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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Upon further review, Hollow Knight is in fact "The Goods."

Just when I thought my indy thirst was slaked by Night in the Wood's adorable (yet crushing) small town ennui, Hollow Knight done gone swept me off my feet. I haven't played a good metriodvania in a crazy long time so I was going to be an easy mark to begin with. I didn't expect to see greatness in Hollow Knight, which was one of my first mistakes.

It begins deathly simple with light platforming and light combat. Hop on these ledges, avoid those spikes, slash them earwigs, and so forth. Every platforming segment is straightforward and every enemy dies in 3 or fewer hits. But then I got lost. For a solid hour. I found a mapmaker and thought, "great, now I can see where I haven't been!" but it wasn't a modern video game map. It didn't have greyed out areas or a pin where the player was standing. It was inert and un helpful. With it's hand drawn animation and cutesy gibberish for dialogue I had falsely assumed I'd get more hand holding. Come to think of it, it never came close to holding my hand at all. The mapmaker told me to speak with his wife in town for further assistance and the game made me turn out my wallet for the stuff that I was complaining about earlier.

So already it was making me pay for things I had took for granted and it was about to kick my ass. I found the first boss and was not disappointed. I finally died which means you loose all your cash (saw that coming) but you also loose your healing magic (*t) and you have to fight the ghost of your corpse to get it all back (rad as hell). Games that are this fun to play, that are this challenging, that are this beautiful, and this charming do not come around every day. I feel bad for bloodstained right now. I honestly don't know how they can follow this even if they have till 2018.

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