Metroidvania 2D Action/RPG Catch-All

DanB wrote:

Yeah I enjoyed axiom verge well enough but all of your criticism here is exactly how I felt about it. But it did leave me curious about the sequel, hopefully it'll fix some of these issues.

I'm curious as well. The color palette and graphic style already look better to me.

For the first one the end boss was really aggravating my carpel tunnel, like no other game has, so I ended up watching a video on how to cheese it.

While the gameplay of Axiom Verge has a lot of holes, I still hold it in really high regard because it tries to tackle one pet peeve of mine. Basically, sometimes I get frustrated with media because even though it has unlimited potential, so much of it is dedicated to depicting things that we already know and understand. Why can't media show us things that we've never imagined before? Why is our imagination so limited to just the world we already live in?

While primitive and retro, I still feel like Axiom Verge deserves praise because I think it has tackled this wish of mine better than any form of media I've seen yet. It goes to great lengths to create a world completely devoid of any familiarity, with totally alien visuals, language, names, concepts, etc. Playing the game is to see a world beyond imagination, which is something I've never really seen done like this before.

So despite all its gameplay and narrative shortcomings, I'm still really happy to have played it. Hopefully there is even more of that in the sequel.

Speaking of Axiom Verge... it looks like it the sequel being released today, by surprise?

https://twitter.com/AxiomVerge/statu...

Surprise! Axiom Verge 2 drops later TODAY on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Epic Games Store!

I am pretty sure I'll be picking it up tonight for my evening play session. Can't wait to dive into a mind f*** alien world again. Just hope it lives up to the first.

I just bought it on Epic for $18ish. It’s a tiny 1.3GB install. I’ll fire it up tonight.

Anyone have any impressions yet? I read a couple reviews and it sounds like the discovery is fun but the combat might be lacking.

I'm digging it. I definitely agree with reviews I've seen that says it has a slow start, so I'm looking forward to when things start to get a bit more weird. Another thing that confused me was the Mesopotamian setting, but I read a cool article about the first game that explains there are references to that culture all over the first game as well, so it makes a bit more sense.

https://www.nintendoenthusiast.com/a...

Also combat is a bit simplistic but it feels a lot more thought out and intentional. In the first game it felt like they came up with a bunch of random weapons that didn't always fit into the greater enemy and boss design, so at least my initial impression is that the second game has only been giving me tools and upgrades in ways that have been meaningful and helped me progress a lot in the game. I'm only a few zones in though at this point.

I played for an hour or so last night. The first 3 or 4 upgrades came very close together, which is good, because it makes the game much more interesting. Unfortunately I somehow managed to lock up my game while in the middle of a big fight on my way up a mountain (it wouldn't respond to any button presses), so I had to force-quit it and I haven't tried booting it up again since then. I'm hopeful that my save will still be intact. Regardless, I'm definitely digging the aesthetic and gameplay mechanics.

Has anyone tried Grime? The demo was fun, but the aesthetics are not my thing at all. It's all rock-based and so very dull and uninteresting looking. It's got some systems inspired by souls games, but also 2D exploration gated by abilities with a counter mechanic.

EvilDead wrote:

Anyone have any impressions yet? I read a couple reviews and it sounds like the discovery is fun but the combat might be lacking.

I personally think it's much better than the original in the gameplay department, Indra just feels better to control, has more weight & momentum behind her when jumping. The grabbing onto handholds to climb sections of walls or to haul yourself up over a ledge gives the traversal a good revamp too. This even extends to being underwater, you feel the resistance of the water slowing your movement, an ability augments this beautifully not long into the game.

Even simple things like the lighting system & using your flashlight adds depth to the exploration & atmosphere. The combat feels better, timing your boomerang throws, when to close the distance on the various machines with their tracking lasers, it's still a bit simplistic but hopefully it'll open up a bit as the game goes on.

The abilities come at a fairly quick rate too which is nice. Once you get the little drone having those alternate breach world crystals to enter is a nice change of pace & connects back with furthering your progress on the map with Indra very well.

I'd say if you didn't like the first one AV2 feels a far more modern game & more enjoyable to play from the 90 mins odd I've put in so far.

I've put another couple of hours into Axiom Verge 2. Really enjoying it. I was stuck for a while just wandering around, until I found that underwater augment Spikeout mentioned. I also noticed that it's possible to melee your boomerang just as it's returning to your hand, which causes the boomerang to fly back out again; I doubt that'll have any meaningful benefit, but I thought it was funny.

I've killed 3 or 4 oversized boss-type enemies that resulted in achievements, though I found it interesting that they seem to be completely optional - there was no change in the music, no cinematic camerawork, and I could (and did) just walk right past them at first. I'm wondering if there actually are any boss fights.

~5.5 hours logged so far, with 31% items and 41% map, according to the save state.

A couple hours in on Axiom Verge 2 and enjoying it. Music is good too.

Hmmm, sounds promising. I might pick it up before my coast to coast flight in a couple weeks.

I feel like AV2 has a much better map flow. Rather than constantly being confused like in the first game, in this one its more a matter of looking over the map and looking for pretty obvious unfilled parts of the map. I won't say that I never get stuck, since that's kind of a hallmark of metroidvanias in general, but so far at least I feel like I've been doing much less pixel hunting and hitting brick walls less often.

Oh nice. That was one of my complaints of the first one.

jamos5 wrote:

I feel like AV2 has a much better map flow. Rather than constantly being confused like in the first game, in this one its more a matter of looking over the map and looking for pretty obvious unfilled parts of the map. I won't say that I never get stuck, since that's kind of a hallmark of metroidvanias in general, but so far at least I feel like I've been doing much less pixel hunting and hitting brick walls less often.

Totally agree, so much better laid out & designed. I'm about 6 hours in now & really enjoying the exploration & general gameplay loop overall. The drone is expanded in such a cool way, I love how you can essentially get around most of the map controlling it alone.

Oh yeah the music I love is the foreboding Egyptian type music when your underwater in the early section of the game, sets the scene so well.

I didn't care for the first one much (despite it being something that should have fallen into my wheelhouse) so I've been kinda wary of picking up the 2nd. I'll probably watch some reviews and maybe wait for a sale or bundle.

Beat Axiom Verge 2 last night. Overall I thought the game was excellent... it really feels like Thomas Happ took the criticisms from the first game to heart, and used it to make a much more solid all-around package that plays and feels as smooth as butter. And the exploration is great... I don't usually go for 100% in Metroidvanias, but I hit 86% without even trying and enjoyed it the entire time. The core exploration mechanic used in this game is so brilliant and adds so much depth to every area that even backtracking becomes meaningful to an unusual extent.

That said, I do hope they take the core lessons from this game and instill some of the weirdness from the first game that is quite a bit toned down for this game. I mean, it is definitely there and seeping in at the cracks and seams, but it doesn't quite have the balls-to-the-wall in your face bizarre alien planet stuff that made me like the first game so much. It's a bit more subdued, which might be more to people's liking honestly. But for me my favorite thing was exploring a place that had nothing to do with human reality, and the second game doesn't quite go that deep into it.

Am I doing something wrong or is Axiom Verge 2 way harder than the first? Or even the average Metroidvania. I'm only about an hour/hour and half into it, but it's quite a struggle. I mean, I'm really enjoying it regardless, so I'll persist with it anyway, but just wondering if this sounds right?

halfwaywrong wrote:

Am I doing something wrong or is Axiom Verge 2 way harder than the first? Or even the average Metroidvania. I'm only about an hour/hour and half into it, but it's quite a struggle. I mean, I'm really enjoying it regardless, so I'll persist with it anyway, but just wondering if this sounds right?

Maybe? The game definitely has got some teeth. Have you gotten any good upgrades? Have you been spending skill points to improve your character, in ways that you feel you were lacking?

It starts as really hard, but I felt like it made every upgrade really impactful for gameplay, so I appreciated it. Eventually that curves off as you start to worry more about exploration, but yeah at least for me that is just where the game decides to spend its time at the start.

There are accessibility controls to ramp down difficulty if it really is making it unenjoyable to play. I wouldn't hesitate to use them if it gets to be too much.

Hmmm that seems to mostly echo my experience so far. I also read Kotaku's review today, which has eased my mind a little. They seemed to have faced the same problems I'm facing, so it might just be how I'm approaching things.