This one’s pretty special. One of the best platformers I’ve ever played - although occasionally had to play in small bites because of how fiendishly difficult it is in some places. Thankfully the difficulty is down to pure design and the controls are fantastic, which makes you feel like any improvement needed is yours, and not the game’s fault. The animations are smooth, the map is well designed and there’s a decent upgrade path. The only slight downside is the story, which left me feeling completely confused for more or less the whole game.
I started off really liking the feel of the game; the premise being that you were just exploring some old ruins. This held together well enough for quite a while, but when characters, lore and story elements started popping up I felt like they really weren’t tied together very well. It was hinted at that something was expected of me, but I had no idea what or why, and when I beat the final boss (no spoilers), the cutscene following it just left me more confused and with a feeling of “well that was really badly explained”. If we’re honest, this game isn’t about the story, it’s about the tight and really well designed gameplay, but it did disappoint a bit that what story there was, was lacking.
A lot of reviews complained about the amount of backpeddling you had to do to get to other areas. Personally I didn’t see this as an issue - there were loads of areas to explore, and you had to go back to old areas to see everything, which is kind of the whole point in a metroid-type game. The only weak point here was that occasionally I felt lost and had no idea where to go next even after getting an upgrade.
There were a couple of boss fights that I felt were much higher difficulty than the others. That being said, once I went and upgraded my nail, found a new Charm and got another health point, a boss which I had previously made no progress on in an hour went down on my first attempt, so the upgrades do make a huge difference. By the end of the game I felt pretty overpowered and beat the final boss on my second attempt.
Status: Completed in 20 hours
For more reviews, check out my Steam Quest page.