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FTL has one Annoying Flaw

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

 

FTL is inspired by roguelike games, but is it a good roguelike game?

 

I consider myself a hesitant fan of roguelike games.  There are elements I enjoy about them, like the random events and layout of dungeons to make each campaign unique; but then there are elements I loathe like the difficult learning curve associated to them, usually with learning numerous keys that would be at home to an Ultima game.  The new Indie game FTL: Faster Than Light is inspired by roguelike games, but I think it is forgetting a key lesson about this genre: Patience.

 

One of my first introductions to roguelike games wasShiren the Wanderer on the Super NES, developed by Chunsoft (who also worked on the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games).  It was a frustrating experience for me.  I hated the permanent death system and how I would lose my XP level when I return back to town.  I would try rushing through the game in my first session, and only get so far due to my luck in the game.

 

Several years later I picked up Shiren the Wanderer for the Nintendo DS and I changed my tactic.  Instead of rushing through the game, I took my time gathering resources in the first few floors between the first and second town.  I upgraded a nice sword and shield and only ventured forth to finish some quests.  I enjoyed this experience with Shiren the Wanderer as it taught me that 'grinding', which we often associate with a derogative term in video games, can be a necessary feature to make a difficult game easy for anyone that has patience.

 

After a few hours I felt like this component was missing in FTL.  I understand that the 'sectors' are your dungeon levels and 'beacons' are your rooms.  I even understand that it has a permanent death system, similar to what Shiren the Wanderer has.

 

But I believe the always moving fleet of the Rebel forces in FTL conflicts with other roguelike game's philosophy.  I'm aware that I need scrap, missiles and drone parts to survive.  However moving from each beacon that isn't in a nebula increases the chance of the rebel fleet getting me, which makes me feel like I must rush to potential mistakes.

 

There are elements of FTL I enjoy.  I really like developing my ship and hopping around to beacons for the next random event.  However I believe what makes roguelike games like Shiren the Wanderer or The Binding of Isaac work is they give you time to develop your character build.  Which helps a lot when the troll engine in these games throw a frustrating challenge at you.

 

I don't see this in FTL after a few hours, which makes the game slowly grow to an annoyance for me.


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