Icey

When I first saw Icey appear on steam, my initial impression was wondering which game does this game clone from. As to why I have such thoughts, it’s probably because any game related news I heard or read coming from China it’s either about a game on mobile or a clone from a popular western game title such as Overwatch. The game appears in my steam recommendation for several days along with being in Steam top charts for awhile, and that’s where it catches my interest. It shouldn’t be that bad of a game since it was on the top chart for the past few days since its released. Right?

Just like all or most newly released games, there’s a slight discount during launch day. But it wasn’t attractive enough to warrant an immediate purchase from me. Hence, into the wish list you go. Almost a year has passed since then and I was thinking which game should I review next after Grim Dawn. Fortunately, this game was at a hefty discount during my pondering. So here we go:

Wake up. That’s what the voice told me. 5 more minutes I told myself and ignore the voice. Not going to wake up? Fine then, continue to sleep. I’ll do the intro again until you wake up. Wake up. I am up. Awoken from my deep slumber in the laboratory, I left to fulfill my sole reason for existence. Kill Judas. Or that what I’ve been told by the voice. With no idea on where this Judas is located, the voice subtly mention, simply follow the arrow and it will lead you to him.

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Icey | FantaBlade Network

Encounter a floating kiosk after exiting the laboratory and from it I’m able to learn new fighting combo, improve my basic system or preset combo. As of right now I couldn’t afford any of it. I proceed on with my journey, but it didn’t go as smoothly as I hope. I run into a group of hostile machine with a spartan helmet as its design. These would be a great warm up material for me to get myself familiar with my preset fighting combo and the fluidity of my body movement.

It feels solid. My combo that is but my body movement, not so much. There are more enemies as reach the top of the hill with a new enemy variant. A tougher enemy with shields to protect itself and big arms. My light attacks won’t be able to shatter its shields when it’s up. I need to strike it with a heavy attack. Icey reaches on a quiet hill, illuminated by light dancing off the lake below. She’s at peace. There’s a lake? I’m not at peace, I’m being thrown around like a sack of beans by the new enemy. Ah! I died.

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Icey | FantaBlade Network

I re-spawn at the kiosk that I saw earlier and I have some money now. I learn a new set of combo. Hopefully it will be effective against the big arm machine. Rerun across the area again and the voice repeats the things that he said as I pass by the area. Cross the bridge after the hill and jump over a destroyed bridge awhile later and not following the arrow for once. Reach into a new area, Ultimopolis.

A town abandon from any sentient life except that there are more enemies over here. Reach a cross junction and the voice told me to go up the junction. I decided to go against the arrow. Soon a massive gate lays before my eyes and the gate won’t open until I defeat the boss in the area. Told you to follow the arrow. I followed the arrow begrudgingly. I will find you Thor and with your death, the gates to Ultimopolis will be open and I’ll be a step closer to Judas.

Personal Opinion

Icey is a 2D side-scrolling, hack n slash meta game. The art style isn’t too bad, but it isn’t amazing either. I do like the character design of Icey. It slightly resembles the Japanese vocaloid idol, Miku Hatsune. Probably why I like it. For those that don’t know what Miku Hatsune is, you may wish to click on this. The animation intro for every boss you encounter before the fight looks cool.

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Icey | FantaBlade Network

The game is really short and the story is all over the place. By just following the arrows as the voice tells you to do so, you can beat this game in less than 4 hours. So if you’re a speed runner and great in 2D hack n slash game, I believe it’s possible for you to beat the game and refund it. Haha. There are tons of secret hidden across all the level and in places which you would least be expected for there to be a secret. The reward for finding such a secret is either money, lore of the game and hindsight of this game development which I find it to be quite interesting. You’ll get the lore of the game as you follow the area, but that would be on a superficial level.

I find the narrative of this game to be quite hilarious but that’s just my personal opinion as I understand that this kind of narrator can be a nuisance to some. The narrator would try to influence your movement in the game with his advice. There’s no doubt that by following his advice, you will reach Judas faster. Wether you’d enjoy the game narrative is subjective to each individual taste. I personally would recommend playing the game with its original dubbed. I find it better compare to its English dubbed. The ‘cutscenes’ in the game can’t be skip even after you clear it once. And if you don’t like the narrator, you will just get annoyed by it even more.

For those who love racking up combos, you would be able to rack up as much as you’re capable until there’s no more enemy to hit. At a certain combo level, all your damage after that will deal slightly more damage. As the combo increase in level, so does the additional damage that you’re able to dish out. There’s a lot of combos to unlock in this game which increase your repertoire to increase your combo level. The combo chain will break when you’re hit. Do be alert of incoming attacks when you’re doing your combos.

The combat is amazing yet frustrating at the same time. There are times where you too can be combo till death. The space which you in is quite small and there’s not a lot of room to distance one enemy from each other. It’s not a situation of 1 versus 1 – except for some boss fights – where after the death of 1 enemy the next one will line up to fight you. It’s a 1 versus 6, with all 6 of them – or according to how many there are in that area – jumping on you at the same time. That’s where you will be combo to death. You won’t be able to stop in the middle of the execution, unless you’re being hit by the enemy. Pray you don’t get combo to death.

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Icey | FantaBlade Network

The kiosk serves as a checkpoint where you will re-spawn upon death and spawn point when you load into the game. It also replenishes your health back to full whenever you pass by it. The other way to replenish your lost health is by executing a finishing blow. There’s a small time frame for you to execute the finishing blow and if you miss the chance, got to strike the enemy till the next opportunity comes unless it dies first. Even then the amount of health replenish is dependent on your skill level, so it’s vital to upgrade that to the max at the kiosk if you aren’t good at dodging. You won’t get any health from the enemy if you kill it without executing the finishing blow.

Boss fight are tough and challenging except for the fights where there are other machines that you would need to be wary of when fighting the boss. Something I find to be breaking the flow when getting into the mood fighting the boss. Those fights are just a pain to fight over and over again.

There’s no way to change the difficulty settings once you’ve settled upon it. Not even in the options menu. You’re able to ‘select’ the difficulty settings after completing the tutorial stage, which will ask you some question about how you like to play the game. The default difficulty is at normal – you won’t know what the difficulty you’ve selected until you’ve finished answering the question – and the difficulty may change to either hard or easy base on your answer. If it changes to either hard or easy, you will have to run through the whole tutorial again and again until you’ve settled on your difficulty. Once the story began, you may no longer change the difficulty anymore other than resetting the whole story or uninstalling and installing the game. That’s sound enjoyable ain’t it?

Conclusion

It’s a solid 2D side-scrolling hack n slash game and the boss fights are enjoyable except for some. As for the other aspect I mention above is subjective to the individual taste. Would I be able to recommend this game? Maybe. Perhaps on a sale.


Platform: PC (Windows & Mac OS X), PS4
Publisher: FantaBlade Network
Developer: X.D. Network Inc
Rating: Good (67 out of 100)
Hours Played: 4hrs


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