Soldexus

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Soldexus is a rather old indie game at this point and it doesn’t do anything particularly innovative for a Metroidvania, but it also probably deserves more credit than it has gotten. The main character, Ian, must make his way through a haunted castle to defeat its owner, gaining various passive upgrades and special abilities along the way. You actually gain access to both the double jump and a wall run near the start of the game, which allows Ian to become a surprisingly mobile protagonist. The only weapon you have access to is a sword, but upgrades later in the game expand Ian’s moveset and your slash is able to be charged up to create a strong slash which gains increased range based on how many attack upgrades have been found.

As far as issues go, there are two in particular worth noting. First, the beginning is far too difficult compared to the rest of the game as Ian will die in two or three hits to virtually anything on top of not having much in terms of mobility or offense of his own. Secondly, warp rooms exist, but save points are far too spread out so it’s easy to lose a decent chunk of progress upon death. On the plus side of things, backtracking through old areas doesn’t feel tedious because enemies throughout the castle gradually upgrade to stronger versions as the game goes on. Boss fights are also quite good and most of them require players to pay close attention to brief tells they give before launching attacks in order to successfully dodge and counter. Overall, Soldexus isn’t going to blow anyone away, but it’s still a solid Metroidvania worth checking out.

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