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Hello fellow Radarians! It has been a while since I have posted anything new so I figured.... I would do exactly that! This post concerns my newest obsession: Hollow Knight. Man, oh man. What a game this is! I am a major metroidvania fan, so games like Axiom Verge and Owlboy already appeal to me, and Hollow Knight is no different. There isn't a ton to mention as far as what makes this game special to me or stand out in a major way, but it is special and it does stand out. I like everything about this game. The art style is simple and unique. The gameplay is very simple and easy to handle, however, the enemies and bosses are anything but. This game challenges me in the same way I am challenged by a Dark Souls title. You fight, you die. You fight again, you die again. You try and level up, return to fight, die again. It's really a smashing good time. Something about the lore of the story has me drawn in as well. This underground kingdom of bugs, that has this tragic and mysterious past, is tons of fun to explore and master, searching every nook and cranny for new things. The other bugs you meet all have distinct and engaging personalities and voice acting, although they are speaking "bugish" and we cannot understand them without reading the text on screen, that somehow just fits perfectly and sounds right 100% of the time. My favorite bug voice is of the cartographers wife, Iselda, and her bored sounding sigh of "bafanada..." This game is hard as hell and super engaging. I highly recommend it for its playability and the way it translates from big screen to handheld. Some metroidvania games are best viewed on a smaller screen(Axiom Verge is a great example of this; on my 66" screen the game looks silly), but that does not apply to Hollow Knight. I love the way it looks on my TV and it is perfect and cozy in handheld mode. I bought this game while it was on sale for around $8 and I had a few hundred points, too. It cost me maybe $5 in the end and I have enjoyed it far more than Octopath Traveler(which I was SUPER excited for) that I paid $59.99 for.
Well, here we are again fellow Radarians. Time for another review of another indie game. In this case, AXIOM VERGE, a game that I have been itching to play for a while and could never bring myself to pull the trigger is our subject. The game falls into the category of 'Metroidvania' style games due to its play-style, graphics, level layout, and progression. Basically, it's a side-scrolling action-adventure game with new areas being accessible through item progression and upgrades to your character. These new areas lead to further new items and progression, which lead to more and more until the map has been filled in and the last monster has been slain. Much like Metoroid titles, AXIOM VERGE is all about figuring out ways to kill the multitude of new monsters & baddies you encounter and ways to gain access to the new areas. The game's story line does not give the player much to go off of from the get-go, but you piece things together slowly to discover a pretty cool timeline of events that involves another dimension, a cosmic presence far greater than our own, and, of course, the salvation of the human race. The game begins simply enough, with you as the protagonist being transported to another dimension seemingly without purpose or reason, and quickly picks up on the fact that you are very much here for a reason and that it was no accident. You have been sent here in order to help a race of bio-mechanical super-beings regain control of their home-world and resume their position of protecting the human race from death and ruin. You explore this bizarre and creepy place and begin to outfit yourself with various alien weaponry and upgrades in order to tackle the new challenges and enemies the game throws at you. It would seem that the inventory panel in the game's pause menu is quite large and has a lot of room for a lot of different weapons and items, which is very intriguing to me. The protagonist, Trace, then blindly follows the orders of these unique beings and ends up fighting for their survival and completing tasks that will prolong their lives. So far so good. I really enjoy AXIOM VERGE. Like, really. I know it would seem that most of my reviews are generally positive ones, but this one is GLOWINGLY POSITIVE. This game is tons of fun. At times I find myself at work or at the gym thinking about the game and its complex level layout and design. There is not one thing about the game that I could complain about. Besides a certain boss battle that was far too easy, the game has officially 'rocked my socks' as the kids say these days. PROS: The Art- Very H.R. Giger inspired, who, for those of you unfamiliar, is the artist behind the creation and design of the xenomorphs from the Alien film series. The monsters and backdrops will make your skin crawl. Very creepy and bizarre. Perfect for the story and style. Love it. (It may be worth mentioning that I am a huge fan of Ridley Scott's ALIEN. I just thought it might be worth mentioning.) The Music- SOOOO FRIGGIN GOOD! This game's music is so good it is hard to explain. Certain tracks will jump out at you and surprise you with how intense they are, and I should also mention sound effects in general. The sounds in the world of AXIOM VERGE will at times make you cringe, but on purpose. The snarls that come from the boss enemies when being struck by your laser blast are perfect representation of an alien fit of rage and pain. The Gameplay- The way the mechanics work in this game are very similar to that of Metroid. Platform jumping and shooting your weapon in your basic 45 degree increments. I felt no issues with the way the game played. My jumps all felt tight and my aim was accurate and deadly(most of the time). The thing about this style of gameplay is that it has already been perfected back in 1987 by a game called Contra. But AXIOM VERGE does more with it than older titles ever could by making the story so far out there and trippy to provide a familiar gaming experience without feeling identical. Other- This game is so perfect for a handheld device to the point where I really don't enjoy playing it any other way. This feels like a game I should have played on my Gameboy back in the day, but much more advanced. Also, I love the main character's face when his dialogue box comes up. He is not some heckin' space marine with a chiseled jaw and a neck like a tree trunk who says things like "Hail to the king, baby!" No, Trace is a nerdy looking scientist with a big nose and a bad haircut. He is not your typical hero, and that's what makes him intriguing. Jeeze! Just writing thsi review makes me want to play the heckin' game! Score: 10/10 (GET IT)