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#metroidvania

Omega Strike Review

Metal Slug and Metroid had a baby.

As I’m coming to realize, I have a weakness for games classified as Metroidvanias. Between the layered progression and backtracking and the feeling of getting progressively more powerful, with some great boss fights sprinkled throughout, there’s always something to help continuously pull me through these experiences. Omega Strike, clocking in at five hours, is no exception to this rule and is further bolstered by its clear Metal Slug influence.

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Dust: An Elysian Tail Review

Dust is still as great now as it was six years ago on XBLA.

Somehow it’s been six whole years since Dust originally released as a Summer of Arcade title on the Xbox 360. It’s incredible to me that it’s been that long, but though six years have passed, Dust still holds up as a great title today. Since its original XBLA release, the action-adventure spectacle has made its way to PC, PlayStation 4, iOS, and now most recently the Switch, where it feels right at home.

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The Messenger Review

Being a delivery boy has never been so much fun.

It’s not often that a game does something that completely surprises me, but The Messenger managed to catch me totally off guard. What appears to be a modern 8-bit take on Ninja Gaiden suddenly morphs into something more at the halfway point of the game. Its once linear levels branch out and become a Metroid-like maze, with hidden secrets abound. Not only that, but the graphics and sound boost into 16-bit and the world takes on an extra level of detail. While this gimmick was incredibly cool, the tight gameplay and intricate level design is what makes The Messenger a truly special experience.

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Iconoclasts Review

What do ivory, supernatural abilities, and religious zealots have in common?

I’ll start by saying that I’m in awe of Iconoclasts. It’s the culmination of nearly eight years of solo work by Joakim Sandberg. As someone who has built a much simpler game from scratch on my own, I can assure you this was no easy feat, and for such a complex and beautiful game it’s really a stunning achievement. The world, the art, the music, and the gameplay are all phenomenal. Traversing the world, solving puzzles, exploring the locales, and defeating bosses is consistently entertaining. I have some reservations with the story and the, at times, cringey dialog. The story does prove to be quite memorable in the end, but for much of Iconoclasts, I found myself lost in it, focused solely on the gameplay.

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The Mummy: Demastered Review

I expect better from you, WayForward.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear about an indie developed game sporting a pseudo-16-bit pixel aesthetic I find myself rolling my eyes. This goes double when said game is an action/exploration game (“Metroidvania” if you’re lazy). I just find these types of games to be played out. However, if you tell me that WayForward is working on the game you pique my interest enough to plunk down twenty bucks on The Mummy: Demastered, a game I hadn’t heard of. Was my curiosity rewarded? Ehhh…

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Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Review

Pretty sure they’re not going to do an Arcade or Ultra edition next.

Since they’ve hit the scene, I think I’ve built up something of a love affair with indie developer, Drinkbox Studios. They have an uncanny ability to create not only compelling gameplay, but memorable and humorous worlds and characters. Guacamelee is easily their greatest achievement yet, and the new Super Turbo Championship Edition only makes it better. Just the name alone should give you a perfect indication of the tongue-in-cheek humor Drinkbox imbues into their creations.

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Minicore Studios Announces Laika Believes

The upstart has begun development on the Metroidvania title.

At this year's SXSW in Austin, TX, Austin-based start-up, Minicore Studios announced their latest endeavor, Laika Believes. The team has already begun work on the Metroidvania-inspired adventure for XBLA and PC, which features a cybernetic dog from outer space. The titular Laika can speak, is clad with silver metal armor, and armed to the teeth with some mysterious weaponry.

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Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw Announces Poacher

The game critic is making his own title.

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw has a devout fanbase of his fast talking reviews called "Zero Punctuation" on theescapist.com but now he's making the change from game critic to game developer. The Austrailian writer announced on his blog the upcoming release of his new game, Poacher.

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Aliens: Infestation Review

This review is 100% Hudson catch-phrase free.

The end of a video game system’s life is always an interesting one. While game developers, publishers, and fans are looking ahead to the new, shiny machine on the block, the older hardware has the benefit of years of development lessons learned. Consider that Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IX, and God of War all came out as their respective systems were waning, and each of those games are considered classics in their own right. Enter Aliens: Infestation, a game developed by WayForward for the aging Nintendo DS system. Is this a game that will go down in history as one of the best additions to the DS library, or is it a case of too little, too late?

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Outland Review

This metroidvania game puts an extremely compelling spin on the tried-and-true formula.

Metroidvania games are unquestionably some of my favorites. While there aren’t too many produced outside of the titles from where the subgenre name is lifted, they are often a treat when they become available. Outland is no exception to this rule, offering up a 2D platformer that places a far greater focus on its action elements, requiring players to master movement, attacking, and timely switching between a light/dark mechanic.

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