By Dalton McClain / February 27th, 2017
|Release Date||January 24, 2017|
|Genre||2D Adventure Platformer|
|Platform||PC, PS4, XBox One|
Hunter’s Legacy is a 2D metroidvania styled game, where you play as a character named Ikki. Ikki is a great huntress who wields both a bow and twin swords. Your job is to regain the Fang of Alliance from the evil Morodir and return it to your tribe. However, in typical game fashion, things aren’t always as straightforward as they seem. So how does this game stack up to others in the same genre?
Like most metroidvania games, this game is really difficult. There isn’t any hand holding going on here; you’re shown the very basic control scheme and sent on your way. New obstacles are introduced as you proceed, but you aren’t given any sort of clue as to how you should approach them. As per this style of game, you will also need to backtrack quite a bit in order to reach previously inaccessible areas. You are given power ups after each boss fight, and can buy upgrades at the shop for money and ore, which you find scattered throughout the levels. Gameplay wise, it functions pretty well and the controls are really simplistic, which work in the game’s favor.
The music and presentation of this game are quite possibly the strongest features. The graphics look stunning, and I really enjoy the art design. All of the animation was smooth and flowed well with the character and environment. The music is also grand for much of the same reason. The music reflects what you see on screen, which immerses you in the world and level. However, that immersion is sadly taken away once you start to realize some of the bland and basic design for most of the levels. The layout is usually really good, but there are very few environmental gameplay mechanics, which makes the whole level seem really dull and uninspired.
This certainly doesn’t help the fact that the game is all about backtracking. I had no desire to go back through the same stuff that I had suffered through for so long, just to explore and try to find secrets that I may have missed. That wasn’t the only thing deterring me from exploration however, the other was the map. The map was very poor, and didn’t really give any indication as to where you were whatsoever. This made it easy to get lost, or accidentally return to a part that you’d already explored. It was very frustrating to deal with.
My one main gripe with this game is the combat. The enemies in the game are designed really well, as are the bosses, but they just aren’t fun or rewarding to fight. They don’t give out anything special apart from the occasional money or health drop, and will more than likely damage you before you even get the chance to defeat them. My main issue is that many of the enemies can team up on you to cause massive amounts of damage. You could be fighting a single slime, when someone comes from behind and hits you into it. All of a sudden you’re being juggled by about 3-4 enemies, not to mention some of them have the ability to travel through solid objects. There is also the fact that some of the enemies have really annoying abilities that just seem to spam you with constant attack after attack. The whole ordeal can be really frustrating and overwhelming, especially with no ability to block. You can roll but that’s about it, there’s no chance to block incoming damage. The boss fights aren’t much better. Sure you get a reward, but all of the fights seemed too drawn out. They overstay their welcome and just begin to drag on after so long. There also aren’t that many bosses to begin with, which is a shame because some of their concepts and designs seemed really cool.
The difficulty of this game, as stated earlier, is extremely high. However, that can’t really be complained about considering the genre. The thing that the game lacks, however, is difficulty progression. There will be seemingly random difficulty spikes scattered throughout, which can make certain sections seem impossible. This really hindered my gameplay experience, as I never really felt like I was improving. I just felt like I was biding my time until the next section of the game that would take a miracle to get past.
Overall, this game is brutal and very unforgiving despite its adorable demeanor. This game isn’t bad per se, but it isn’t necessarily good either. The poor combat and random difficulty spikes really took away from the overall feel and enjoyment. I’d still recommend getting Hunter’s Legacy if you’re a fan of the genre, as it is only around $7 right now. The game is enjoyable if you can get past these flaws, and is only about 6 hours long. Just be prepared for the frustration that comes with playing.
Review copy provided by publisher