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Reviews Comments: Funny that it calls itself a Metroidvania. Shadow Complex episode review by lanky

As a Metroidvania fan, I don't. Remember the days when Metroidvania fans looked on Castlevania Symphony Of The Night and wondered if games like that could get any easier? Well yes, they fucking can.

As a 2.5D platformer, this game succeeds spectacularly. As a Metroidvania, it utterly fails.

You don't explore, and find new areas to explore based on the equipment granted to you. You have a beacon which highlights the area you need to go to next. You don't gain many new powers, either. Double and Triple Jump, and the ability to breathe underwater. And also the ability to actually grab a ledge and wall jump. Heck, weapons even grant access to new areas. Sounds solid, right?

The problem with the game is the way these upgrades are handled. You get NOTHING which the plot doesn't dictate you should get. Every ability is directly the key to unlocking the next area. And the repeatedly touted over a hundred items? They're, for the most part, a +4 to one of your weapons if they're not random-ass gold or one of the keys needed to unlock the ultimate armor. There's no abilities which are hidden for the persistent player. No secret areas which casual players will never see. There's nothing outside of the basic game.

And that's why this game is not a Metroidvania. It could have very easily been handled with a series of sequential stages. There's no thought, no exploration, nor unlocking new areas because of your new gadgets. From beginning to end, you follow a fucking beacon and stick with it like glue.

Technically you could turn off the beacon and pretend you're exploring the game, but the plot makes things abundantly clear.

It's fun, I'll admit, but it stains the Metroidvania name.


  • Fearanger
  • 31st Aug 15
If there was a way to rate reviews, I'd give this a thumbs up.
  • SpectralTime
  • 31st Aug 15
...I generally find the problem is that there are two kinds of definitions for Metroidvania.

The first puts tremendous stock on things like Sequence Breaking and a tremendous amount of extra items and abilities deliberately hidden for the explorer to find.

The second likes the feeling of a gradually-expanding map opening up with player progression and doesn't worry too much about all the extra stuff they're probably never going to find anyway.

I subscribe quite firmly to the second definition. I believe you subscribe quite firmly to the first. I won't tell you your opinions on the game are invalid by any means. If anything, your criticisms are illuminating, moreso than the vast majority of reviews I've read by writers that subscribe to the first definition.

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