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Thread: Metroidvania

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    Metroidvania

    Thought I'd make a thread for one of my favorite genres of games... if you know it, it's a 2D adventure platform where you explore a map and unlock abilities which allow you to progress further. Simple, and basically cemented as a genre by the Metroid games (especially Super), and Castlevania Symphony of the Night (and the handheld Castlevanias).

    With Prince of Persia just coming out, and the new Hollow Knight at some point, thought I'd talk about it. I just finished Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth, and I'm near the end of Cookie Cutter (which is an ok Guacamelee clone w/ gore and juvenile sexual humor).

    One of the earliest games I ever played in this genre (maybe the first game in it?), Below the Root (1984), has major nostalgia for me. I played it on Commodore 64, and while a lot of it hasn't aged so great naturally, and there's no combat, it still had the basic formula figured out. This was the world map laid out:



    Game was great, and it was a revelation when you got the wings and could reach areas that required you to glide to them.

    EDIT: On an amusing side note, I just found a NIN easter egg in Cookie Cutter. In one of the hidden areas, it says NIN on the wall, and then has the cover art for The Fragile and The Slip hanging next to it... I wonder if they intentionally made the bad guy in the game look like Marilyn Manson
    Last edited by Jinsai; 01-20-2024 at 02:33 PM.

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    metroidvanias are also my favorite! super metroid is probably still, imo, the BEST one ever made

    i also love love love Hollow Knight

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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    metroidvanias are also my favorite! super metroid is probably still, imo, the BEST one ever made

    i also love love love Hollow Knight
    Same, Super Metroid is in my top three ever. I also really liked Blasphemous and the new Prince of Persia might scratch my itch too. Also you guys should check out Infernax if you haven't already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak33 View Post
    Same, Super Metroid is in my top three ever. I also really liked Blasphemous and the new Prince of Persia might scratch my itch too. Also you guys should check out Infernax if you haven't already.
    Yep, the only game in the genre that I personally put above Super Metroid is Hollow Knight... which I think is something really special. Really hoping the new one will live up to it.

    My brother and I just played through Infernax! That was great... Sorta like a throwback to Castlevania 2 and Zelda 2. I actually played Zelda 2 before the first game and I like it better. Another great old school game that didn't get much recognition at the time is Battle of Olympus for NES.



    I'm not sure why but I love looking at these old pieced together maps. They're sorta psychedelic.

    So far I'm liking Prince of Persia. After that I'm probably going to finally play Dead Cells.
    Still haven't really tried Blasphemous.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 01-21-2024 at 12:49 PM.

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    Oooh I forgot about Battle of Olympus. I'll have to check that out.

    Yeah you're exactly right about Infernax and CV2. They even make a joke about the bad translations. I loved CV2 when I was a kid but I understand why people said it was bad. The atmosphere and music were incredible.

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    Did you guys ever try that F.I.S.T. game? It was a Metroidvania but I haven't played it yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak33 View Post
    Oooh I forgot about Battle of Olympus. I'll have to check that out.
    Totally do it. I loved that game as a kid, and if you like Zelda 2 you'll love it.

    Yeah you're exactly right about Infernax and CV2. They even make a joke about the bad translations.
    There's another easter egg in it (tied to a trophy) where if you kneel next to a cliff, a tornado comes and picks you up... and then rips you apart... a reference to that bit in Castlevania 2 where you're (somehow) expected to know to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak33 View Post
    Did you guys ever try that F.I.S.T. game? It was a Metroidvania but I haven't played it yet.
    Never heard of that one... I try to keep up with the genre. I'll check it out.

    Some lesser known modern Metroidvanias that I think people should check out:

    Elder Lilies - this one is really cool, even if it gets a little samey as you go along.
    Cookie Cutter - If you can get past the (occasionally gross) sexual humor, there's a good Gucamelee clone in here, even if the boss battles are pretty weak. Great art style.
    Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - This is great. Super obvious homage to Symphony of the Night based on an anime. Few gripes about controls and difficulty curve but whatever.
    Yohane the Parhelion: Blaze in the Deep Blue - Inti Creates, cute super-Chibi anime game, but it's really fun and only takes about 4 hours to 100% it.
    Touhou Luna Nights - Same team as Deedlit, more cartoony, projectile weapons. Same art assets LOL... comes out in a couple days for PS5 and Switch.
    Dust: An Elysian Tail - I really liked this one... Great art style.
    Shadow Complex - I guess this is better known than the others here, but it's worth remembering because it helped revive the genre.
    Axiom Verge - How to do a retro metroidvania right. Better than the sequel.
    Rouge Legacy - I haven't gotten into 2 enough, but I loved 1. Rogue-lite metroidvania that does something really unique and creative.
    Shantae and the Pirate's Curse - This is ok. People like it better than I did, but it's polished and colorful.
    Salt and Sanctuary - Dark Souls meets Metroidvania. Better than the sequel.
    Timespinner - Short and cool retro game on PS4/Vita/PC. I liked the combat mechanism, but they expand it too far.. you never use 99% of the abilities...

    Some disappointing ones:

    The Bounty Huntress - Stay away unless you want a quick/easy platinum trophy. Super lame, feels unfinished, horrible controls, art, everything.
    Paragon Soul - See Bounty Huntress but set in a sci fi environment.
    Death's Gambit - Looked so cool, but ultimately was clunky and soulless/derivative
    Chronicles of Teddy - Some people like this, I didn't. Couldn't get into the retro art style, general world... I got stuck at some point and just gave up. No regrets.
    Chasm - ooof... this could have been so cool, but the randomly generated levels just kill it. Part of the whole genre is exploration and level design, which is just dead here.
    Strider - It's a decent game, but really could have been so much more. The potential is squandered, and there doesn't feel like much adventure going on.

    On a side note, I'm loving Prince of Persia. This is how you do it... even if I'm currently stuck and have no idea where to go.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 01-23-2024 at 01:22 PM.

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    agreed on Axiom Verge - masterpiece! I couldn't hang with the second one thoguh.

    I loved Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as well...

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    Jinsai thanks for the recs, I did beat Axion Verge but I don't know why I didn't try AV2 yet. I think Dust was made by one dude?

    Also check out Death's Door if you haven't yet, also Bloodstained I loved too Frankie (since it's from the creator of SOTN). I tried to get into Dead Cells but it was overwhelmingly roguelike for me

    I also hated Below...not sure if you tried that one.

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    @Kodiak33 I have Death's Door but haven't played it... I didn't know it was a Metroidvania though, I got it when it was on some super sale based on the Metacritic scoreI also randomly picked up Have a Nice Death which looks cool. I also saw Owlboy referred to as a vania but I didn't remember it coming across that way when I tried it. Supposed to be good though?

    On the older games, did anyone play Faxanadu for NES? I feel like I was eight or so when I got that. I don't know if it would fit, but it feels like a vania and the maps were awesome.



    Oh yeah, and I felt the same way about Dead Cells when I tried it a while back, but I've been convinced to give it another shot.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 01-23-2024 at 06:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    @Kodiak33 I have Death's Door but haven't played it... I didn't know it was a Metroidvania though, I got it when it was on some super sale based on the Metacritic scoreI also randomly picked up Have a Nice Death which looks cool. I also saw Owlboy referred to as a vania but I didn't remember it coming across that way when I tried it. Supposed to be good though?

    On the older games, did anyone play Faxanadu for NES? I feel like I was eight or so when I got that. I don't know if it would fit, but it feels like a vania and the maps were awesome.



    Oh yeah, and I felt the same way about Dead Cells when I tried it a while back, but I've been convinced to give it another shot.
    Dude, I loved Faxanadu. I remember beating it, but I also remember it was very difficult. I feel like it's a Metroidvania type since you do backtrack, you do get stronger abilities as you go along, etc.

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    I liked 8 Eyes at the time it came out - though not sure how well it's aged... totally a Castlevania I/II and Zelda II clone...

    I remember digging Legacy of the Wizard, which had similar vibes, if I recall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankie teardrop View Post
    I liked 8 Eyes at the time it came out - though not sure how well it's aged...
    The soundtrack to that game rocks


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    Jinsai, speaking of Zelda II, did you see this?

    https://www.resetera.com/threads/the...a-neat.793707/

    The link is below.
    https://hoverbat.itch.io/ziiaol

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankie teardrop View Post
    I liked 8 Eyes at the time it came out - though not sure how well it's aged... totally a Castlevania I/II and Zelda II clone...

    I remember digging Legacy of the Wizard, which had similar vibes, if I recall.
    I remember hearing about 8 Eyes but never playing it...looks like another one I'll have to try.

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    I beat Prince of Persia and highly recommend it. Actually, I'd say it's a great way to introduce this sort of thing to someone who hasn't played the genre... though still, the classics like Hollow Knight and Metroid 3 still reign, but this comes pretty close. 9.5/10

    Another thing that's great about this stuff is that a small team (or even a single person) can put together something that looks great relatively fast on a modern indie engine. This one looks cool, and a Steam demo just got released: https://awita-journey-of-hope.carrd.co/

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    There's this one called Gestalt: Steam & Cinder that looks pretty sick!

    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1...Steam__Cinder/

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    I don't think I've seen it mentioned in here, but if you haven't given Metroid Dread a try you should! Controls are butter smooth!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wampa View Post
    I don't think I've seen it mentioned in here, but if you haven't given Metroid Dread a try you should! Controls are butter smooth!
    I got it but I just never find myself playing the Switch. It's definitely on my list.

    I just started Luna Nights and I don't know what I think... the "glance" thing feels like a Touhou bullet hell style mechanic that requires crazy timing. Maybe I'll shelve this and play Metroid Dread instead.

    Haven't heard of that Gestalt game @thelastdisciple, but that's looks fucking amazing. Definitely picking that up. It was announced 3 years ago and there was a playable demo for industry? That's a pretty big gap till release, especially considering there still isn't one? Maybe a larger publisher is talking about putting it out.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 02-04-2024 at 02:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    I got it but I just never find myself playing the Switch. It's definitely on my list.

    I just started Luna Nights and I don't know what I think... the "glance" thing feels like a Touhou bullet hell style mechanic that requires crazy timing. Maybe I'll shelve this and play Metroid Dread instead.

    Haven't heard of that Gestalt game @thelastdisciple, but that's looks fucking amazing. Definitely picking that up. It was announced 3 years ago and there was a playable demo for industry? That's a pretty big gap till release, especially considering there still isn't one? Maybe a larger publisher is talking about putting it out.
    Dread is so fucking good, highly highly recommend.

    Jinsai how long did Prince of Persia take? I just finished BG3 and I don't think I can do another long haul game right now and I need something relatively short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak33 View Post
    Jinsai how long did Prince of Persia take? I just finished BG3 and I don't think I can do another long haul game right now and I need something relatively short.
    It was about 15 or so hours to get through things w/ most of the collectibles. It's longer than most games in the genre.
    If you want a really quick one that's a good time and doesn't overstay its welcome, try Yohane The Parhelion: Blaze in the Deepblue. I finished everything and got the platinum in that in about 4 or 5 hours.

    Prince of Persia is a better game though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    It was about 15 or so hours to get through things w/ most of the collectibles. It's longer than most games in the genre.
    If you want a really quick one that's a good time and doesn't overstay its welcome, try Yohane The Parhelion: Blaze in the Deepblue. I finished everything and got the platinum in that in about 4 or 5 hours.

    Prince of Persia is a better game though.
    Thank you!

    I decided to play through Symphony of the Night on Saturn. People have modified the ROM to get the translations properly, change the voice overs, etc. This is supposed to be the definitive version of the game due to more areas and other things. So far so good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak33 View Post
    Same, Super Metroid is in my top three ever. I also really liked Blasphemous and the new Prince of Persia might scratch my itch too. Also you guys should check out Infernax if you haven't already.
    blasphemous is SO GOOD and SO VIOLENT hahaha i'm stuck on a boss that is just...really fucking difficult so i took some time away to play more dead cells (the amount of hours i've put into that game is staggering)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    Yep, the only game in the genre that I personally put above Super Metroid is Hollow Knight... which I think is something really special. Really hoping the new one will live up to it.

    So far I'm liking Prince of Persia. After that I'm probably going to finally play Dead Cells.
    Still haven't really tried Blasphemous.
    i really need to try the new prince of persia but...money

    also hollow knight is one of my fav games ever, i'm planning to get a tattoo of something from the game

    and again, dead cells is incredible, hopefully the random level generation won't kill it for you (i find that aspect very refreshing, actually)

    Quote Originally Posted by frankie teardrop View Post
    agreed on Axiom Verge - masterpiece! I couldn't hang with the second one thoguh.
    love the idea behind AV2 but agree, i had a harder time getting into it and at one point i got stuck, and it had JUST come out, so i couldn't find a reliable guide yet, so i just kinda gave up

    Quote Originally Posted by wampa View Post
    I don't think I've seen it mentioned in here, but if you haven't given Metroid Dread a try you should! Controls are butter smooth!
    metroid dread was great EXCEPT for the chase parts. they felt so much more stressful and way less rewarding than the chases in fusion. but otherwise i really enjoyed the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    i really need to try the new prince of persia but...money
    It is on a big sale right now on PSN though

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    It is on a big sale right now on PSN though
    sadlly i am a lowly nintendo girl and the only modern system i own is a switch

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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    sadlly i am a lowly nintendo girl and the only modern system i own is a switch
    On the plus side though, handheld is probably the best way to play this sort of genre for some reason (at least for me). It’s always felt like a really natural fit on portable systems. After I finish FF7Rebirth I plan to finally play Metroid Dread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    On the plus side though, handheld is probably the best way to play this sort of genre for some reason (at least for me). It’s always felt like a really natural fit on portable systems. After I finish FF7Rebirth I plan to finally play Metroid Dread.
    i've never been huge on handheld, i have trouble seeing small stuff hahaha my body is a garbage can

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    Haven't heard of that Gestalt game @thelastdisciple, but that's looks fucking amazing. Definitely picking that up. It was announced 3 years ago and there was a playable demo for industry? That's a pretty big gap till release, especially considering there still isn't one? Maybe a larger publisher is talking about putting it out.
    Gestalt is finally dated for release on May 21st, 2024 and they brought the demo back on the Steam page.

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    I might pick up Gestalt on my Steamdeck, though I wish it was coming to PSN at the same time. I generally play on my PlayStation.

    On that note, they added Zau to the PS+ library this month, and I just started playing it. It’s really cool so far. I’d assume it’s also on Xbox Gamepass. The gameplay is slick, I like the shifting between modes of combat, the graphics are great, I like the art style a lot… Also, the narrative takes a back seat and doesn’t stall out the gameplay with cutscenes (like Prince of Persia did… one of the only things I didn’t really like about that game).

    At least so far. I wasn’t expecting Zau to be as cool as it is, considering the lukewarm critical reception, but I’m glad I tried it out.

    EDIT: Oh, big recommendation: If you’re playing Zau, in the options change the spoken language to whatever it is that’s not English. Forgot the name of the language, but it’s the way to go.

    EDIT EDIT: Further on in Zau, and I'm seeing some of the issues. The camera obscures a lot of death-traps just outside of view, you constantly are falling off cliff edges because of attack animations lunging you forward (I thought we'd moved past this sorta thing long ago)... The jumping/platforming is a little floaty too, which can be really frustrating when you try to do the platforming challenge sections... Prince of Persia destroys this game in that regard.

    Still, it's free, and there's definitely a lot of worse Metroidvanias out there
    Last edited by Jinsai; 05-05-2024 at 01:27 PM.

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    I just picked up this game on sale called Monster Sanctuary, and I don’t know how I never heard of this before. It’s like a combination metroidvania meets something like Pokémon with turn-based combat. Definitely worth the 6 bucks imo

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