If you owned a Nintendo Entertainment System growing up the above screen will feel very familiar. In the pre-internet days video game secrets were a lot more daunting, unless you convinced your parents to buy a guide (which were sometimes incorrect) or had friends that owned the same game there may never be a chance to finish something when you were stuck. You may be stuck in a pixelated purgatory wandering the same halls and platforms over and over until the next holiday came and your interests changed.
Metroid and Castlevania were deep-dive, challenging platformers that had RPG like elements (items that increased your power instead of stats) They have received updates over the years of varying quality, but the originals are nearest and dearest to my heart.
I have a theory that things don’t stop being fun with age, if something is fun it will continue to be fun even if tastes and technology change over time. I think Axiom Verge is a bit of a testament to this concept. Metroid was fun, therefore games with the same quality of design and mechanics will be fun if it is 1985 or 2015.
No one is making games quite like this anymore, so it was up to Tom Hap to be the sole artist, composer and programmer for Axiom Verge and this five year effort shines in polish and nostalgia. Currently only available for the PS4, I expect this will take up a good chunk of the next few weeks for me. I hope you enjoy it too.