Full Mojo Rampage PS4 Review: Twin Stick Hybrid Roguelike

Full Mojo Rampage PS4 Review: Twin Stick Hybrid Roguelike

This voodoo-themed hybrid roguelike packs a considerable challenge - and up to four-player local and online co-op.

Full Mojo Rampage presents an interesting mix of genres, blending a forced perspective twin-stick shooter with hybrid roguelike elements to create a dungeon-crawler that has its own distinct feel and identity.

The game invites you to play the role of a masked voodoo character who's on a series of quests. There are four chapters in all, each comprised of a number of different procedurally-generated levels that feature a specific objective. For example, shutting down a pair of portals that are found randomly located around the map, or collecting a bunch of items.

As well as being procedurally generated, levels are random in terms of when and where they appear in a chapter, so you never know quite what to expect. Sometimes you have a single path through the game, but oftentimes there's a choice of what you can tackle next, and these side levels can include locales such as shrines that can give you bonuses, or challenges that require you to hit specific objectives within a quite tight time limit. Each chapter also features boss battles, which I found particularly challenging.

As you travel through the game, you pick up items and useable objects in typical roguelike fashion that you can equip to your advantage. Some give passive bonuses, such as speeding up your movement or enabling you to dish out more damage, while others can be used to do things like refill your health, or cast a useful offensive spell, such as summoning a minion that'll tank monsters while you shoot at them. All these items drop on death, so it's usually a good idea to use them while you have them.

Speaking of death, being a roguelike, you'll very likely die a lot in this game, and each time you do, you have to restart whatever chapter you're tackling from scratch. Chapters have to be finished in a single game to unlock the next one, which is quite tricky. However, as you play through them, your character levels up and can earn permanent upgrades. In this fashion you can boost stats like health, attack rate, and movement speed – which basically makes the character grow stronger over time, making the game slightly easier.

The character can also be customized between games if you so wish. There's a variety of different cosmetic masks to choose from, but, more importantly, you can also select a parent God, and decide which voodoo pins you want to use. There are eight Loa Gods to choose from, and each delivers its own pair of special offensive spells that are on a cooldown, and a passive bonus that affects how the character plays. Pins are picked up as you play the game, and are added to your inventory when you find them. They basically add perks and bonuses to your character, which enable you to customize your playstyle, especially when you choose them in conjunction with a parent God. It's a nice idea that doesn't change the game drastically, but subtly tweaks the way your character plays.

The other aspect of the game that I should mention is its multiplayer. Up to four players can participate simultaneously either locally or online, which is a lot of fun. It definitely makes the proceedings a little easier, although it's sometimes difficult keeping track of your character when there's a lot going on.

Like all roguelikes, luck can play a part in how far you progress in a single game – or not as the case may be. One of my better efforts happened when I picked up a couple of items that let me respawn when I died, which was hugely useful in helping me beat a boss character that I was otherwise stuck on. What I do recommend is making sure you scour every level for chests, gravestones, shrines and rooms, which often contain useful items. That way you're making the most of your luck – the more items you find, the more chance you have of discovering something really useful.

While I had fun playing Full Mojo Rampage, I did find it challenging. Even though things start out reasonably easy, the difficulty ramps up quite quickly, making this a game I'd recommend to expert twin-stick shooter players with very good reflexes and coordination, or those who enjoy games that require a lot of perseverance. I just had a couple of instances where I was deep into a chapter, and died – and starting over again felt quite punishing. I know that's how roguelikes work, but even so, this is a game that can definitely be frustrating at times.

That aside, though, Full Mojo Rampage's customization elements, cute, detailed graphics, and atmospheric music all come together to deliver an engaging game that's entertaining to play, even if it does get tough later on. If you've played and enjoyed games like Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, and Crypt of the Necrodancer, I think the chances are high that you'll also have fun playing Full Mojo Rampage. It's not quite as good as that excellent trio of hybrid-roguelikes, but it runs them close enough to be worth a shot.

Full Mojo Rampage is challenging, but entertaining. It might have some stiff competition in the form of similar games like Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, and Crypt of the Necrodancer, but its voodoo theme, four-player co-op, and twin stick chops help give it its own identity. Ultimately, it's a fun game that might occasionally be frustrating, but it looks good, sounds great, and plays well.

3.5/5

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