Played it for a few hours tonight. You can tell it was definitely made for a system more powerful than Switch...it's not exactly a looker, and yet it still chugs at times. And the screen transitions (or lack thereof, it's just a black screen) last way longer than I would have expected. I definitely miss the instant transitions between rooms in the name-brand Castlevania games.
But it definitely delivers what it promised: a big fat Castlevania ripoff! I like that you can aim one type of Miriam's spells with the right stick. It's fun waving my hand around and then shooting a flying pig at a big clumsy demon knight.
I like all the little systems for progression, too, it seems almost every way you can choose to approach the game has some long-term benefit. Like crafting items? Go for it, and you'll even get a permanent benefit the first time you cook any meal. Enjoy using the fighting game-style special moves? They apparently level up when you use them often. Even the Aria of Sorrow-style enemy souls seem to get better either by crafting materials into them or just by acquiring multiple souls via RNG drops.
So yeah, thus far it strikes me as a low-budget but well thought out SOTN-knockoff. That's a lot less exciting now that seemingly every indie game is a Metroidvania, but it's still worthwhile. Anyone else got get their hands on this yet?
I totally get what you mean about the different progression systems. It almost has this nice little XCOM loop. You go out and get supplies, which feeds into your home-base crafting and shops, which makes you want to try out your new stuff and get new supplies. It's very rewarding and taps into that inner completionist. I don't know how grind-y 100% is, but right now, I'm trying to make get as close as I can.
Right now I'm in the lava area. I'm about 60-75% complete on the map. And I'm starting to get some diminishing returns. The enemies hit like tanks and I'm not doing a lot of damage. But I can't think of anywhere else I could go to get better gear. So progress has slowed down. Honestly, the combat in this game (or the one nonlinear castlevania I've played) isn't very good. A lot of the boss fights do feel like walking up and slapping each other to death. It's not a big deal, since the rewarding part of the game for me is exploration and collecting stuff. But as things get more combat focused, the game's weaker aspects come forward.
I'm sure I'll break through soon and things will be fine. So far I have had a ton of fun with this game.
I was kind of iffy on this game, based on the videos, but it feels pretty nice! (PS4 version, from the libe.)
It's more similar to the spirit-harvesting, grindy Dawn of Sorrow than the superior Aria of Sorrow, but it's a quality Igavania. It's been a long time! Nice weapon and enemy variety, too. And lots of crafting.
The graphics are kind of low rent, but still striking in places.
I think that I'm about six hours in. It definitely gets better. And the 3D allows them to do some neat stuff, graphically. The music hasn't been super-memorable, so far, but it's Castlevania-y.
And the Japanese voice acting is legit! Love them side characters.
I do wish that the main character moved twice as fast, though, for such a sprawling map. And the loads are kind of long. AND I've had multiple crashes...
But it's good! I love the breakable walls. They're like a callback to the first Castlevania.
Some of the weapons are OP, but I guess that's part of the fun. And, hey, Shovel Knight finally makes a cameo in another game!! It's a historical event!
Well, at least they aren't ignoring the complaints and pretending like everything is fine...
My Guy said:
We have been listening to the feedback regarding Switch performance. Our goal is for everyone, regardless of platform, to be able to enjoy the game and have it run smoothly. We want to live up to your, and our, expectations.
Throughout the QA process we have been addressing performance issues in the game. Update 1.01 was published to Switch prior to launch to add content and improve performance. It did not accomplish as much as we had hoped and we need to do more.
To address the concerns brought up by the community we are immediately shifting resources to improve performance and stability for the Switch. You can expect a number of small updates that will improve different areas of the game rather than waiting longer for one big update. We will have more details as we dive into the work.
We thank you for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.
I got it yesterday on Switch. It's not as bad as it had been made out to be...at least in my experience. I've only played docked and only for about an hour. The framerate was stable on the galleon. No noticeable input lag. The music...sounded imbalanced, like a lower quality than the PS4 samples. The game felt a little dark, but once I bumped up the brightness to 6 (from the default of 5), it helped a ton.
Really I had only one issue pop up twice. The game would just randomly start moving Miriam to the left for a few seconds, then act like nothing happened. Both times it happened in empty rooms, and my controller isn't the culprit.
Yeah the game gets much worse on Switch...during the twin dragons boss the game would freeze for upwards of five seconds during their fire attack before resuming, and a lot of areas in the game just chug. And I just got my first crash when I tried to talk to the shopkeeper.
Performance issues aside, it's still fun! It really feels like if Iga decided to make a 2.5D followup to SOTN on the PS2. Yes, the PS2. The visuals and performance are that bad...
Yeah, the different weapon types are ripped straight out of Aria/Dawn of Sorrow - heck, the whole gameplay loop (collecting different shards = collecting more powers/abilities) is basically a continuation of the GBA/DS titles. Which is kind of funny, since everyone is citing this as a spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night...but it is far more a successor to Soma’s adventures. Which is a good thing, since those are often regarded as the best IGA games.
So far I am enjoying it. While I am also very much looking forward to the updates/patches, it’s surprisingly playable as-is.
Made it to the "final" boss, and the game is glitching out hard. The first attempt he did his grab attack and the screen zoomed in like he caught me, but I was free to move wherever I wanted. He started sliding around like crazy after that and eventually left the screen forever. Second attempt he grabbed me and we glitched through the door outside the room, and I couldn't get back in. Pretty funny stuff!
Hmm, I seem to be stumped as to where to go next. I think I need either a way to sink in water, a high jump and/or flight technique, or a way to get past those iron maidens. I feel like I've explored all of the map I can, too (at about 60%). But obviously I'm missing something.
I also found the (Kickstarter stretch goal reward so not super spoilery) 8-bit area and its first(?) boss and man is it tough. I think I got to the second phase and then just couldn't survive.
Anyway, what's everyone's preferred tactics for combat? I fully upgraded the Welcome Company and now have access to a swirling gallery of death and defense at all times, for pretty cheap at just 40MP. I also upgraded the True Arrow a lot and those seem like a pretty solid ranged attack against bosses. And I'm definitely prioritizing LUCK over any other stat for maximum loot in my equipment and book rentals. I'm not too attached to any one weapon or type, and I'm mostly crafting/switching to weapons as I get their command techniques, but I think I like the spears best.
Finished! Mostly. I finished the story, have 100.00% map completion, and have defeated several of the post-game optional bosses. Including, uhh, Simon Belmont????? (It's not subtle!) I did see mention of one more optional boss somewhere, maybe I'll check that out tomorrow. There's also a ton of equipment and stuff I'm missing, and the game's kinda fun to just run around and grind things out in, so maybe I'll do a bit of that.
It's definitely in the conversation among SOTN and the DS trio for my favorite Igavania, but probably not quite on top. (And maybe I'd feel differently if I were playing it on the much better-looking and -performing console editions...)