I attempted this game several years ago and only got a few hours in before giving up on it. Fast forward to now, I decided to give it another try, because I didn't quite recall why I gave up on it. After all, I love metroidvanias, and this one receives nothing but praise. But low and behold, within an hour I had already rediscovered all the weird design elements that irked me.
Level hazards blend too well into the environment
The game has a great art style, don't get me wrong. But it's so good that it works against itself. Everything in the environment blends together so well that the elements that can hurt you always catch you off guard.
Too many shiny orbs
My critter attacks with shiny orbs. Fine. But it turns out the enemies attack with shiny orbs too. Not the best design, but OK. But all the items you pick up are also shiny orbs. So here I am, attacking multiple enemies, dodging their attacks, while also picking up the items they drop. Everything looks the same and I can't keep track of what I'm supposed to dodge. There's too much visual clutter when it comes to combat.
The save mechanic
This may be the most mind-boggling to me. Getting to save wherever I want feels abusable, but that's not a huge issue since they use up a currency. But moving on, I pick up a new combat ability, and naturally I go to test it out….only to realize I've depleted the same currency I use for saving the game. What? I can't come up with a single reason why those two mechanics are tied together. Imagine if you're playing Resident Evil and you accidentally shoot an ink ribbon at the enemy and screw yourself out of being able to save. This makes absolutely no sense.
Add to the fact that this is tied to the basic attack button, which means you'll keep triggering it by accident. How many action platformers condition you into holding the attack button for charged attacks? A whole damn lot of them. Also, how many of these same games use the same button for sprinting? (I'm using a 360 controller for reference so I'm holding X). So basically, I have to untrain 25 years of instinct in order to not throw away my ability to save. And to make it even worse, there's tons of doors and objects that can only be destroyed with this ability. So if you use it accidentally, it means you have to farm another.
There's other nitpicks, but I won't get into it. These are the main ones. And it's such a shame, because these things could easily be fixed. They're just really weird design decisions. Every other aspect of the game is great…the music and visuals.
I'll always say, a game's challenge should never come from having to deal with the controls. And so far that's what I'm experiencing here. The character is extremely floaty, and can't jump higher than one body-height. Compare this to something like Hollow Knight, that had essentially perfect controls.
That's my two cents. I really want to love this game, but I'm finding it aggravating for all the wrong reasons.
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