I’m playing to decide which game I fully invest myself into. It goes on, today we take a look at another set of Metroidvania games. I choose how I want to play them, whatever looks most fun, so the following are in no particular order, Just three games per post. If you would like to see the original games click here: Post #1 – Top Metroidvania Games 2018
With that said let’s continue.
The more I play Metroidvanias the more I realize how different they are. Hollow Knight is my fourth MV and again it changes the formula enough to make it feel fresh, as a matter of fact, all of the games I’ve played so far have their own play style to them. Hollow Knight’s graphics are what is most noticeable right off the bat. Hues of blue fill the screen with a haunting piano score giving off an almost spooky feeling. Beautiful.
So far, Hollow Knight is the most Metroid-like game I’ve played so far, with nods to Metroid, apparent in its level design and enemy placement. Being able to access the map is earned and not given, and for the rest of the ‘privileges’ I actually had the ‘money’ to buy a compass to see where I was, but I had to farm enemies to buy another item in order to be able to see which areas I had already traversed, and had left to explore. It only took about three minutes to get enough coin.
The combat is fun while running I had the urge to cut every blade of glass in sight and when fighting enemies you get thrown back just a tiny amount so you then run back and strike again, and so on. It has a nice feel to it. Still, Ori and the Blind Forest still reigns all the games I’ve played so far.
Just a note, I try to stay away from buying games that aren’t good, that is why everything I score in these posts are high. Although I am comparing, I am not scoring Metroidvanias against each other but off of the one hour I’ve played of them, as standalone games, all in fairness.
I don’t know if I can classify this as a Metroidvania, sure it has an explorable map but it’s more roguelike than anything else, although the map layouts are very Metroidvania-like, there are no parts that block you from getting to places without needing an upgrade first. I’ll go ahead and list it here anyway. Dead Cells is a hard game, you are meant to die, and with each death, you learn from your mistakes. There are cells (I think that’s what they are) that you collect, upon beating the level you get to spend those cells to unlock permanent items, for example, you can unlock a life filling potion with 5-10 cells, and then you can unlock the second one at around 60. There are also weapons and items that let you take gold with you through death. It makes playing easier.
All of the enemies have different patterns to them, which is cool. There are archers, guys that take a breath and then leap at you, scarecrows that provide shields to enemies so you have to destroy them. With proper timing of your shield you can parry, and arrows can be sent back at the shooter. There are also secondary weapons, a grenade, both frost and fire versions. Along with different main weapons like dual wielding daggers and whips. Throughout the levels, you also find scrolls that give you choices to increase your strength. For example, weapons are classified by colors, the scroll allows you to add a permanent stat to a certain color. +15% attack and 20% extra life for green based items, etc.
Overall I enjoy it, even if it’s a tad too hard for me, I’m having trouble giving this a score part of me wants to give it high 70s another wants to settle at 80, so that is what I’ll do.
Guacamelee! is a very good looking game, there’s a big difference in graphics style compared to its competitors, it has a very cartoonish look going for it. Guacamelee is a more clean/smooth lined than most Metroidvanias. You play as a Luchador and are on a quest to find the president’s daughter that was kidnapped. The gameplay is very much quick controlled, and the combat? That is where this game differentiates and shines though itself from others on this list. You have set combos you can rattle off, and more moves can be bought via the mini shops that frequently pop up.
This game reminds me of the great playing and great to control Viewtiful Joe, as you can start up a combo, send him flying up into the sky, jump up hitting the enemy some more. It feels great. One can compare it to a 2D Devil May Cry as well.
The theme of Guacamelee, is Mexican/Spanish/Latin all the way, from the guitars to the accents NPCs have, they took the theme and ran with it and to great effect.
One of the gameplay themes going through it are portals littered all around the levels, going through one can make the whole section you are on change on a whim. Platforms that would normally be there, disappear, unless you find another portal. They are usually in pairs though one to go through and the other to come back.
As for the bad, and with only having an hour to play with each of these games I usually don’t find them yet. The portals can be placed in irritating ways, but that’s just the design of the game and a little skill can help you overcome them.