Dogurai sounds really cool and in practice, there are a ton of ideas that work here. This be a blend of Mega Man and dog samurai action where you go through a 2D level filled with enemies to slice and secrets to nab!
Its fun to slice baddies with the katana, especially when that includes their projectiles as well. The levels you go through contain zero transition stops (as transparent to the game its inspired by) so jumping around and slicing thugs feels consistent.
The opening level I played didn’t even go from left to right. I had to make my way down a cavern, where I would be fighting a boss at the end. Like some of the enemies, the Boss fight concluded with a cool quick time event. Afterwards, I’m granted a hub for which I can take on the other ring leaders in any order, much like a Mega Man game.
What I also love is that each stage has its own gameplay and visual theme. The opening stage looks like Gameboy Color game with the later levels changing tones and putting in a nice little additional detail to let you know what type of environment you are in.
Not many retro platformers go this far into little touches and it helps that the general gameplay is a lot of fun…yet frustrating as heck! Dogurai suffers some of the trappings of an old NES platformer, such as the precise trial & error timing, where a projectile or jump (sometimes both) can occur off-screen and launch at you within seconds before you have time to process its existence the first few times.
This was the unfortunate case with the ice stage & fire stage. There were three given to me in this build though I expect more to come within the final game. For now, I like most of what I saw, except for those aggravating difficulty spikes. It seems to be a clever spin on the Mega Man formula, combining some of the awesome elements mixed in with ninja action and level design (except for when it’s unfairly decimating you).
Developer Hungry Bear Games hopes to get Dogurai ready for a Steam release somewhere in the first half of 2018, but we’ll definitely be seeing this ninja-samurai-dog in 2018, hoping to be the best dog warrior we’ve ever seen! Check back then for a final verdict!