This progress log is going to cover my experiences since the last progress log chronologically in order to illustrate how my playthrough of the new Recore: Definitive Edition content hit a sudden high, only to plummet back down to a level of utter contempt that even the base game failed to inspire. It’s baffling that Recore’s developers responded to all of the criticism people had of the base game by doubling down and making the new content so much worse than before.
But first, a glimmer of hope!
The second dungeon I encountered was an exploration dungeon. That meant finding a certain number of little glowing robots at one point, but that was the only part of this dungeon that was underwhelming. See, I quit playing last time right after entering this place, so I was already inside when I loaded my save. It didn’t even dawn on me to check the door to see which robots I’d need to actually complete it, so I didn’t have the climbing robot that there were numerous rails inside for. I could have easily gone back a bit and swapped them, of course, but part of me wanted to see if I could use the game’s entertaining climbing mechanics to get through the entire dungeon without using the climbing robot that the place was designed around.
The first area was easily conquered by climbing and dash-jumping.
The second area’s mandatory climbing robot could be circumvented by using the game’s climbing physics against it (there’s a more consistent way to get up there that I discovered on my second time through, too). This was actual fun!
Eventually I finished the dungeon, proving that the climbing robot indeed wasn’t necessary given a little bit of creativity, but I didn’t actually get the MacGuffin I came for, so I went through a second time taking care to beat the dungeon’s timer. Some of the doors were already opened and the little plot stuff didn’t repeat, but I went through the motions anyway in the video because I was making good time.
Two more firing modes
Like the first dungeon I visited, the second provided a new firing mode for Joule’s weapon: a homing blast of multiple projectiles. Basically, imagine a shotgun where the shot curves to follow whatever you’ve targeted. That’s only used a few times in the second dungeon and it’s not that annoying, but the third dungeon is the death of fun. It introduces yet another new firing mode, and this time it’s a lob shot that’s difficult to aim, difficult to time, and frustratingly capable of bouncing through solid objects even when you successfully manage to get it where you want it to go.
The third dungeon of pain and regret
That isn’t the last time I’ll talk about the firing modes, because it becomes a huge problem later, but for now let’s focus on the third dungeon I encountered. This is one of those annoying puzzle-type timing/platforming ones that exist under the pretense that Recore’s mechanics are solid enough to support all of that. They aren’t.
Even getting to the dungeon was annoying because I kept getting stuck in the wall on one of the turns when racing. It turns out that if you catch up to the sentry bot thing at the very end, it can get away anyway. That’s unspeakably dumb. I got through this race after a few tries, but it was still a really annoying experience.
To start off with, the dungeon takes place in darkness. Because what’s fairer and less aggravating than missing a platform because you can’t see it on your TV?
Everything about this dungeon is designed in an aggravating way. The darkness, rotating things that force you to time a lob shot perfectly to fit into a tiny opening and don’t give you any idea of whether or not you’ve succeeded or if the shot that bounced out didn’t actually trigger the switch, and lasers and various hazards that force you to play exactly as the developers want rather than allowing for creativity. Not even the fun of the previous dungeon could save the game at this point, and I honestly thought that the third dungeon would be Recore’s lowest point.
And then it outdid itself
Having acquired all three magical MacGuffins, I went off to finish this trashy new content and be done with this game forever. That’s when this “Sky Slasher” boss showed up and proved that the previous awfulness was merely an appetizer.
This thing might legitimately be invincible. I can’t find anything about it online. I now have four secondary firing modes and four colors, which is too much to experiment with while dodging its attacks, but I’ve opened up with all four firing modes and shooting the color that it’s showing, and it’s never taken any damage.
It switches colors, too, and having 16 combinations of colors and secondary firing modes that can only be switched between by moving your left thumb off of the movement stick while being attacked is ridiculous and unreasonable.
Eventually I assumed that this thing must have some kind of gimmick, so I tried driving into it, remembering the game’s sudden love of driving. Over and over I tried this, and yet this approach didn’t appear to be damaging it, either, and jumping off and shooting it after produced similar results to when I had opened with that.
I tried using my allies’ special attacks to no avail. I tried every color, every firing mode I could think of (again, switching on the pad while dodging with the stick is virtually impossible because I only have so many fingers). The only other thing I could think of is that maybe I had to trick it into ramming a robot central to the story who’s sitting in the room, but that produced no results. Neither did shooting it.
And that’s where I’m at right now. Stuck at this robot who takes no damage regardless of what I do and who can attack so quickly that the slightest mistake kills me almost instantly. I legitimately can’t tell if there’s some gimmick I’m not seeing or if this thing has bugged out and is actually impossible to beat. Either way, this is awful and without a doubt Recore’s lowest point. The base game is bad, yes, but this is inexcusably bad design that squanders its potential at every juncture.
I take back what I said earlier about how it was laudable that they made the Definitive Edition free for disc owners without requiring another purchase on top. This entire thing is just the developers getting more kicks in on the suckers who supported them. Recore (especially the Definitive Edition) was a horrible mistake.