(Note: this review is not like the average reviews I work on, mainly because this was meant to be put on steam but cannot due to a bug that I mention in the review. Because this doesn’t follow my normal template and is more of a rant, this review has no score, just a game I can’t recommend for Mac/Linux owners.)
I never thought I’d write an angry review on steam (considering that’s the typical “angry nerd” stereotype, but I just have to let this out regarding the Mac/Linux version of the game. This is, without a doubt the worst “Port” of a computer game that I’ve ever played. I got this off of humble bundle for $1 and even then I feel ripped off after what i had to go through to get the game to boot. As a mac owner, this just makes me angry seeing developers take the easy way out for a “port” and while it may sound like a nice way to give the game to more people (As i’m sure was the intention) It was done horribly.
First, the game itself. The very first time I started the game up, it crashed. Great start! It wasn’t until looking at the community and checking the fourm that I learned it was in a wineskin wrapper. Granted, this was started in the forum FAQ, but as someone who only saw it from the humble bundle, how would I know? For those unaware on how a Wineskin wrapper works, it basically is a program that forces EXE files to boot on Mac/Linux, causing a wide variety of results. As I just mentioned, by default it crashes the game. However, holding down the ALT key and starting it up shows the wineskin winery menu (Which requires Wineskin to be downloaded, something I already did a long time ago to mess around with some PC fan games and whatnot). Going to the advanced menu, I had to remove a line of code and then the game would start… Sorta.
The Oniken startup screen pops up first, and the second it did I noticed that the game was no longer “running” in steam anymore. “OK, fine” I thought, thinking it would sync up later for the cool steam extras like trading cards and achievements, which wasn’t too much of an expectation considering how on the forum the dev says “These versions are using Wine wrappers, but have all the features of the Windows version, except the controllers.” and I already found a way to use my DS4 controller thanks to the same FAQ, so I thought I was good to go, and sure enough the first level starts off playing OK. The controls are tight, but the screen moves a bit choppily due to the wineskin conversion, but it isn’t as bad as other games. (where the FPS drops like a stone). As an addict to NES Ninja Gaiden II, I felt right at home, getting the hang of the controls and the difficulty, until I hit the first boss, which ended up slowing down the game a small bit with glorious choppiness! I thought this was emulating how old NES games played, so I shrugged it off and beat the level before going to quit the game and check my stats on steam.
…Only for me to see that absolutely NOTHING was recorded. NOTHING! No achievements, no playtime, no trading cards, N-O-T-H-I-N-G! As soon as it leaves the launcher it goes off of steam into a weird DRM-Free mode of sorts where nothing gets recorded, which is why if you saw my steam profile you’d see that I would have only played it for one minute, despite the fact that I played a lot longer to get the idea of the controls and performance. What happened to “These versions are using Wine wrappers, but have all the features of the Windows version, except the controllers”?!? Surely that’s a lie, or at least an outdated statement considering how nothing I researched could fix this issue, and looking in the forum it seems to have been an ongoing statement for TWO YEARS! This is absolutely inexcusable to take the lazy way out for a Steam port, not only by using a conversion program that makes the game a bit choppy, but to not even bother fixing the ports to start up normally on default or connect to steam in some way!
I really wanted to love this game, but seeing how horrible this port job is for a mac owner like me and how Mac/Linux owners get shafted in the end, I feel that this game is getting the review it deserves solely for the devs doing nothing in the two year span they had to at least make the game connect to steam and give Mac/Linux people the same experience as PC users. For Windows Users who may want to give this a try on sale, I think you may enjoy it more than I could because of it being fit for your system, but for fellow Mac users or Linux gamers? Stay away from the vanilla version, unless they patch it to add native mac support or allow it to connect to steam.
There’s apparently an “Unstoppable Edition” coming soon with some balance changes, so if that ends up getting a native mac port I recommend waiting for that to come out instead. But still, what happened to “These versions are using Wine wrappers, but have all the features of the Windows version, except the controllers”? I apologize for this rather nitpicky/unprofessional review, but considering how the bugged playtime counter prevents me from publishing it on the steam store page, I have no choice but to post it here to let the word out. For windows owners, you’ll probably get to enjoy a smoother experience but for anyone else you really should skip this, even if you got it for super cheap during a humble sale like I did.