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Metroidvanias

punishedgnome

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I've been very into Metroidvanias lately. I had already played most of the Metroids and Symphony of the Night years ago, but over the last couple of months I've blown through the Castlevania games on GBA as well as Metroid Zero Mission and Cave Story.

Now I want to know what else is out there. What are the best indie Metroidvanias?
 
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Radiance_One

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Metroid is my favorite series, so if you went through all of the metroid games, even prime and the new ones, you can play:
  • AM2R: it's an unofficial metroid 2 remake, before the 3ds one came out, now dead 'cause nintendo, but you can still find the files around. It's REALLY well made, and it plays like zero mission.
  • Hollow Knight: probably the best well known indie of this style. Really difficult and not having a map can disorient most new players, but's one of the best games i've played. fuck grey prince zote.
  • Ender Lilies: another great one. the music and the visual are really great. the main mechanic is that you can't use every power at the same time, and you have to upgrade them individually. also the gameplay is more "grounded", you have short reach and flying enemies are more dangerous.
  • Gato Roboto: if you played metroid 2 you'll feel like home, it's shorter than the last two, but still worth playing
  • Iconoclast: really fun characters and really fun to play, but the bosses can be bullshit and the story is not that tight. Besides that, it's fun to play.
  • Momodora series: i didn't really like Cave Story that much, because it felt stiff and amateurish. this series it's the same, good fundation but still lacking. the first two are free, but also the worst, i played them all and only finished the fourth one in like, 6 hours.
  • Crosscode: not really a metroidvania, but has a lot of the same mechanics and it's REALLY fun to play. Totally recommended
Those are the ones that i played. /v/ has a lot of other recommended metroidvanias, but /v/ being /v/ the threads end up in a shitshow, so choose what seems fun for you.
 
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stonehead

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Metroid is my favorite series, so if you went through all of the metroid games, even prime and the new ones, you can play:
  • AM2R: it's an unofficial metroid 2 remake, before the 3ds one came out, now dead 'cause nintendo, but you can still find the files around. It's REALLY well made, and it plays like zero mission.
  • Hollow Knight: probably the best well known indie of this style. Really difficult and not having a map can disorient most new players, but's one of the best games i've played. fuck grey prince zote.
  • Ender Lilies: another great one. the music and the visual are really great. the main mechanic is that you can't use every power at the same time, and you have to upgrade them individually. also the gameplay is more "grounded", you have short reach and flying enemies are more dangerous.
  • Gato Roboto: if you played metroid 2 you'll feel like home, it's shorter than the last two, but still worth playing
  • Iconoclast: really fun characters and really fun to play, but the bosses can be bullshit and the story is not that tight. Besides that, it's fun to play.
  • Momodora series: i didn't really like Cave Story that much, because it felt stiff and amateurish. this series it's the same, good fundation but still lacking. the first two are free, but also the worst, i played them all and only finished the fourth one in like, 6 hours.
  • Crosscode: not really a metroidvania, but has a lot of the same mechanics and it's REALLY fun to play. Totally recommended
Those are the ones that i played. /v/ has a lot of other recommended metroidvanias, but /v/ being /v/ the threads end up in a shitshow, so choose what seems fun for you.
Gotta second Hollow Knight, it's an amazing game, maybe my favorite of all time.
In addition, here's some others I've played:
  • Axiom Verge: has some fun platforming and mobility abilities, but the combat is more about camping angles to shoot the enemy around, instead of quick combat. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you.
  • Dead Cells: Is very fun, but it's a rogue-like, so the structure is different from a normal game.
 

Radiance_One

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Gotta second Hollow Knight, it's an amazing game, maybe my favorite of all time.
In addition, here's some others I've played:
  • Axiom Verge: has some fun platforming and mobility abilities, but the combat is more about camping angles to shoot the enemy around, instead of quick combat. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you.
  • Dead Cells: Is very fun, but it's a rogue-like, so the structure is different from a normal game.
i've had Axiom Verge on my radar for a while, gonna buy it next sale!
 
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punishedgnome

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i've had Axiom Verge on my radar for a while, gonna buy it next sale!
This one's on my radar as well because it certainly looks Metroidesque looking at screenshots.

Another one I played a while ago that I thought was pretty good was Unepic.
 
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NeoTokyo Tempo

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Touhou Luna nights is one of the better I've played. I'm more into challenging platforming than exploration and puzzle solving though. I like it for the time stopping mechanic and the challenging bosses and platforming toward the end of the game.

Metroid is my favorite series, so if you went through all of the metroid games, even prime and the new ones, you can play:
  • AM2R: it's an unofficial metroid 2 remake, before the 3ds one came out, now dead 'cause nintendo, but you can still find the files around. It's REALLY well made, and it plays like zero mission.
  • Hollow Knight: probably the best well known indie of this style. Really difficult and not having a map can disorient most new players, but's one of the best games i've played. fuck grey prince zote.
  • Ender Lilies: another great one. the music and the visual are really great. the main mechanic is that you can't use every power at the same time, and you have to upgrade them individually. also the gameplay is more "grounded", you have short reach and flying enemies are more dangerous.
  • Gato Roboto: if you played metroid 2 you'll feel like home, it's shorter than the last two, but still worth playing
  • Iconoclast: really fun characters and really fun to play, but the bosses can be bullshit and the story is not that tight. Besides that, it's fun to play.
  • Momodora series: i didn't really like Cave Story that much, because it felt stiff and amateurish. this series it's the same, good fundation but still lacking. the first two are free, but also the worst, i played them all and only finished the fourth one in like, 6 hours.
  • Crosscode: not really a metroidvania, but has a lot of the same mechanics and it's REALLY fun to play. Totally recommended
Those are the ones that i played. /v/ has a lot of other recommended metroidvanias, but /v/ being /v/ the threads end up in a shitshow, so choose what seems fun for you.
I've been playing Hollow Knight, and I think I'm halfway through the game. It has yet to become difficult in the slightest. Almost all the bosses I have been able to beat in the 1st try. Unless there's a steep spike in difficulty, I'm going to have to disagree. It is in fact among the easier platformers I've played. It's pretty good though.
 
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stonehead

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Touhou Luna nights is one of the better I've played. I'm more into challenging platforming than exploration and puzzle solving though. I like it for the time stopping mechanic and the challenging bosses and platforming toward the end of the game.


I've been playing Hollow Knight, and I think I'm halfway through the game. It has yet to become difficult in the slightest. Almost all the bosses I have been able to beat in the 1st try. Unless there's a steep spike in difficulty, I'm going to have to disagree. It is in fact among the easier platformers I've played. It's pretty good though.
One nice thing about Hollow Knight is that the really difficult content is all optional.
If you don't want to do the path of pain, you don't have to, and if you aren't specifically looking for it, you probably won't notice it was there at all. Nightmare Grimm is similarly optional, but you probably won't play through the entire game without at least meeting him or fighting an easier version.
 

manpaint

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The following was part of a LARP and is not indicative of the opinions and behaviors of the posters but remains for archival purposes

I have heard r*ddit that Dark Souls is essentially Castlevania but in 3D. You might like it.
 
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punishedgnome

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I have heard r*ddit that Dark Souls is essentially Castlevania but in 3D. You might like it.
I got it for Xbox 360 when I got like a dozen used games for under $20 in a fire sale at Gamestop, but I haven't played it. I've always heard it compared to Zelda, but I like Zelda too. Maybe I'll try it out.
 
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manpaint

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I got it for Xbox 360 when I got like a dozen used games for under $20 in a fire sale at Gamestop, but I haven't played it. I've always heard it compared to Zelda, but I like Zelda too. Maybe I'll try it out.
The following was part of a LARP and is not indicative of the opinions and behaviors of the posters but remains for archival purposes

Ah yes, it's also somewhat similar to Skyrim on some level.
 
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Sketch Relics

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I would recommend La-Mulana 1 and 2, especially if you're looking for something difficult.
Chelsea and the 7 Devils is also good and hard, but you would have to pirate it as it has been de-listed from steam. The developer wants to remaster it at some point, but they have been taking their sweet time doing so.
The Shantae series is fun and easy if you would prefer that.
If Dark Souls is close enough to a metroidvania, then the King's Field series should count as well
I got it for Xbox 360 when I got like a dozen used games for under $20 in a fire sale at Gamestop, but I haven't played it. I've always heard it compared to Zelda, but I like Zelda too. Maybe I'll try it out.
Ah yes, it's also somewhat similar to Skyrim on some level.
It's not really comparable to Skyrim or Zelda IMO, it sort of superficially resembles them, but mechanically the world design is more like Ultima Underworld and From's aforementioned King's Field, with combat structure and encounters being somewhat unique to itself and other games that were inspired by it.
 
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Radiance_One

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Touhou Luna nights is one of the better I've played. I'm more into challenging platforming than exploration and puzzle solving though. I like it for the time stopping mechanic and the challenging bosses and platforming toward the end of the game.


I've been playing Hollow Knight, and I think I'm halfway through the game. It has yet to become difficult in the slightest. Almost all the bosses I have been able to beat in the 1st try. Unless there's a steep spike in difficulty, I'm going to have to disagree. It is in fact among the easier platformers I've played. It's pretty good though.
There's a LOT of hidden content on hollow knight, i wouldn't recommend playing your first run with a guide, but almost all the dlc, the hardest part of the game, is hidden. The bosses start to become difficult on the later half of the game. give it time, it's an amazing game
 
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Vaporweeb

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Touhou Luna Nights is a short but super fun Touhou-inspired metroidvania with just the right amount of fanservice. It also has an incredible ost.

View: https://youtu.be/dqhkRG0w_Dc


Blasphemous is an... interesting combo of Dark Souls and Catholicism. It's a very fair difficulty and has some absolutely gorgeous spritework
1668564483991.png
 
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PizzaW0lf

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When it comes to Metroidvanias I've been playing some of them recently. Though mostly the "Metroid" in Metroidvania. I have actually finished every 2D Metroid game except for Samus Returns (3DS) But I have played it at least.

My mini reviews and thoughts on each one. I might edit in more stuff over time:

Metroid Zero mission
Incredibly solid Metroid title that I think is the closest to matching what super set out to do. It is pretty short though. The ending portion of the game was also a great surprise. Really like how they were able to subvert expectations with the stealth sections. GBA had a lot of Metroid love.

Super Metroid
One of the most legendary games ever really. I love the open-endedness of it. But I will admit there are a few things about the game that is kind of weird. The boss fights are pretty easy and aren't that great tbh. In fact, the whole game is pretty easy and I never really died. Also after going through the wrecked ship the pacing of the game was thrown off and ended up being a slog for a good portion. Still, though those are just a few gripes. Super Metroid is one for the ages.

Metroid fusion
This one is pretty interesting. The game really feels like a brutal betrayal of what Super did. The SA-X was really awesome even if I wish it played a bigger role in gameplay. And in general, it's still a solid Metroid experience. But I think there are some sticking points like the handholding. The handholding really drags this title down pretty hard which is a shame. But even with the handholding, it's a pretty difficult game which I love. So Metroid fusion is really great and enjoyed it but there are also many things about it that feel like it's a bit of a mixed bag.

Metroid Samus returns
Haven't finished this game yet but so far it's been pretty cool actually. I like the background environments and the exploration feels pretty nice.

Metroid Dread
The newest one. I'm truly shocked that this game actually exists. Seriously blows my mind that they actually went and brought this title back to life. Also, this game is 19 years apart from fusion so MANY things have changed in gaming since then which makes this game hard to compare with the previous games. But I will say, I friggen LOVE it. My favorite game from the 2020s so far. I love the challenge it offers though the bosses do get easier once you learn how to deal with them. The atmosphere is really cool and kind of dark. The environments are good and some are great. And most importantly, they made a lot of overhauls to gameplay with this title. You can now aim in 360 degrees and you can use more abilities. I really like using the homing missiles in combat. I think Dread is really close to dethroning Super but I just wish it was more open-ended because it's still a bit linear. But it's my personal favorite Metroid so far. Also this is one of the coolest scenes I've seen in modern gaming. Something about it is just really cool. Gives me a bit of a liminal feeling.
1670493509680.png


Metroid prime
I'll be honest, I had a hard time getting into this title. But I will probably give it another chance at some point. I think I still prefer 2D Metroid though.

Castlevania Dawn of sorrow
Also another game that I played 2 seconds of. I'll probably get to it again at some point.

Cave story
For an indie game, it's really great but I found the gameplay to be a bit stiff at times(?) Still need to finish this one. Music is great though.
View: https://youtu.be/AlYHQDsA13U


Those are all the Metroidvanias I've played. I hope we can get a Metroid 6 and a new Castlevania soon.
It's been a great time for Metroidvanias this generation I must say.
 
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vale-aroma

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Blasphemous, really good one themed after Spanish Catholicism. Avoid the DLC however, at least until your first playthrough is finished, it ranges from kind of misplaced to completely immersion breaking, so it'll probably spoil the experience a bit first go-around.
 
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?!MemoryHead!?

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When it comes to Metroidvanias I've been playing some of them recently. Though mostly the "Metroid" in Metroidvania. I have actually finished every 2D Metroid game except for Samus Returns (3DS) But I have played it at least.

My mini reviews and thoughts on each one. I might edit in more stuff over time:

Metroid Zero mission
Incredibly solid Metroid title that I think is the closest to matching what super set out to do. It is pretty short though. The ending portion of the game was also a great surprise. Really like how they were able to subvert expectations with the stealth sections. GBA had a lot of Metroid love.

Super Metroid
One of the most legendary games ever really. I love the open-endedness of it. But I will admit there are a few things about the game that is kind of weird. The boss fights are pretty easy and aren't that great tbh. In fact, the whole game is pretty easy and I never really died. Also after going through the wrecked ship the pacing of the game was thrown off and ended up being a slog for a good portion. Still, though those are just a few gripes. Super Metroid is one for the ages.

Metroid fusion
This one is pretty interesting. The game really feels like a brutal betrayal of what Super did. The SA-X was really awesome even if I wish it played a bigger role in gameplay. And in general, it's still a solid Metroid experience. But I think there are some sticking points like the handholding. The handholding really drags this title down pretty hard which is a shame. But even with the handholding, it's a pretty difficult game which I love. So Metroid fusion is really great and enjoyed it but there are also many things about it that feel like it's a bit of a mixed bag.

Metroid Samus returns
Haven't finished this game yet but so far it's been pretty cool actually. I like the background environments and the exploration feels pretty nice.

Metroid Dread
The newest one. I'm truly shocked that this game actually exists. Seriously blows my mind that they actually went and brought this title back to life. Also, this game is 19 years apart from fusion so MANY things have changed in gaming since then which makes this game hard to compare with the previous games. But I will say, I friggen LOVE it. My favorite game from the 2020s so far. I love the challenge it offers though the bosses do get easier once you learn how to deal with them. The atmosphere is really cool and kind of dark. The environments are good and some are great. And most importantly, they made a lot of overhauls to gameplay with this title. You can now aim in 360 degrees and you can use more abilities. I really like using the homing missiles in combat. I think Dread is really close to dethroning Super but I just wish it was more open-ended because it's still a bit linear. But it's my personal favorite Metroid so far. Also this is one of the coolest scenes I've seen in modern gaming. Something about it is just really cool. Gives me a bit of a liminal feeling.
View attachment 46090

Metroid prime
I'll be honest, I had a hard time getting into this title. But I will probably give it another chance at some point. I think I still prefer 2D Metroid though.

Castlevania Dawn of sorrow
Also another game that I played 2 seconds of. I'll probably get to it again at some point.

Cave story
For an indie game, it's really great but I found the gameplay to be a bit stiff at times(?) Still need to finish this one. Music is great though.
View: https://youtu.be/AlYHQDsA13U


Those are all the Metroidvanias I've played. I hope we can get a Metroid 6 and a new Castlevania soon.
It's been a great time for Metroidvanias this generation I must say.

you didnt include metroid fusion?
 
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?!MemoryHead!?

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Touhou Luna Nights is a short but super fun Touhou-inspired metroidvania with just the right amount of fanservice. It also has an incredible ost.

View: https://youtu.be/dqhkRG0w_Dc


Blasphemous is an... interesting combo of Dark Souls and Catholicism. It's a very fair difficulty and has some absolutely gorgeous spritework
View attachment 43774

i heard about this one recently and will be looking into it
 
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