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It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 21st, 2018, 11:24 pm
by Paul Campbell
I was starting to notice that it had been a REALLY long time since I played a game that I was TRULY excited about. The last thing that had me absolutely riveted and not wanting to leave the house in the morning was probably Uncharted 4. I've played good games since then, but nothing was holding my attention for very long. I bought a Switch thinking it would just be useful for my young boys on long trips. It turns out to be an awesome system that I like alot more than I thought I would. I liked Zelda and Mario on the Switch. Liked. I LIKED them. I wasn't obsessed with them. I would play them and mostly forget about them until I picked them up again. And I was almost forcing myself to pick them up again because I was hoping they would turn into games that had my hooked. But if it was going to happen I wasn't seeing evidence of it. I take my gaming time very seriously because I have five kids and I own a business, so my gaming time is precious. I want to spend that time playing something that I truly love, and that I am anxious to play.

A week ago I noticed that Axiom Verge, a game I was seeing on shelves for $40, was on sale for download on the Switch for $12. I had passed on the game before because I have a history of losing interest in games that aren't extremely linear, or that don't hold my hand through the wandering. At that price I figured I would give it a shot.

Holy crap. I am obsessed with this game. I think about it all day while I'm at work. I play while my family is still awake and around the house. Normally I prefer to wait until my kids are in bed, then I slip my wife 20 bucks and tell her to go paint the town red. Now I'm playing more opportunistically that I did with Uncharted 4. The music is the best thing to happen to my surround sound in a long time. It sounds similar to what I listen to regularly, with a slight "Stranger Things" tone to it, and a bit of Blaster Master in there, which is among my favorite fame music. Every zone has different music, and backtracking in the game is a joy because I get to listen to what feel like old favorites from early in the game. The weapons and control and smooth, fun, and engrossing. Much better control than any Metroid or Castlevania game, which is what it is mostly modeled after. After I finished playing this evening my boys were dying to give it a try, and I found myself just sitting there watching them play. I love this game. I almost don't want to play it too much in each sitting because I don't want it to ever end. Maybe it's just hitting the right nerve with me, and it really isn't as good as I'm thinking it is, but this game has pulled me out of a gaming abyss, and it deserves open praise from the rooftops fir doing what countless big-budget, high production value, ultra-realistic games were unable to do. And somehow it has made me LOVE my Switch. I treasure that little console now because it is the vehicle that brings me my Axiom Verge fix. I don't care what other consoles this game exists on. For me, the Switch brings me the pleasure, and considering how bleak gaming was getting for me, I'll give it all the credit I can muster. Not to mention being able to just pick up the console and play when my kids want to use the TV, since they are still awake when I am playing, for a change...

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 22nd, 2018, 12:40 am
by JWK
I played this on the Vita and it’s amazing. I’ve loved 2D Metroidvania games for the last 20+ years and Axiom Verge is one of the very best. I’m planning on getting the physical release on Vita for the Collection. Hopefully soon.

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 22nd, 2018, 10:07 pm
by Retro STrife
Hmm.. I've wavered on this game for awhile (especially when I see it go on sale for only $10 on PS4), but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Your post here is making think I gotta do it.. I'm a big Metroidvania fan.. but more so the "vania" half than the "Metroid" half (for example, Symphony of the Night is in my personal top 10, but Super Metroid was just ok for me). Is this game more like Castlevania or Metroid?

And like you, Uncharted 4 is probably the last console game that really roped me in, except maybe Fortnite Battle Royale. So maybe Axiom Verge will be the next one for me too. (Plus, the last game overall to get me addicted was Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow on the GBA when I played that several months back, so that's a good sign for Axiom Verge.)

But yeah I've been really intrigued by Axiom Verge. I've read reviews ranging from "good game" to "best Metroidvania game ever". The problem is that, at the moment, I don't have time for "good" or even "very good" games... That's what's kept me away from it.
But if it went beyond that, then I'd be open to it. Sounds like you're saying it does. I'll probably have to take my chances on this one next time it goes on sale.

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 23rd, 2018, 11:54 pm
by Paul Campbell
I have similar tastes. I would actually say that the game, while looking more Metroid, feels more Vania. Early in the game there were all kinds of places I couldn't go and items I couldn't get because I had not acquired the necessary weapons or abilities, and I was discouraged that it would be an eternity before I would have access to them, but you acquire new weapons and abilities in this game at a MUCH faster rate than you do in either Castlevania or Metroid games, and that keeps you wanting to constantly play just a little longer so you can get that one last thing or go to that place that you had to pass up before. The controls are much more Metroid like, but more precise and less erratic from the spinning. The level design and distance between platforms also helps things feel quick. If you need to work your way up a tall room, you will go into it thinking it's going to be a pain, but once you get the controls down you get around much quicker than you did in either Metroid or Castlevania, and that's huge. I will probably buy the physical copy of this game just so I have it, which is unheard of for me.

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 24th, 2018, 9:00 am
by VideoGameCritic
Thanks for bringing this game to my attention. Sounds like something right up my alley - and physical media!

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 24th, 2018, 10:55 am
by Retro STrife
I just caved and bought this game on physical disc. It'll probably be a little while before I get around to starting it, but I'm looking forward to it.

VideoGameCritic wrote:Thanks for bringing this game to my attention. Sounds like something right up my alley - and physical media!


Yeah, as an old school style game on modern systems, this one would be up your alley. I'm glad Paul has finally pushed me over the fence so that I could finally justify the purchase. I always try to take note when a game from a small studio gets great reviews, because I assume that it's well deserved, and not based on bias or advertising dollars. Axiom Verge fits that bill.

Speaking of which, Critic (and others here), you may also want to check out Nex Machina. Another great old school game on the PS4. This one is a twin-stick shooter, made in the vein of Robotron, and with input from Eugene Jarvis. Got excellent reviews (mostly 9's and higher). Well worth a look. It's on physical media as well.

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 24th, 2018, 12:06 pm
by Paul Campbell
Speaking of "small studio", in my love for the game I've been researching its history and development, and as far as I can tell, the ENTIRE thing, including the separate-soundtrack-worthy music was made by one guy. This makes me all the more impressed with the game.

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 24th, 2018, 12:21 pm
by Sonicx9
VideoGameCritic wrote:Thanks for bringing this game to my attention. Sounds like something right up my alley - and physical media!


https://www.amazon.com/Axiom-Verge-Stan ... WT5SQ?th=1

And I did mention this on the physical release thread!

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: February 27th, 2018, 12:34 am
by Paul Campbell
I wanted to add that this game is absolutely worth the price of admission. I have as many hours into this game as I have put into any game of the last decade and it's still going strong. One of my initial fears was paying a decent amount for a game of this type, concerned that I had payed only a bit more for seemingly much bigger games. No worries. This thing has a ton of variety, plenty to do, and consistent challenge all the way through. Not to mention a story that is deep enough that I will no doubt be consulting online FAQs to make sure I completely understand the story I am being told...

Re: It took Axiom Verge on the Switch to get me excited about gaming again...

Posted: March 2nd, 2018, 1:53 pm
by Retro STrife
I just got my copy in the mail yesterday. I got a physical copy of the special edition on PS4. Not sure when I'll play it, but adding it to the list.

By the way, for anyone else interested, the digital copy of this game is currently on sale in the Playstation Store on PS4 and Vita. PS+ members can buy the download for $9.99. Sale ends March 6. (Physical copies on PS4 sell for about $20 for standard edition and $30 for special edition.)