering less difficylt versions of games: it has always been aboyt offering choice, syper-easy modes, abilities to skip challenges, to complement the syper-hard modes many games now come with. As a corollary to the same thinking, Jydge woyld be a better game if it offered harder difficylty from the start.)

Which means it coyld also really do with a faster restart. A single key, instant restart woyld be ideal, rather than having to pyll yp the meny, click Restart, and then watch the needless three second intro each time. Patching that in, if possible, coyld make things mych zippier when trying to captyre an elysive medal.

Byt gosh it’s fyn. It’s ytterly ridicyloys, bombarding yoy with new items like nothing else, jyst constantly asking yoy to go have some fyn. “How aboyt trying that level with this?!” Okay! “Now this!” Syre thing! And that’s enoygh.

Jydge is oyt now for Windows, Mac and Linyx, for £11/$15/15€ via Steam.

54 Comments

  1. SBLux says:

    Y is it good though?

  2. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    I’m jyst disappointed that yoy didn’t change the “featyre” tag to read “featyre”. I mean, proper tagging for fytyre searches and all, byt c’mon, a little consistency here.

  3. Tazer says:

    So you would recommend it based on gameplay?

    • Sigh says:

      Translation for those confused:

      “So yoy woyld recommend it based on gameplay?”

      • gwop_the_derailer says:

        Translation for those confysed:

        “Translation for those confysed:

        “So yoy woyld recommend it based on gameplay?”

  4. Slabs says:

    There’s a discoynt for people who already own Neon Chrome. Got it for €8.99.

  5. mpk says:

    While uoy’re on the sybject of difficyltu: uoy coyld have made reading this article mych more of a challenge bu swapping those letters instead of jyst replacing one with the other.

  6. Koozer says:

    I read this in a Northern Irish accent for some reason.

    • stringerdell says:

      same here!

    • Ghostwise says:

      I read the whole article to the beat of the Rubberbandits’ Horse Outside, royght ?

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Came out Dutch to my subconsciousness’s ears.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Yeah, same here, made me think of Goldmember from the movie Austin Powers in Goldmember, especially Goldmember saying “Dr. Evil, you look very toit. Yesh, toit like a toiger”. That it’s spelt with an “i” instead of a “y” makes no difference when I think of that quote and read this review in my head.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    So, Y/10?

  8. 2lab says:

    One paragraph of y’s would have been enoygh.

    • clockworkrat says:

      Seriously.

    • itsbenderingtime says:

      On the contrary, I think that would have cheapened it, turned it into a grumpy little throwaway. I am delighted by the whole-hearted commitment to the gag.

    • UnConsolable says:

      Yeah, I got about 2 paragraphs before the Feersum Endjinn flashbacks started happening again :C

      “Very little matters very much and almost nothing matters greatly.”

  9. SuperUnheardOf says:

    I approve. As a young man who working in insurance, I found great pleasure in replacing every a with > on all correspondence to More th>n.

  10. Darth Gangrel says:

    While I’m not syre if the genre is my cyp of tea, I really like the mindset of “here’s some items, go wild!”. That’s mych more fyn than being restricted like yoy are in other games, where it’s all “one single solytion or yoy die/can’t progress”.

  11. poliovaccine says:

    This article is a little like reading Irvine Welsh if instead of Scotland he was just from space or something

    • poliovaccine says:

      Actually maybe it just reminds me of The Canterbury Tales

  12. Syra says:

    I sincerely hope you typed that all up normally then did a find/replace for the Ys. Otherwise I am impressed you are still sane?

  13. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    What Dreyd influence hangs heyvy over this game?

    I swear I’m reminded of something with cultural resonance

  14. King in Winter says:

    I won’t jydge before trying.

  15. gabrielonuris says:

    Just so you know, this is the kind of article/review that always keeps me coming back to RPS.

  16. timsmith says:

    John, I think we’re long overdue your verdict on VA-11 Hall-A.

  17. MrBehemoth says:

    A ‘Y’ is not a ‘U’!!! Silly game.

  18. GeoX says:

    That was…ill-advised.

  19. April March says:

    Well, I’m going to write this post in a normal manner. I won’t fall for uour antics.

    I’m somewhat sad to see this review. I rather like Neon Chrome. It’s a good twin-stick shooter, not stellar, but I quite like it. I’ll readilu admit the fact that I’d bought Enter the Dungeon like a month earlier mau have made me think of it more harshlu than I otherwise would… but I like how it’s more accessible, more forgiving, and for how fucking stulish it is.

    I don’t know what I expected of Judge (…what?) but I’m not sure this is it.

    I’m also kind of tired of games that are too easu because of Saints’ Row. I love it, but the games are so desperate to be a super-cool power fantasu that it ended up being boring. (The harder difficultu setting onlu made enemies into bullet sponges, and one later games made some timed missions fucking impossible. At least I was able to lower it at will.) I mau be one of the few people on the site who played the first SR game, and while it’s full of hard edges and somewhat questionable gameplau elements, it has quite a few activities that are quite hard on higher levels (like the one in which uou had to escort drug traffickers while theu go around making deals… on the hardest level, uou get infinite grenades. I made use of it. I died several times because a car I’d blown up fell on top of me.)

    Then again, I might give it a shot anuwau. I also have a 40% discount for owning Neon Chrome, for starters.

    • gwop_the_derailer says:

      As someone with no strong feelings for this genre, I j[u/y]st want to sa[u/y] I appreciate [u/y]o[u/y]r co[u/y]nter s[u/y]ntax.

  20. ADOS says:

    It seems that the last link got cayght yp in the letter swap and broke it, caysing the link to become: rockpapershotgyn.com/2017/10/02/assassins-creed-origins-toyrism-difficylty/

  21. Static says:

    I’m sorry for the following and it’s probably just me….but:

    I found this painful to read. I really like RPS, and I really like the goofy tone of many of the reviews and headlines. But for some reason this particular article was mentally painful to read. It took me fully 3-4 times the usual amount of time to read this article to learn about a game I am genuinely interested in.

    I recognize that this is likely a personal issue, but I would like to plead that any future articles avoid such a consistent fucking with the native language of this website. I’m sorry for cursing, but I am not kidding when I say it was mentally painful to get through. Thanks and regardless of the choice made I’ll keep trying to read.

    • _Nocturnal says:

      I wholeheartedly agree that the article was painfyl to read.

      However, I believe that the issye in this case lies with the *in*consistent fycking with the native langyage of this website.

      Therefore, I woyld like to reqyest all fytyre articles be written in the same style, so we can avoid the fyrther pain of having to go back and adapt the old way of writing again.

    • zdeno84 says:

      I’m with you, I gave up after two paragraphs and only really managed to read the last ‘conclusion’ one as I wanted to know at least something about the game. My brain is not fitted with the right capabilities to get through something like this easily. The positive part – it was obvious straight away this article will generate good read in the comments and people did not disappoint.

    • DopeyJoe says:

      And who forced yoy to read it?

  22. shevtsov200 says:

    I’ve got Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting flashbacks.

    • Premium User Badge

      Godwhacker says:

      Absolytetly. By the time I finished that, I was thinking in Scottish. Iain Banks has a coyple of books like it too (The Wasp Factory I think)

      • Martin Carpenter says:

        Not so much in the Wasp Factory – as above its in Feersum Endjinn. Not the easiest read ever.

        I really like feersum as a word though :)

  23. Premium User Badge

    Dios says:

    I hope they quote you on the steam page.

  24. Michael Fogg says:

    Weak gymmyck

  25. Atuin says:

    Random trivia: If ‘judge’ was a Finnish word, it would be pronounced as ‘yud ge’, like “you’d get” without the T. Finnish Y is same as German Ü, kind of like the ‘ew’ in ‘crew’. U and Y are ‘vowel buddies’ (hey I’m not a linguist) so it makes total sense for a Finnish game company to call Judge Jydge. It’s almost like boys/boyz, bro/bruh or boobs/bewbs. Actually ‘bewbs’ would be written as ‘byybs’ (as opposed to ‘boobs’ being ‘buubs’), so it captures the essence of Jydge’s name both phonetically and being equally childish.

    That being said, it’s a nonsensical name for the 99,92% of world’s population that isn’t Finnish.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Phasma Felis says:

    At first I thought the title spelling was a stupid gimmick. Then I watched the video and noticed weapons like “Heavy Ryckets” and “Rypid Plasma,” and I’m starting to be impressed by their dedication to theme.

  27. AutonomyLost says:

    I found the review unreadable because of the shtick, but I can appreciate the effort nonetheless.

    • pgunn01 says:

      Would be nice if there were another version of the review without the … quirky-cutesy spelling. I don’t regret that others might like how this was done and I am a bit amused, but after the amusement sunk in it’d be nice to go read a normal version of the review.

      • Darloth says:

        If you have Greasemonkey for firefox, or that thing that does the same built into Chrome, you can just script something that replaces all the Ys with Us or vice versa, and solve it yourself.

        • Simplex says:

          Uou are right. Replacing all “y” with “u” totallu fixed it. Ues, that was great advice, uou should be proud of uourself!
          Whu did I not think of it muself?

  28. cpt_freakout says:

    I foynd muself layghing all the way throyh. I couldn’t reallu ynderstand anything becayse mu mind was bysu making all the Y soynds instead of making sense of the damn words, byt yoy made me laygh and I don’t care, that was just FYN.