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Rank these (now) 5 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: February 20th, 2020, 3:34 pm
by Voor
In order which you find most enjoyable. I haven’t played any, but want to knock them out this year.

Celeste
Shovel Knight
Hollow Knight
Axiom Verge
(Edit—adding Ori today)

Re: Rank these 4 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: February 20th, 2020, 5:52 pm
by LoganRuckman
I've only played Shovel Knight, but it is a true 10/10 classic, and one of my favorite games ever. The dlcs campaigns are also awesome, so I would recommend Treasure Trove.

Re: Rank these 4 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: February 21st, 2020, 12:04 am
by velcrozombie
I haven't yet played Celeste (although I do plan on it). My ranking for the others would go:

1. Hollow Knight (currently my favorite game of all time, maybe the most immersive game I've ever played)
2. Shovel Knight (great game that has seen a lot of new DLC since I played it, the perfect way to do retro without being archaic or overly derivative)
3. Axiom Verge (very much enjoyed myself for the first couple of hours and then gradually lost interest - I'm going to give it another go from the beginning one day)

EDIT: I do want to add that Hollow Knight is a longer game by a wide margin than Axiom Verge, 3-4 times as long from what I've heard. Not sure how it compares to Shovel Knight once you add all the DLC campaigns, but the base game of Shovel Knight is also much shorter. I only add this because I realize that most of the people who post here are a little older and have jobs (as I do) and may have families of their own, so time may be at a premium.

Re: Rank these 4 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: February 21st, 2020, 5:35 pm
by DrLitch
  1. Axiom Verge
  2. Hollow Knight
  3. Shovel Knight
  4. Celeste

Brief Comments:

Axiom Verge is definitely the best Metroidvania for me since Symphony of the Night. Closer to Metroid (NES) in design though - similar. Awesome mood and soundtrack, interesting story, and difficulty just right. Will take 8-10 hours to complete if you go for 100%. [10/10].

Hollow Knight is one of the definitive Metroidvanias of this generation. Completely different to other Metroidvania's, closest analogy is Salt and Sanctuary. It is a hack and slash with a fairly unforgiving difficulty while your little dude is underpowered. Once you power up your nail it is not too bad but some bosses will drive you crazy. Biggest caveat is length - approx 30-40 hours to 100% everything. Game is too long and it gets boring in segments, particularly backtracking. [9/10]

Shovel Knight to me is Duck Tales meets Mario III. An excellent and moderately challenging platformer. Not as deep as a typical Metroidvania but I love it nonetheless. Awesome music to this one. [8.5/10]

Celeste is a what I call a twitch jumper. You hop ledges and platforms, scale walls, all the time having to avoid obstacles. The game starts off nicely but it gets harder and harder. Your thumbs will get a work out. As is typical with a lot of games this generation, this one cannot just be a game. It has to explore psychosis, neuroses and so on. Nonetheless a good game. [8/10]

Re: Rank these 4 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: February 24th, 2020, 3:01 pm
by Retro STrife
Well, after hearing all the praise on the forums here, I finally started Hollow Knight last night. Played for an hour or two. I got immediate good vibes and I'm looking forward to sticking with it. I haven't played Axiom Verge at all yet, so I can't weigh in there.

As for Shovel Knight and Celeste, I've played both those games a ton and beaten both. To me, Shovel Knight was easily the better game. Both have rave reviews online, and Celeste has a dedicated fanbase, but I think Celeste is overrated. I will say this again about Celeste, as I've said before -- Celeste has hands-down the best level design of any 2D platformer I've ever played in my life... it's pure genius.. but that level design doesn't necessarily translate to being fun. After the first two or three levels, I wanted to be done.. but I kept pushing til the end on the misguided belief that the story might stop being idiotic and finally achieve a point. Shovel Knight was actually fun throughout the game. Both are good games (despite my disappointment with Celeste), but Shovel Knight is A-level and Celeste is B-level.

Between Shovel Knight or Hollow Knight/Axiom Verge.. well they're different genres, so I think you have to go with which genre you're in the mood for.

Re: Rank these 4 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: February 24th, 2020, 3:58 pm
by MSR1701
Voor wrote:In order which you find most enjoyable. I haven’t played any, but want to knock them out this year.

Celeste
Shovel Knight
Hollow Knight
Axiom Verge


1.) Axiom Verge
2.) Shovel Knight
3.) (TIE) - Celeste and Hollow Knight (haven't tried either yet).

Re: Rank these 4 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: February 25th, 2020, 10:21 pm
by Voor
Thanks everyone. I ended up with Celeste. I felt like I just wanted a simple platformer, solve one screen at a time game, with a nice soundtrack......and it was $6. Lol.

Enjoying it so far....as mentioned, really really well designed levels, excellent control, good story if you want to invest in it. It’s been very satisfying to solve puzzles, which I’m usually terrible at.

May try Axiom next when I have some time off.

Re: Rank these 4 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: February 26th, 2020, 3:18 pm
by Retro STrife
Voor wrote:Thanks everyone. I ended up with Celeste. I felt like I just wanted a simple platformer, solve one screen at a time game, with a nice soundtrack......and it was $6. Lol.

Enjoying it so far....as mentioned, really really well designed levels, excellent control, good story if you want to invest in it. It’s been very satisfying to solve puzzles, which I’m usually terrible at.


Interesting choice after we all ranked it in 4th place of the four choices lol.. jk jk, Celeste is a great game to snag for $6, can't go wrong with it at that price.

Keep us posted on what you think! I'll be interested to hear. I did a full "reader review" of it last year and posted my thoughts on the forum, and a few other members shared their take too:

https://videogamecritic.com/forums/view ... 90&t=17607

To me, the game gets worse the longer you stick with it. It starts off promisingly, but becomes way more frustrating than fun as you get past the first few levels.. especially if you're a completionist like me and try to get all the Strawberries. I agree with your initial assessment (great controls and level design), except the part about the story - I thought it was one of the most annoying stories and set of characters I ever experienced in a video game. Still a decent game though; I gave it a B- in my reader review after beating it.

Re: Rank these 4 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: March 25th, 2020, 1:51 pm
by Voor
What if I throw Ori and the Blind Forest into the mix? I’m thinking I’m be ready for a new one in a few weeks, and plan to save Hollow Knight for last (just because Of the size of it).

I’m still enjoying Celeste, about halfway through. I do grab some strawberries, but I’m not a completionist at all, so I don’t mind moving on if I die on one a dozen times.

Re: Rank these (now) 5 highly praised modern 2D games...

Posted: March 26th, 2020, 3:37 am
by Retro STrife
I've never played Ori, so I can't weigh in on it. The Critic's review makes it sound subpar though. I'd try Axiom Verge if it were me.

However, I've since played Hollow Knight, so I can revise my prior ranking to be:

1. Hollow Knight
2. Shovel Knight
3. Celeste
(Still haven't played Axiom Verge.)

Guacamelee is another retro-inspired Metroidvania series on modern consoles, with a fairly short length. It received good reviews and I thought it was decent.

Two games I haven't played, but I hope to get to very soon: (1) Iconoclasts is a cool looking 2D action-platformer that got great reviews. (2) For a more outlandish option, check out Yoku's Island Express. It's a multi-genre game mixing pinball and Metroidvania- it got solid reviews and looks very unique and fun.