Vidjagame Apocalypse 232 – Metroids

The first Metroid game in seven years hit last Friday with Samus Returns, so let’s celebrate by taking a look back at our top 5 Metroid games, with help from Brett Elston and Nathan Ortega (who’s also here to plug his just-announced game, Slipstream Scalawags). We then turn our attention to Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Toys ‘R’ Us going bankrupt, and the games you developed your own headcanon for.

Question of the Week
What’s your favorite Metroidvania?

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20 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 232 – Metroids

  1. I hope the guys are getting some good returns on all the commercials in all the shows now, they’re as disruptive and useless to me as TV commercials, and for most podcasts they don’t have anything like the character that would inspire a show like the recent Retronauts show. Someone must be getting some money, but since I got my Casper matress I’ve never heard an ad that served me at all, I just have to scramble to skip them, and screw whatever part of the show I miss. We’re back in the days of old media, hooray! Why aren’t there commercial free episodes for patrons?

  2. QotW: Aria/Dawn of Sorrow for sure. Paid the best homage to classic CV with the bosses, areas while still offering some new elements like the souls system. That plot “twist” was also a nice touch.

  3. I’ll repost my answer to QOTW here since I started the thread but it may get buried under the current wave of spam:

    I want to spot light a lesser know game, The Deadly Tower of Monsters by the developers of Xeno Clash and Rock of Ages. It’s a 3D action platformer where you scale up and back down a colossal tower as you solve puzzles, defeat bosses and gain new abilities to unlock new parts of the tower. The entire game is presented as a sci fi B movie, complete with enemies that look like guys in rubber ape and alien suits, bad puppets made from house hold appliances, dinosaurs that look like stop motion claymation and wind up toys made to look big. The entire game has a Director’s commentary played throughout, a director who keeps making excuses for the bad script, special effects and poor safety of his film crew. It’s not a long game but a very enjoyable, genuinely funny and memorable one.

  4. Reposting here as well, due to Spampocalypse.

    Hey, all. First time poster, long time listener, all that fun stuff.

    I could be boring and predictable and go with Symphony of the Night, but instead i’m gonna say Axiom Verge is my favorite Metroidvania. Its weird Giger-esque aesthetics and creative weapons kept me interested until the very end. The bosses in particular made my skin crawl, and the story was incredibly weird and memorable. The Super Nintendo style graphics were what sucked me in at first, and I really enjoyed the time I spent playing. (Ignoring the parts where I got stuck and felt like eating my keyboard out of frustration)

  5. Really great episode guys, you were on fire. Always happy to have Brett pop in again, and hope Nathan’s game development goes well!

    That talk of wanting Switch versions of the Prime trilogy & all the 2D games made me really really want both, here’s hoping Nintendo lets me give them my money.

  6. Prime Pinball making the list has piqued my interest…never really played the spinoffs. Might have to track down a copy.

    1. Haven’t played MvC:I yet…but if MK vs DC can make a somewhat decent (yet laughable) story mode…there’s no way MvC: I can do any worse.

  7. Dark Souls – As Brett pointed out long ago, the first Dark Souls is basically a medieval-3rd person Metroidvania. Strictly speaking, you don’t get new abilities or movement powers that open new areas, but the level design is so crazy and fantastic that you loop back on yourself to unlock shortcuts you would never have imagined could exist until you realize late in the game that it really is just one large, interconnected world.

    I have 200+ hours in the first Dark Souls and I’m sure I still haven’t seen everything there is to see.

  8. First time poster here, making up for lost time (as I missed out on the last two topics which would have made wonderful additions) but what’s my favorite Metroidvania?

    Is anyone going to mention ROGUE LEGACY? I’ve yet to complete this indie gem but this takes the concept of what makes a Metroidvania and turns it on its head.

    You start off as an low level adventurer, exploring a castle with no map to initially guide you, slaying monsters with weapons and magic akin to Castlevania and encountering new areas while collecting loot and cash to improve upon your character until your envitable death.

    But death isn’t the end for you. You get to respawn as one of your ancestors with a unique trait and class that changes your next run and play style in a variety of ways while you keep any earned money as an inheritance. That’s a neat mechanic, but it gets better: The Metroidvania castle that you’re exploring is reset upon your next run and forces you to explore it once more!

    By design, this game is raw fun but has a great level of challenge to itself thanks to the class and trait system. Sometimes you’re a treasure hunter, armed with nothing but speed and low hit points snatching up as much money and treasure as possible, sometimes you’re a gigantic mage or a miniature ninja or even a bald lady knight who sees everything upside down but you’re always learning from mistakes, rewarded for your success, always improving by leveling up and getting the much needed upgrades in order to survive and really open up the game.

    By now, it’s certainly been outshined by other independent Metroidvanias. However, it is still worth everyone’s time in the years since its release.

  9. QOTW: My favorite metroidvania thats not an obvious choice (SOTN) is gotta Guacemelee. A fun game with an original story, distinct art design and a Luchadore for a main character. How can you go wrong.

  10. To not pick an obvious answer, why not Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2 for the Game Boy Advance. It’s basically Konami using the assets of their Castlevania games and using it as a template for a game based on a popular Shonen Jump Anime. Yoh Asakura, some teenage boy is sent into a castle like structure to stop the evil machinations of an evil Shaman fighting demons and incorporating their spirits into him along the way. For my group of friends who watched the cartoon obsessively, it was basically bliss as we didn’t really care about your hallowed NES game series. I was terrible at it, much like many video games, but being a fan, I didn’t give up on it. I should probably pick it up again since it’s so cheap.

  11. QotW: Shout out to Hollow Knight. Its a beautiful metroidvania. It successfully combines side scrolling exploration with dark souls style fighting. Unlike many metroidvanias, Hollow Knight is hard but manageable as you learn the move sets and timing of your enemies. Hollow knight features a charm system giving the player different abilities like a force field, longer weapons and quicker dashes. The player can mix and match powers ups to drastically change game play and defeat more difficult areas/enemies. My only only gripe is you must equip a certain charm to see where you are on the map something the map should do regardless, but thats the only thing i didn’t like about this game.. Hollow knight goes on sale pretty often and is only 14.99 to begin with. i’d pick it up if you haven’t .

  12. QotW: I never thought of it as one before, but I would say Wario Land 3. It’s an excellent puzzle platformer, and it has the whole “get new abilities to access new areas” thing going. It doesn’t have a single map, but it absolutely counts. Plus, Wario is invincible throughout, which leads to many interesting ideas, simply because instead of killing Wario, they transform him into different forms to either help or hinder his progress.

  13. This Question of the Week actually inspired me to make a whole YouTube video about a couple of Spider-Man DS games I was privileged to be part of — Web of Shadows and Shattered Dimensions. They’re my favorite Metroidvanias for sentimental reasons — but they’re also pretty awesome in their own right. https://youtu.be/OhzTJg1PX9k

  14. QotW: Goonies 2 for the NES was a punishingly difficult 2D platformer and pseudo-3D exploration game which definitely meets modern criteria for a Castle-troid game. Its gameplay areas were laid out using a separate “front map” and “back map” that was bridged by first-person exploration segments. The resulting world was vast, unintuitive and too much for my feeble Kindergartener mind to grasp when I first played it. This game had everything a kid could want. axe-wielding Eskimos, molotov cocktails, spring shoes, NPCs you could punch or hit with a hammer, Konami Man, a perfect NES Konami soundtrack, eight-bit cutscenes starring Momma Fratelli, and an ending graphic featuring mermaid poon (maybe it could become a regular thing…)

  15. So angry that I forgot to post this before the next show went up! I want to give a shout out to a game no one has heard of, Aquaria, for the PC and IOS. It is a 2D game set in the ocean, a setting far too rare in gaming. It follows an amphibious girl named Nadja who is brought into sentience by a shadowy creature who gives her visions of an underwater civilization being torn apart by war. Before meeting the shadow creature, Nadja was literally a mindless animal. suddenly finding herself capable of speech and coherent thought, Nadja begins to explore the ruined world around her and discover what the vision means and where she came from.

    I love this game! I seldom play games that hit as emotionally as Aquaria does. the voice over really brings the player closer to Nadja and accentuates the genre’s staple themes of loneliness, isolation and the sheer wonder of discovery. I found out about the game when it showed up on a chinese pirate site I used to browse, years ago. I decided not to pirate it, and bought it when it showed up on the App Store, a year later. So glad I did! its an indie game made almost completely by two guys, one of which, Alec Holokawa, went on to help make Night in the Woods. I wanted this to get read on the show so people more people could find out about Aquaria, but I screwed up! Dammit! oh well.

    Thanks for putting out such a great show!

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