Release Date: 13th December 2018
Price as of Article: $6.99 USD, £6.29 GBP
Game code provided by Lienzo for review
KILL, DIE, REPEAT
Dying is something that will likely happen quite often. Not necessarily due to the enemies being incredibly difficult, though. Instead, I found most of them were just plain annoying to fight. Some required you to reflect projectiles back at them before you could damage them, and others teleported around at will. I quickly concluded that most enemies weren’t worth trying to fight unless they halted my progression or there were too many to run from.
There are bosses dotted throughout the game, too. Though these offered a nice challenge, they often had frustrating attack patterns, too. I didn’t find myself having fun avoiding their attacks and sneaking sword swings in while they’re incapacitated, as you’re supposed to. In fact, I very rarely had fun with the combat, which is a mortal sin for a metroidvania.
That’s not to say the combat is necessarily bad; it isn’t. The sword swings and bow shots all register nicely, and there are sizeable hitboxes to all your attacks – which help to keep you safe in a pinch. The issue is that the combat didn’t offer anything new or exciting, it was very… routine. There’s little reason not to button mash for the sword, but you at least have to aim your arrows with the left stick, which alleviates the repetitiveness. Both can be upgraded in the first town you reach for a hefty price, but they only really increase your damage output. In addition, you can also unlock special abilities, such as a dash, which substantially increases your mobility.
NOT JUST A PORT
There isn’t a whole lot to say about the audio, good or bad. There’s an upbeat soundtrack that plays for the majority of the levels, which gets noticeably agitated and energetic for boss battles. Unless you’re an audiophile, you probably won’t form much of an opinion on it, though. It’s unobtrusive and doesn’t really add a whole lot to the gameplay or story.
Something that did interfere with my enjoyment were the sound effects. In particular, Ikki’s constant yelling during her attacks got increasingly annoying as my journey went on. By a few hours in, I was happy playing the game on mute. Your tastes may vary, and you might find the audio to be pleasant and a welcome addition, but I wasn’t a fan.
Visuals & Performance
The value is what holds Hunter’s Legacy: Purrfect Edition up. The fact that you’re getting 5 or 6 hours of gameplay for $7 is pretty good value for money, and there’s even a New Game Plus mode added to the Nintendo Switch version, to give some replayability. Considering the gameplay is serviceable and not exactly a chore to play, this brings the overall score up considerably. Personally, I won’t be returning to it, but if you enjoyed the first playthrough, then I’m sure you’ll love the ability to jump back in again.
The biggest issue Hunter’s Legacy has is its competition. We are spoiled for choice when it comes to metroidvanias on the Nintendo Switch. For consumers, it’s a blessing, as we have wonderful titles like Hollow Knight, but it’s a curse for developers as lesser titles get outshone. In my opinion, it’s well worth saving your money for titles like Hollow Knight and Dead Cells, but if you’ve already played these and are eager for more 2D platforming adventures, Hunter’s Legacy might just be for you.
Good value for money
Lack of meaningful originality