My program's finally starting to look like a game \o/
It's easy to call this indie gem a mix of Metroidvania and Dark Souls. I'd however say it's really the former with inspiration taken from the latter. For a true mix it's missing the RPG elements used by the Souls games. Hollow Knight has no leveling and no equipment variety. You boost your silent character by collecting power ups, upgrading your main weapon and collecting charms that provide passive benefits. You lose your money upon death and have the ability to reclaim it if you make it back to your place of death, but it's strictly for purchasing stuff like the aforementioned and maps.
I started playing this very shortly after its release in Japan - that was back in february of 2016, at the time of this writing almost 2 and a half years ago. And I'm still playing it, but I'm pretty much at the final boss so it's a good time for me to write my review.
Implementing a prototype scanline filter in SDL was easier than I expected.
When people are asked about their favorite 16 bit RPG they usually answer with a Squaresoft title like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana. Or at least that's the impression I have concerning the popular opinion on the matter. It's a shame Lufia II (just Lufia in europe) isn't rated higher by RPG fans because it's an excellent game.
This one's really polarizing, it seems most people who played this either really liked it or really hated it, and I think I can see why. There's things the game does very well, and then it screws itself by asking too much of the player. The game plays at a movie aspect ratio, so there's black bars on top and bottom of the screen present at all times. Lots of people complained about them, but they didn't bother me. It rather seems like the developers made good use of the graphics processing power they saved from those pixels, because the game looks really good for a PS3 release with great character models and proper visual direction. The Evil Within actually manages to create a scary atmosphere by restricting the draw distance, so when it's dark in game it's really dark and you stare into a deep black (assuming your monitor is properly calibrated). Most games today get this wrong and merely display dark areas in a tint of dark grey that looks flat and boring - apparently not many devs know about the importance of contrast in creating impressive visuals. I found the game worthy of playing for this alone. After all there's not many games with a real, oppressive horror atmosphere coming out these days - you gotta take what you can get.
Long have fans waited to get another Mario game akin to SM64 and Mario Sunshine. Before we finally got Mario Odyssey there was a span of more than 15 years without a game of its kind. The Galaxy games and 3D World are all great titles, but none of them offer anything close to the experience that made Mario's first two 3D games so memorable. In a way Super Mario Odyssey brings us back to the early years of 3D games.
Quick review because I think this game deserves some recognition. Maybe I just missed the discussions, but as far as I remember nobody on the internet talked about this one and there aren't many videos about it on youtube either.
Wow I put this review off for way too long. It's been more than 2 years since it was released and I haven't really played it in a while. And yet some aspects of the game are still vivid in memory that I want to lose some words on.