In addition to our 2021 Major Game Awards, every member of the PC Gamer team has focused on the games they love this year. For the rest of this month, we will release the new employee draft and our main awards.
Praise is the unwavering modern indie game Metroidvania.There are many, and Just like Desmond Hume in “Lost”With his reservation of Dickens’ novels, I must restrain myself so that I will never run out.
It’s not that I may never run out of games in this style: 2021 is an important year for exploring the genre of platform games. Axiom Edge 2, Ender Lilies, Aeterna Noctis, FIST and Greak: Memories of Azur are among the heavy hitters, not to mention Metroid Dread already on PC By simulation. But my favorite Metroid Castlevania of 2021 — my favorite overall game, really — is Astaron: Tears of the Earth. This is a rare game that makes people feel that it is absolutely fun to make, a real labor of love.
Like many modern Metroidvanias, it has some faintly novel twists and turns. Astalon has several playable characters, you can switch between them at will, representing a fairly typical RPG style prototype. Each has a different fighting style—Algus launches fireballs, Arias uses swords, Kyuli uses bows and arrows—and each has accumulated its own map expansion capabilities. These include Kyuli’s ability to climb walls endlessly, Algus’ convenient floating cloak, and Arias’ ability to cut other impenetrable walls.
The goal is to climb to the top of a huge tower, uh, to reverse things like the end of the world. When you die, you will be reborn at the entrance, but don’t worry: it is not a roguelite, and the gradually unlocked shortcut will quickly get you back to where you want to go. It is much less punished than Hollow Knight, although Astalon requires patience—especially when navigating the maze tower—it is not deliberately difficult.
That’s it, these are all twists and turns. This is similar to the orthodox Metroid Castlevania you found on Steam. Whether you dig it depends on the 8-bit art style.For me, play any A game with gorgeous pixel art can solve any small problems elsewhere, and the pixel art in Astalon is one of the best in the industry: the combination of Matkap of Dark Castle, 1001 Spike and Isaac: Regenerate the name.
I played a bunch of pixel art platform games in the 90s, especially the Apogee shareware category, but I don’t think pure nostalgia is the reason why I increasingly turn to these games instead of loud seasonal blockbusters. There are many things to love about the modern games of 2021—they look better, become smarter, and the number is amazing—but what’s shocking is that at least for me: They never end. As engagement metrics become as important as raw sales data, a large, heavily marketed, allegedly cutting-edge video game can rarely be completed by ordinary people.They want me to log in all the time, complete strange challenges, and They email me When I leave them unfinished.
Sometimes, this desire to attract all my attention makes me feel cynical, but it may be because I am as inclined to satisfy as everyone else-reaching the level cap, unlocking decorations, hearing the voice of Steam achievements. I don’t I like these impulses, but I can definitely feel them.
But in order to ease the tension in my mind that this zeitgeist game design method aroused in my heart, I am more and more attracted by small games like Astalon-games you can choose or leave, these games are not really released with fanfare. , Never enter the discourse, it only exists for the purpose of being discovered by accident and savoring. Astalon and its counterparts feel like Zine culture or games that are still thriving Demo scene: Small and intimate handicrafts made by passionate enthusiasts are incompatible with the lightning-fast growth oriented culture surrounding them. You play it, you like it, you move on, maybe one day you will re-examine it. Astalon actively exudes the joy of creation, which almost always means you are safe.
At the risk of sounding more poop than I am now, I found Astalon’s pixel art affectionate. It draws so much expressionist charm from its 256 color gamut, and has so much room for imagination and interpretation in its inevitably impractical environment.Maybe you will accuse me of being a fundamentalist (now I will abide by it), but this is exactly A game, As far as the meaning of my growth is concerned: a weird world that needs to be explored, a stupid story that you can safely ignore, a medium that belongs to us-the heavy texture created by us. Oops, that was my open nostalgia.