As a fan of rhythm games I'd had my eye on Crypt of the NecroDancer (particularly the Switch edition) even before the out-of-left-field mashup Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda was announced. I'm not a big fan of Roguelikes, but enough time had passed since I'd played The Binding of Isaac that I felt ready to tackle NecroDancer.

The timing in NecroDancer definitely takes getting used to, and I spent most of my early time in the game moving around in loops trying to maintain my combo (by continuously moving on the beat) while avoiding getting hit. Learning the enemy patterns takes some time as well, as did earning enough diamonds (the currency that lets you buy powerups that stay active between runs). Eventually things started to click and I did reasonably well, although the central features of Roguelikes, namely the resetting back to the beginning after a run without any options to continue, ended up making me have to set the game aside. This game doesn't even have the advantage of The Binding of Isaac where you could specify a particular seed to use, which lets you pick which configuration to play. As with many games, I got to the bosses many times, but died trying to figure out how to beat them almost as many times. Very frustrating, and one of those old school designs that I could well do without.

The game was fun overall, and the Switch edition includes many features that were added onto the original base game, including many different characters that offer variations on the regular gameplay. Most of them have to do with forcing you to use a certain weapon or set of items, but among them are an option to turn off the rhythm aspect altogether to make the game more like a regular Roguelike, which was definitely a nice option. I played a good amount of the original over the summer, so I'm about ready to give the Zelda version a closer look. I'm not particularly eager to return to the same gameplay, but I am looking forward to the focus on classic Zelda music and a lot of familiar faces from the Zelda series, not to mention the ability to play as Zelda herself.