Valfaris – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Valfaris
Do you like old school Action platformers games..? You do! Then take a look at Valfaris the most Metal of all Action Platformers
Valfaris is from developers Steel Mantis who are Unity Award finalists Valfaris is a retro inspired 2-D action platformer that aims more towards the Dark Souls level of difficulty. You will need all of your expertise and plenty of time and patience before you can say you have conquered this game.
The player controls Therion, who is the son of Valfaris, you must use or you wit and guile to defeat the arcane evil that has taken over your home. The story is then continued through cutscenes and in-game dialogue very reminiscent of the Ninja Gaiden games on NES.
As you start the very first level you have the most basic of weapons a laser pistol and sword both of which can be upgraded and swapped out for new weapons as you progress through the levels. Whilst you may think why would I need a melee weapon if I have a gun? Valfaris uses a power system which is shown as a blue bar underneath the player health. That denotes how much of your special power you have which then governs how much of you third weapon you can use.
As the level progress you find souls; collecting four souls allows you to upgrade any of you three weapons at any checkpoint altar. Whilst in the Altar you can change out your weapons this is helpful if you get to the Boss fight and think.. Damn wish I had brought the machine gun for this fight you can respawn and pick it up for the next attempt.
Valfaris does a good job at making sure you swap between all available weapon options. So no one weapon will get you through the whole game. To give you an idea and to not spoil the game for you I will talk about the first upgrade your pistol can get. The pistol at the start only fires horizontal but with the upgrade it becomes a spread-shot this becomes useful as you make your way towards the first Boss as enemies start jumping towards from the top and bottom of the screen. When new upgrades become available you can be sure that further in the level that upgrade will become very useful.
Whilst this game is more of a Contra/Metal Slug/Ninja Gaiden style game there are a few platforming sections. Thankfully they are very time based and do not detract from the overall pacing of the game and really help make this game more than just a simple side scroller. In certain sections of a level you are given choices about which routes to take, this allows more replayability for the player and more divergent game play for the developers to create.
One downside of Valfaris is the use of respawn enemies if you go back in a level lall enemies that you have defeated will respawn this can cause a few issues if you get knockback at the edge of the screen as it will make enemies respawn. I know they were going for Old School difficulty and respawning enemies are a mainstay of that. I personally believe they could have used a different mechanic for difficulty.
One thing that can be denied about Valfaris is the beautiful pixel art that is then mixed mixed expertly with the Metal Soundtrack by Curt Victor Byrant the former guitarist for the Celtic Frost. The game comes with over 20 Heavy Metal tracks which are well worth a listen on their own and can be if you buy the special edition that comes with a copy of the OST.
Overall if you are looking for that retro action platformer hit there really can not be any better game than Valfaris out at the moment. Even with the extreme level of respawning enemies and difficulty of the game as a whole. It is certainly worth checking out.
Publisher: Big Sugar