We have already talked about Axiom Verge in the past, since this version for Switch comes almost two and a half years after the original release on PC and PlayStation 4. It is not even a brand new name for Nintendo users in the absolute sense, because one of the conversions also concerned the unlucky Wii U. But in a catalog of ever-expanding indie titles such as that of the hybrid console in Kyoto, which is giving great satisfaction to its users, a game like Axiom Verge is not only good , but fine. Brief summary: We are talking about a true statement of love for the so-called metroidship genre, a passionate and choreographic work carried out incredibly by one person, such Thomas Happ, during leisure time over 5 years. Happily, Happ is certainly not a sham, as it has much more mainstream curriculum work like Tiger Woods and NFL Street produced by Electronic Arts; but playing Axiom Verge and thinking that every area, sprite, music track, and menu has been made by a single author is something amazing.
More than a love statement for the kind of metroidvania, Axiom Verge is a love affirmation for Metroid. The quotes are as many as imagining Samus in place of the protagonist, Dr. Trace catapulted into an alien world following a bad finished experiment, is almost automatic for anyone who has lived the 8/16-bit era. The references are especially related to Super Metroid, though Happ's fatigue does not lack a careful and personal characterization: the sense of disconcerting dissipation of the early moments of play resembles that lived in Another World, although its alter ego in this case is definitely better equipped. From the very beginning, an arm cannon is available, which can be upgraded, as well as new skills can be gained by reaching otherwise inaccessible areas. Everything as by regulation, in short. The learning curve is, however, quite stiff, because Axiom Verge is a dedicated title specifically for experienced gamers, hardcore players who have grown up in bread and frustration for the far more prolific gaming of video games than ever before. In this case, we are not at such levels as to launch the console out of the window, but it still requires some effort to continue. Compared to the Nintendo title, Axiom Verge offers a welcome addition to the combat system, ie the ability to shoot from hold by holding down a button, as it did in Contra. The most exciting moments of the gaming experience include, without doubt, the boss clashes, which demonstrate Happ's ability of the game design element in a crystalline way: challenging, varied, fun and capable of returning a real feeling of satisfaction when the final shot is scored. But more generally in Axiom Verge you perceive the value and importance of level design, and how this is absolutely crucial to deciding the fate of a product, especially if it belongs to this genre.
All of the gameplay quality comes alongside an exceptionally well-characterized graphic component, despite the limits imposed by its adopted style, ideally placed halfway between the 8-bit and 16-bit consoles capabilities - a 12-bit we would say sprites and settings with limited details, but with generous dimensions, accompanied by actual and superhuman levels of Super Nintendo. Acid colors with the chromatic dominant palette on purple and black then dashed a vibrant, pulsating, disturbing and hostile organic world that enters the skin of the player by involving it in a total way. Bugs and glitches are used as graphs to better outline the cyberpunk appearance, and the result can be said to be successful. Eventually a criticism can be made in the artistic direction, which features characters and enemies away from the iconic value of those of Metroid. Great also the soundtrack, retro themed. Regarding this conversion to Switch, obviously there are no particular technical issues: the Nintendo console handles everything with ease, and the contents are pretty much the same as in previous editions. Axiom Verge is then perfectly matched with the use of Kyoto hardware handhelds, ensuring unmatched enjoyability even in mobility. However, the absence of new content makes the purchase advisable only to those who have not yet been able to play the title previously.
Axiom Verge comes on Switch fully confirming all that has been said about one of the most successful indies of recent years. This is a metroidvania that honors the great classics of the genre, all super metroid, with an absolute respect stemming from the apparent passion of author Thomas Happ. Despite being reluctant to reinvent the wheel, Axiom Verge is yet another independent, high-end title that joins the Nintendo console catalog - if you have not already played it elsewhere, it's definitely a recommended purchase.
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