More catchup

I suppose playing less Destiny frees me up to play other games every now and then.

Alwa’s Awakening is a solid game supposedly inspired by Battlekid – I haven’t really played that but I have played more than my fair share of challenging platformers, and this is really nice. It’s far from the first game to only show you one screen at a time, but it uses the format really well to create distinct room-sized challenges. It has some frustrating checkpoint placement and challenges that seem to be more about trolling the player than providing interesting gameplay, but overall it is a very well crafted experience with interesting opportunities for sequence breaking and not too obscure secrets.

Shantae – Half-Genie Hero, the first Shantae started as a straight-up Metroidvania and the series has pretty much been moving away from that since. Well, the second one was much like the first but the third abandoned much of the open-world exploration for gimmicks and this fourth throws it out altogether and just has some five levels that you’re meant to replay over and over until you find everything. Structurally, it’s closer to some of the later Megaman games where some levels have some gimmick gameplay or autoscroller element to mix it up a bit. Art-wise it’s as beautiful as ever and the tone flips between self-referentially silly and oddly earnest just like in the prior games, but it’s a bit difficult to see if Wayforward intends for Shantae to have a gameplay identity and if so what that is.

BOOR is a short story-based platformer with some light puzzles and some not-quite-so-light reflex challenges – it is occasionally trolling with its interleaving finicky challenges with drawn-out ones with no checkpoints in between, and the bosses are all endurance fights that last longer than necessary but it is overall a nice-looking game that sets the mood really well and usually keeps the challenge level reasonable.

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Posted on Feb 16/17 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »