Nidhogg - Analysis
Nidhogg is a game in which failure and success are decided in a matter of milliseconds , in that moment in which instinct and tactics crystallize and one of the two contenders ends up made a lot of pixels. We are talking about fencing , or sword fighting if you prefer, which has the energy to provide you with several hours of fun.
The title is divided between four very simple and colorful worlds with little decorations, such as the background clouds, as you dedicate yourself to face each other in individual duels. Nidhogg's pixelated style is unique and makes him instantly recognizable. As soon as the fighting begins, in addition, the screen fills with jets of blood and if one of your enemies has the misfortune to end up impaled by your sword, get ready, because you can humiliate him by moving it up and down and splashing the screen with pixels of red and orange color.
But let's go to the objective of the game itself. Our mission is to reach the end of the level, either to the right or to the left of it. The first of the opponents who manages to kill their rival gets a hiatus of between five and ten seconds until their nemesis comes to life and the fight begins again. The fights can be electric and finish in a matter of seconds or they can turn into duels of more than twenty minutes while you both study your weaknesses and wait for the other to lower his guard. The mix results in a game in which the tension is permanent but the end result is very, very fun.
One of the fundamentals that makes a game like Nidhogg brilliant is its balance. As in any good fighting game, each movement can be counteracted so victory, on many occasions, is a matter of reflexes , nerves of steel and, above all, of being able to read the mind of your opponent and guess their next move. In the individual campaign, this last point is not so important and it is one of its biggest burdens: it does not keep the player in tension in the same way that it does with multiplayer . Fighting twelve other fighters is fun, but the real challenge lies in fighting twelve other people in matches where anticipation is crucial. I have run into rivals that I can win without problems while others seem to read my mind in each duel and the overall experience translates into an addictive and very varied multiplayer in which as soon as you find yourself on a roll you don't know why you have been in a spiral of defeat.
During combat you can keep the sword in a high, medium or low position and your character can jump or crouch. In fact, if you are very desperate, you can even throw your sword at your opponent. From these very basic controls you can make various movements such as flying kicks or running attacks. Of course, each technique has its weak points. If you do a flying kick, you will most likely end up impaled on the opponent's sword and if you try to roll across the stage it is very easy that you will run into a sword in a low position.
The simplicity of its controls makes Nidhogg one of those games that anyone can play right off the bat, but it is complex enough to turn some fights into a duel of precision and reflexes. We can even block the opponent's movements if we do it at the exact moment, which means that their sword can end up in the air. You have two options here: run like the devil's soul and retrieve your sword in a hurry or fight with your bare hands. We do not recommend this last point, although if you manage to kill someone in this way, the moment of glory is assured. But it is that, in addition, that sword that has gone flying can end up stuck in one of the opponents or go out in any direction. Nidhogg's action has an element that makes it unpredictable and that means that there is no victory or defeat that allows us to rest on our laurels.
The game forces you to know its ins and outs on your own as the tutorial explains the basics to get ahead. Many of my skills in combat I have learned from third parties, such as special moves that I did not know or people who knew when to throw the sword at the right moment. And although the multiplayer still does not work quite well (the matchmaking is somewhat slow and the invitations do not work in some moments), a friend next to you is enough to make a game in local multiplayer of a lifetime so that the fun that we proposes the game to be endless.