Metroid has been and always will be the go to action game because it has something that few others didn’t at the time: style, lots of items to earn and a progress system that changed the way that genre was. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night improved on it and so Metroidvania was born. While people craved a new Metroid game, Nintendo has yet to step up. Now one man has decided to fill that void with Axiom Verge and when I say one I mean one person.
So how does Axiom Verge fair on the PS Vita after it feels like forever to get to play it? Short answer epic and the long answer: epic with new flaws that may or may not hinder the experience but more on that later. First just soak up the amazing soundtrack that would make anyone stop in their shoes and want to boot up the game.
In Axiom Verge you are Trace, a scientist that had a bad accident and got caught in an explosion and ended up on an alien world so it sucks to be Trace. The nods to Metroid kick in as you instantly get your first item and the music just kicks in to overdrive never stopping and always fitting in to whatever the situation is.
The levels, even in 8-bit, are very well detailed and huge with many rooms, even a few secret ones in the walls. If you crave exploration in game, this game has it in spades and then some as you can get lost for hours and finally find out knowing what to do and it ends up something like break a well placed rock in the wall or a floor to drop down into.
Axiom Verge will test your mind and memory more so than any Metroid game ever could and fitting to do so. The guns come in all flavors like a shotgun, beam or the regular style like Metroid had and all are pretty much useful throught the game. Some you get from bosses and others you will have to find deep within the worlds but end up worth it like the flamethrower.
The fun doesn’t stop there as you can hack enemies which ends up a good or bad thing depending on the enemy as also platforms and wall barriers to hack to continue on in the game. One part that amazed me was riding the alien head as that world was the fast travel section connecting all the hub worlds.
Now comes the frustrations: the PS Vita version suffers from screen freeze ups badly in one world and when it continues the fun slowly drops. Getting lost will happen a lot and even a small hint would have been helpful not hand holding wise but more a kick in the butt kinda guide asking for help doesn’t really work for this game.
Lastly slowdown though only one section containing an item that was secret. The enemy turns into a batch of smaller enemies and made the game run so slow I thought it would crash which I had happen once.
Graphics did take a drop with the added flair of enemy deaths and glitching through walls but doesn’t ruin the experience at all and the added touchscreen controls are pretty easy to get used to. The game shines on the music and the overall scenery that even if you’ve seen it a dozen of times, it’s still amazing to see.
Review: Axiom Verge | PS Vita
+ Metroidvania at its best
+ Guns and powerups galore
+ That cute little alien you get to help you out
+ Huge hub worlds
– Freezing, slowdowns and crashing will happen so save often and a lot
The review was written and provided by Chris. All screenshots are taken from the PS Vita version.