• Jeff

One Step From Eden Taught Me to Stop Button Mashing and Just Chill the F*** Out

I was told that One Step From Eden was a combination of the Mega Man Battle Network series, a game that I obsessed over as a child, and Slay the Spire, a game that I am obsessed with now. So naturally, I had to download the game and give it a shot. I was not disappointed.

This game is the chaotic fun that I remember from the Battle Network games: your character on a 4X4 grid connected to your opponent’s grid while both of you are running around slinging spells at each other. It also brought the near infinite options and endless replayability with its roguelike aspects and massive list of characters and cards to build a deck around. Not to mention the variety of enemies, stat enhancing artifacts, and deck archetypes to master. However, where I expected to have success in a game that already felt so familiar, I found myself getting obliterated for the first several hours.

There is a lot happening on screen at any given moment in this game. You have to pay attention to which enemies you’re facing, where their attacks are landing on your side of the grid, which two spells from your deck you currently can use, how much mana they cost, how much mana you have, and a lot more.

My very first run was frantic and short lived. I didn’t know how any spells worked and didn’t have the controls figured out quite yet. I played several more runs, slowly getting the hang of what certain cards did, how to build a cohesive deck, and slight memorization of the enemy patterns. I still found myself losing way too much health on simple enemies and getting killed quickly by the bosses. Sure I could squeak by the first world, maybe the second with some luck, but in order to unlock new characters, you have to beat the boss of the fourth world. I wasn’t even getting close.

Needless to say, I was getting quite frustrated. It seemed no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get better. I was constantly moving around to avoid enemy attacks, but was still being hit by them. I was throwing out all my spells as frequently as I could to try to whittle down my opponents. No success.

I decided to take a step back, really analyze what I was doing, and try to improve. That’s when it all clicked for me. I found myself being able to beat enemies without taking any damage. I could get through boss fights without too much of a loss. I had finally realized that I just needed to slow down and think.

Ones Step From Eden is a game that when you first jump in, you inherently want to mash buttons as fast as you can to move around and attack because it feels like that’s the best way to avoid and do damage. This is the same tactic newer players of fighting games tend to use. It can sometimes work when you are playing against other players using the same strategy, but when you are playing against stone cold AI, you won’t have a chance. When I finally slowed down and took the time to move in small increments to intentionally avoid enemy attacks and held onto spells until just the right moment is when I truly started to find success and really started to love this game. Being patient is essential to thriving in this game, and that’s a lesson I plan to take with me to all sorts of games that I play. Take Smash Bros. for instance. I could just jump around and throw out attacks like a madman in the hopes that I land a solid hit. But if I just slow it down, like I now do in One Step From Eden, I can figure out my opponents’ patterns and use selective moves at precise times to win games with ease.

How did it take me this long in my video game career to realize that chilling the fuck out is the most effective strategy?!

One Step From Eden has quickly become the game that I try to put one to two rounds in every day. The gameplay loop is a proven one, with its great battle mechanics that keep me wanting to perfect it. I plan to play it for many months to come and can easily recommend it to anyone who likes deck building or a technical challenge to master.

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