Dead Cells

Sodapopjones

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So I see a few people have bought this during the summer sale, and I'm tempted to as well. For those of you that have picked this up recently, or anyone that has played it, is it worth a shot?

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Pringle

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It's pretty addicting, but I quit right before their environmental update. The content was a bit lacking and I didn't want to go through it too quickly. But the devs are pretty active and adding new levels.

I'd say buy it if you're into rougelikes, this is pretty polished.
 

Antonio94

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I've seen many gameplay videos of this game on Youtube. My first impression with the game is quite good; however, since it's just alpha state there are much more things needed to make this game good and worthy. So far I can only recommend waiting until the game is officially released. For now, you can get it but I think high chance you will be bored after a while.
 

Pringle

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I've seen many gameplay videos
Try actually playing the game? With Steam's return policy, and the low price of the game itself, there's really no reason to base your judgement off of "many gameplay videos".
 

J3RK

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I grabbed this a few days ago, but haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I'm guessing that I'll really like it. Just finished up Shovel Knight Specter of Torment, around half-done with Cave Story, so I think this is next up on my 2D game list.
 

Antonio94

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Try actually playing the game? With Steam's return policy, and the low price of the game itself, there's really no reason to base your judgement off of "many gameplay videos".
True it's better to try out the game myself rather basing on gameplay videos. However, this is just my personal feeling, but general I don't like to spend money on thing I'm not sure about its quality. So normally I will watch video before deciding. Though I agree this can be quite "dumb" in many cases.
 

strend

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Game is OK, I think I've dropped maybe 15 hours of playtime on it. I'm going to let it cook for awhile...maybe see what state the game is in 6 months or so.

If your expecting a 'metroidvania'...this aint it. Think a more classic castlevania with randomized levels and more modern-ish combat.
I was actually enjoying the game till the latest update. They completely screwed the loot/money system IMO. It's just not fun to play now (you can see plenty of people bitching about this in the discussions)

If you have a 2d exploration/combat itch to scratch I HIGHLY recommend Hollow Knight. Absolutely outstanding Metroidvania.

 

Sodapopjones

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I think I'm going to pickup Hollow Knight and Momodora, IV. I keep hearing how its very Dark Souls like, apparently Momodora V is 3d, next souls????


Momodora V
 

J3RK

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Momodora is great! I'd definitely recommend it. It's not terribly long, but it's extremely well done. Also check out Shovel Knight and Axiom Verge. I'd call Shovel Knight a little more Megaman(ish) but it's still in the top tier of 2D action platform games.

I got a few minutes to try out Dead Cells over the weekend. I have to say I like it so far. I will probably also hold off a bit before I seriously play it, but so far it's fast, smooth, combat feels good, the visuals are nice, etc. Good overall package. However, I know how things go with game balance with smaller devs and some indies. I think a lot of it comes down to small testing teams, who play it so much they get used to it (whether it's a real test team, external beta testers, or just the devs themselves) They start feeling like it's a little off from overthinking things, or maybe think it's a bit too easy after putting 200 hours into it, and start tweaking things that were better left alone. I've seen this a lot. We'll see where it ends up, but it's off to a decent start IMO.
 

twonunpackmule

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If you want Castlevania Clone then look up Odallus: The Dark Call. It's really good and challenging. But, not stupid challenging.
 

J3RK

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If you want Castlevania Clone then look up Odallus: The Dark Call. It's really good and challenging. But, not stupid challenging.
Interesting. The visuals alone (haven't played this, but just briefly looked at videos) reminds me more of something like the Legendary Axe games on the TG16, or maybe Black Tiger. Maybe the actual play is a little more like Castlevania than it appears though. Still looks interesting, I might check it out.
 

twonunpackmule

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Interesting. The visuals alone (haven't played this, but just briefly looked at videos) reminds me more of something like the Legendary Axe games on the TG16, or maybe Black Tiger. Maybe the actual play is a little more like Castlevania than it appears though. Still looks interesting, I might check it out.
Their first game was a Ninja Gaiden style game. Their upcoming one is closer to Contra. I added them on Twitter just to follow their progress. Odallus is really damn good. I was shocked at how well it play given the cost.
 

J3RK

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Their first game was a Ninja Gaiden style game. Their upcoming one is closer to Contra. I added them on Twitter just to follow their progress. Odallus is really damn good. I was shocked at how well it play given the cost.
I'm definitely going to grab it after I finish a couple of the games I just picked up at the sale. (Finished Specter of Torment the other day, almost done with Cave Story+, etc.)
 

Conman

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If your expecting a 'metroidvania'...this aint it. Think a more classic castlevania with randomized levels and more modern-ish combat.
Whats the difference between Metroidvania and Castlevania? Haven't played this genre in years. Castlevania Symphony of the night back from the old Playstation One days would be what I'm looking for.
 

twonunpackmule

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Whats the difference between Metroidvania and Castlevania? Haven't played this genre in years. Castlevania Symphony of the night back from the old Playstation One days would be what I'm looking for.
Metroidvania implies a non-linear style map progression with boss battles. Basically, one large open field to play in with checkpoints. The term should really just be "Metroid" since it was really the first to use that style of non-linear like design. Still, we call Metroidvania because most associate it with Super Metroid and Symphony of the Night.

Castlevania implies a more standard level like approach of the earlier SNES/NES eras. Before Symphony of the Night basically steering Castlevania into the standard non-linear style we have today.

Dead Cells is closer to Castlevania 1-4 than Metroid. Though, I'd argue that it's even more like OG Prince of Persia in level progression.
 

Conman

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So how does Rogue-lite fit in here? Which if i understand correctly is not perma death (rogue-like)but you loose all progress and keep powerups?
 

twonunpackmule

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So how does Rogue-lite fit in here? Which if i understand correctly is not perma death (rogue-like)but you loose all progress and keep powerups?
Rogue-lite/Rogue implies elements like procedural levels and hard difficulty. Recently, it also implies a death + leveling system/learning curve. Dark Souls has rogue-like elements with learning game through trial and error.


I tend to not like most Rogue-lites because of the implied "procedural" part. I prefer crafted environments. Though, Dead Cells hasn't really annoyed me much.
 
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RanceJustice

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Oh yeah, this is definitely one of my favorite genres! DeadCells was recently on sale via HumbleStore for more than it was on Steam so I picked it up - it looks like a very promising Metroidvania type title, but I am intrerested to see how it develops.

As others have said here, there are others in the genre that are particularly notable, including those already mentioned. I should mention that some of those I list will be more to the "Metroid/Metroidvania" style (ie in the style of Metroid titles and/or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night), but there are others that are others that branch out to other genres too. I will give Steam links, but note that keys may be cheaper on other sites like Humble, GreenManGaming, and plenty of others. I'll try to list those that have Linux support, but the vast majority are playable with WINE in a pinch and a few of them have unlisted/beta Linux clients.

Hollow Knight - This one is really quite fantastic; I'm not even very far into it myself but it seems very well put together and is a classic Metroidvania with a unique animation style and story that focuses on anthropomorphic bugs; highly recommended and one of the newer offerings here. Native Linux support!

Momodora IV: Reverie under the Moonlight - - This is on my list to play and is part of a long-running series of Japanese Metroidvanias.

Cave Story+ (Plus) - - Originally a legendary freeware title from a Japanese developer, Cave Story+ updates graphics, mechanics and more. Lauded for not only its unique cast of characters and story but also for its deep mechanics (hint: Don't throw away your starting gun!) , secrets, and endings, CaveStory+ is one of the classics of the genre; though some would say it stretches the definition of the genre itself! Linux Support!

La-Mulana - - Another Japanese developed title spawned from amateur freeware years ago, La-Mulana sets you up as an Indiana Jones-esq explorer heading into an ancient ruin! With difficulty levels and complexity far beyond most metroidvanias, it offers a Dark Souls level of challenge both in terms of platforming and the cerebral aspects of the adventure/puzzle game and like CaveStory some would consider it a little outside the genre. If you have the fortitude though, it is known to be highly recommended! Linux support!!

Shadow Complex: Remastered - - : Originally on Xbox360, ShadowComplex was recently updated with new graphics. With a story from Orson Scott Card (I think?) about a near-future society, the player stumbles into a conspiracy and has to rescue their significant other. Especially notable for the way that you gain items/abilities including some really neat ones later on, going from starting out in a basic mountain climbing harness and flashlight to eventually wearing a fully powered up tactical super-suit!

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition - - Like playing inside a Studio Ghibli / Miyazaki film, this title offers some feeels as well as great gameplay. Be sure to pick up the definitive edition version!

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - - A truly fantastic Metroidvania with a unique story and art style that is heavily influenced by both modern and traditional (Aztec, Mayan) Mexican / Latinx elements. It is even playable completely CO-OP but alas, it is local co-op; still a great title to play through with a friend or significant other! Combat mechanics are quite advanced as well and there is some pretty advanced platforming necessary especially if you're going for the secret items necessary to get the "Best Ending". Note that the "Super Turbo Championship Edition" is the best version of this title; do NOT buy the "Gold" version which is older and has less content! Linux support, but its an unofficial build.

STRIDER - - Some may remember the old school Capcom side scrolling arcade title Strider (and its Sega Genesis port), but there was also an expanded NES version which was similar to Metroid, its contemporary at the time. This game is not a remake of the NES title but a whole new game starring the titular cyber-ninja and its a great Metroidvania with fast paced combat and great boss battles!

Axiom Verge - - Obviously a homage to Metroid titles, Axiom Verge is a well crafted adventure; I've not finished it yet myself but its certainly on my backlog and from the small amount I've played so far it looks and feels great ! Linux support!

Owlboy - - With charming pixel graphics, a comprehensive story, and with flight as a built in "starter" mechanic, the recently released Owlboy is a unique title with a lot to offer. Linux support!

Dust: An Elysian Tale - http://store.steampowered.com/app/236090/Dust_An_Elysian_Tail/ - This beautifully animated title is lauded for its story and gameplay alike! Another on my list to play. Linux support!

Valdis Story: Abyssal City - http://store.steampowered.com/app/252030/Valdis_Story_Abyssal_City/ - Another animated title with some significant RPG elements and the possibility for multiple characters, this is a well regarded title in the genre! Also on my list.

HeadLander - http://store.steampowered.com/app/340000/Headlander/ - Developed in partnership with AdultSwim Games and DoubleFine Productions, HeadLander is a Metroidvania with a "70's retrofuturistic" aesthetic and a unique feature in that your character is literally a head in a jar, able to take over a variety of robot bodies and whatnot in order to progress

Apotheon - http://store.steampowered.com/app/208750/Apotheon/ - If you enjoy Greek mythology you're in for a treat! Apotheon is set in ancient Greece and in fact its graphics are reminiscent of those painted on classic Grecian pottery and whatnot. Advanced combat mechanics add to the experience as well, recommended indeed! Linux Support!

Salt And Sanctuary - http://store.steampowered.com/app/283640/Salt_and_Sanctuary/ - Though designed more as a 2D Dark Souls, Salt and Sanctuary has many Metroidvania elements as well; some would argue if it is more of a "Souls-like" but there is a lot of cross over. Enjoyable to play however and quite deep. Linux support!

UnEpic - http://store.steampowered.com/app/233980/UnEpic/ - Highly, highly recommended! UnEpic stretches the definition similar to CaveStory and LaMulana, but it is certainly Metroidvania inspired. The tale of a regular guy who, while taking a bathroom break after playing D&D with his friends, ends up in a mysterious castle and things only get stranger from there. Lots of RPG elements in this one, though there is a lot of Metroidvania style progression where you need the right ability to make it into a room you saw earlier etc. Multiplayer is possible and in-depth mechanics apply, along with a unique story with multiple endings. Lots to enjoy here. Linux support!

Ghost 1.0 - http://store.steampowered.com/app/463270/Ghost_10/ - From the developer of UnEpic comes a sci-fi title with more of a classic Metroidvania feel! No multiplayer this time and much more traditional Metroidvania play, but definitely worthwhile. Linux support has been announced by the dev, but will come after most of the game's content expansions arrive.

Shantae: Risky's Revenge Director's Cut - http://store.steampowered.com/app/277890/Shantae_Riskys_Revenge__Directors_Cut/ - The first in the Shantae series on PC, stars a half-genie out to save her town! The game and its sequels are highly rated metroidvanias; I'd say start with this one! Sequels include "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse" and "Shantae: Half Genie Hero" ; I'm told its best to play in sequence for greatest story enjoyment.

Castle In the Darkness - http://store.steampowered.com/app/262960/Castle_In_The_Darkness/ - NES inspired, this metroidvania is tuned to be difficult in both platforming and combat, with some RPG features as well. Worth a look!

Odallus: The Dark Call - http://store.steampowered.com/app/319480/Odallus_The_Dark_Call/ - Another NES inspired title, this one leans heavily on the Castlevania side of "Metroidvania" , with a gothic world to explore.




I could actually go on a bit longer, but that ought to get you started! If anyone has any questions feel free to ask - I've always liked these titles. Enjoy!

Edit: I wonder why some of these converted to Steam pictoral links and others didn't, when I was using the same format for each? Is there a way to keep it from doing so if one doesn't wish that formatting?
 

J3RK

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Excellent list! I agree with most of it, and easily recommend everything on it. Icey is a pretty fun one that I recently played too, and it's got a really weird sense of humor to it. Plays nice and smooth, and spot-on mechanics as well. I would also add Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet as well. You pilot a flying saucer, but it still has all of the main elements of a "metroidvania" Exploration, new abilities/weapons/tools, and it's really one of the best ones out there.

I notice Axiom Verge is on your to-do list. I'd bump that up to first position if I were you. You can thank me later. :D Nice post!

Also, not even close to the same style, but since you've got such an exhaustive list of EXCELLENT indie titles, I'd squeeze in Hyper Light Drifter. It has many of the qualities that fit into this thread, it just happens to be overhead instead of side-scrolling.

Edit: (adding links)



 

twonunpackmule

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I'm still kinda shocked that Konami hasn't tried to cash in on the retro scene by doing Castlevania Collection releases. I would pay top dollar for ports of anything Symphony of the Night and on. Hell, I'd take Castlevania 1 - Rondo of Blood.
 

RanceJustice

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Thanks guys, J3ERK has a great list as well . Hyper Light Drifter is part of my backlog as well and everything I read of it is awesome - I'd put it perhaps more in the Zelda-style adventure, along with Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas! Oh, HyperLightDrifter was part of the July Humble Monthly Bundle (I'll be making my monthly thread) - a fantastic choice for inclusion! That's another thread for those kind of games though!

Oh one more big title that I almost forgot about while discussing Metroidvanias

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - https://www.fangamer.com/a/kindling/bloodstained - This is a crowdfunded title developed by Koji Igarashi, the creative mind behind "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night", which is thought to be the origin of the "Metroidvania" game type (Iga actually jokingly calls them "Igavania" titles! Much like many other Japanese auteur developers - Suda 51, Hideo Kojima and others -, he's a little... unique and favors a black leather cowboy hat as well as an Alucard-like cape as signature garments; seems like a fun guy on streams and whatnot!). Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has offered alpha testing builds, but isn't scheduled for a 1.0 release until early next year . For fans of the genre its well worth a look and early builds seem promising. Crowdfunding is ongoing now, but they hit all of their main and stretch goals, adding a TON of new content such as multiple playable characters, new levels, secret bosses and more - you can see on the site I linked. There's even Linux support, as well as console versions if you should wish it! The basic pledge these days is around $40 which is reasonable especially compared to a full priced $50-60 title that launch pricing may pick. Enjoy!
 

twonunpackmule

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There's also the upcoming Blasphemous.

"Vanquish bloodthirsty creatures, the devotees of a twisted religion. Hand-crafted pixel art action game by the makers of The Last Door.

Blasphemous is an action-platformer that combines the fast-paced, skilled combat of a hack-n-slash game with a deep and evocative narrative core, delivered through exploration of a huge universe comprised of non-linear levels.



Immerse yourself in a dark fantasy nightmare that has been constructed PIXEL BY PIXEL by our committed artists."

 

RanceJustice

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Thanks for mentioning Blasphemous! I'm one of the backers on that recent project; hopefully they will add "Slacker Backer" options for those who missed the Kickstarter soon, similar to how Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night can still be purchased right now. Definitely has some promise!
 

Sodapopjones

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Looks like we have tons of games here, looks like I need to get started lol. Blasphemus looks pretty tight as well...
 

J3RK

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After 17 hours, I'm still loving every second of this game. I've discovered some ridiculously good weapon combos, starting to discover some interesting areas too. The balance in this game is nearly flawless.

Just having a drink and a cigar and then going right back to play some more :D

I pretty much dropped everything I was doing short of some yard work, and a swim.

Definitely a recommended game.
 

relapse808

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Look up Chasm. It is also a rogue lite metroid vania I have been keeping up on.
 

J3RK

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Nice! Thanks, put that on my wishlist to keep track of it. Also, if you haven't seen the other thread yet, check out Sundered. It's out later this month. (From the Jotun guys.)

Really can't say enough good things about Dead Cells though. I was up until 2:00am last night before my first day of work after a week of vacation too. :D

"Just one more run..."

(15 runs later...)

"Just one more... shit... 2:00... Better go to sleep."
 

Sodapopjones

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Nice! Thanks, put that on my wishlist to keep track of it. Also, if you haven't seen the other thread yet, check out Sundered. It's out later this month. (From the Jotun guys.)

Really can't say enough good things about Dead Cells though. I was up until 2:00am last night before my first day of work after a week of vacation too. :D

"Just one more run..."

(15 runs later...)

"Just one more... shit... 2:00... Better go to sleep."
I didn't pick it up this round, now you're making me wish I did...
 

Nebell

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Mid 2017 and people still idolize pixel games :cautious:
No wonder games move forward so slowly.
Don't get me wrong, some of those pixel games are great, but come on, it's 2017, not 1990...
 

Pringle

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Mid 2017 and people still idolize pixel games :cautious:
No wonder games move forward so slowly.
Don't get me wrong, some of those pixel games are great, but come on, it's 2017, not 1990...
Ahhh yes, the equivalent of "get off my lawn".

Gameplay trumps graphics any day of the week.
 

J3RK

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Mid 2017 and people still idolize pixel games :cautious:
No wonder games move forward so slowly.
Don't get me wrong, some of those pixel games are great, but come on, it's 2017, not 1990...
That is an absolutely asinine view of this. I somewhat apologize :D for being that blunt about it, but really, your reasoning is flawed. Sure, you don't have to like 2D games. However:

Hand-drawn art is cool. Well done, pixel art even cooler. Applying modern lighting effects to it is even more cool.

3D games absolutely can't replicate the play style of a well executed 2D game. (the same in reverse) Why do you think there are so many people clamoring for a new 2D Castlevania game while the 3D incarnations are largely ignored for the most part. This isn't retro-nostalgia, this is recognizing that there are MANY different ways to play games, and knowing which type fits which genre the best.

Sure there are 2.5D games that use modern polygonal techniques, and those are actually fine too. However, it's a totally different aesthetic, and I'll take a well-executed pixel-art implementation over that style. (personal taste here) Inevitably the polygonal approach (though less so these days) starts showing its age a lot more noticeably than a hand-drawn approach. This is becoming less of a thing, but I can still see it in things like Shadow Complex which yes, looks good but is starting to age a bit.

I think one problem is that so many "app-store" games tried to cash in on the whole "retro" or "8-bit" thing that people can't tell the difference between a quality product or a piece of shovel-ware garbage now. (just by a quick glance at least) If you actually played this game, it would be apparent what the level of quality you're dealing with is. This is about as far from an app-store "8-bit-retro-graphics!!!!" title as you're going to get. It's completely apparent from the quality of the animation, effects, tightness of controls, variety of weapons, skills, etc. This is a shining example of pure unadulterated, art and game development. (as is every other game listed in this thread for the most part)

It may be easy to say "those pixel games all look the same to me" but if you put that aside for a minute, and tried some of the better ones (Shovel Knight, Dead Cells, Hyper Light Drifter, Cave Story, Axiom Verge, Owl Boy, Ori etc.) you should be able to tell the difference immediately. If not, you may not understand what quality actually means. I can look at a style of game that I'm not particularly into, and know that it's a high quality production even if it's got an aesthetic or play style that I'm not into. IMO all of the games in this thread actually ADVANCE gaming in some way. Just because the visual medium appears dated on the surface doesn't mean the games are not pushing things forward.

Axiom Verge might look like a retro-Metroid-clone, but it actually has larger maps, more animation frames, more modern conveniences, options, secrets than many games of its type. Looking back, I can't remember playing any previous games that implement (if you'll excuse the term) "souls-like" combat in 2D. Super accurate combat mechanics with dodging and weapon/skill combinations the way Hyper Light Drifter or Dead Cells do. Sure, there were some tight-playing 2D games in the "16/32 bit" eras, but nothing like these. They pushed things forward. There's not really another game like FEZ before FEZ either. The rotational puzzles in the game and the way the optical illusions play into actual play really hadn't been done before it. It of course can be replicated with polygons (look at Tokyo 42 for example) but even though something like Tokyo 42 oozes style, FEZ is every bit as stylish, and has a touch of extra charm doing it all in its classic visual style.

There's a reason all of the games in this thread get "Overwhelmingly Positive" reviews. They are good games plain and simple. Pixels or not. Yes, there are REALLY shitty pixel-art games... These are not they... :D These games in no way hold back progress. It's actually the AAA devs rehashing their games yearly that are doing that. Even in that scenario though there are varying degrees of quality and timelessness. For example I'd take the 90th Mario game over the 5th CoD game any day of the week. That's another discussion altogether though.

It just occurred to me after typing all that, that you may JUST be referring to pixels and not 2D vs. 3D, so I apologize if I went too far the other direction. My comments still stand though, and pixels do not indicate a lack of progress, quality, or value.

Small Edit: to be less of a J3RK about it. :D
 
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relapse808

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Ummm I love pixel games and some of them are very deep and rewarding. I also love state of the art games. No need to hate on old school.
 

J3RK

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Indeed... I'm just going to invoke Michael Bolton here, and say "I guess I kinda like em all..." :D The best way to look at it is I like good games. Doesn't matter how old they are, whether they're 2D, 3D, pixels, polygons, line-vectors. If the game is good, it's good.
 

Nebell

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That is an absolutely asinine view of this. I somewhat apologize :D for being that blunt about it, but really, your reasoning is flawed. Sure, you don't have to like 2D games. However:

Hand-drawn art is cool. Well done, pixel art even cooler. Applying modern lighting effects to it is even more cool.

3D games absolutely can't replicate the play style of a well executed 2D game. (the same in reverse) Why do you think there are so many people clamoring for a new 2D Castlevania game while the 3D incarnations are largely ignored for the most part. This isn't retro-nostalgia, this is recognizing that there are MANY different ways to play games, and knowing which type fits which genre the best.

Sure there are 2.5D games that use modern polygonal techniques, and those are actually fine too. However, it's a totally different aesthetic, and I'll take a well-executed pixel-art implementation over that style. (personal taste here) Inevitably the polygonal approach (though less so these days) starts showing its age a lot more noticeably than a hand-drawn approach. This is becoming less of a thing, but I can still see it in things like Shadow Complex which yes, looks good but is starting to age a bit.

I think one problem is that so many "app-store" games tried to cash in on the whole "retro" or "8-bit" thing that people can't tell the difference between a quality product or a piece of shovel-ware garbage now. (just by a quick glance at least) If you actually played this game, it would be apparent what the level of quality you're dealing with is. This is about as far from an app-store "8-bit-retro-graphics!!!!" title as you're going to get. It's completely apparent from the quality of the animation, effects, tightness of controls, variety of weapons, skills, etc. This is a shining example of pure unadulterated, art and game development. (as is every other game listed in this thread for the most part)

It may be easy to say "those pixel games all look the same to me" but if you put that aside for a minute, and tried some of the better ones (Shovel Knight, Dead Cells, Hyper Light Drifter, Cave Story, Axiom Verge, Owl Boy, Ori etc.) you should be able to tell the difference immediately. If not, you may not understand what quality actually means. I can look at a style of game that I'm not particularly into, and know that it's a high quality production even if it's got an aesthetic or play style that I'm not into. IMO all of the games in this thread actually ADVANCE gaming in some way. Just because the visual medium appears dated on the surface doesn't mean the games are not pushing things forward.

Axiom Verge might look like a retro-Metroid-clone, but it actually has larger maps, more animation frames, more modern conveniences, options, secrets than many games of its type. Looking back, I can't remember playing any previous games that implement (if you'll excuse the term) "souls-like" combat in 2D. Super accurate combat mechanics with dodging and weapon/skill combinations the way Hyper Light Drifter or Dead Cells do. Sure, there were some tight-playing 2D games in the "16/32 bit" eras, but nothing like these. They pushed things forward. There's not really another game like FEZ before FEZ either. The rotational puzzles in the game and the way the optical illusions play into actual play really hadn't been done before it. It of course can be replicated with polygons (look at Tokyo 42 for example) but even though something like Tokyo 42 oozes style, FEZ is every bit as stylish, and has a touch of extra charm doing it all in its classic visual style.

There's a reason all of the games in this thread get "Overwhelmingly Positive" reviews. They are good games plain and simple. Pixels or not. Yes, there are REALLY shitty pixel-art games... These are not they... :D These games in no way hold back progress. It's actually the AAA devs rehashing their games yearly that are doing that. Even in that scenario though there are varying degrees of quality and timelessness. For example I'd take the 90th Mario game over the 5th CoD game any day of the week. That's another discussion altogether though.

It just occurred to me after typing all that, that you may JUST be referring to pixels and not 2D vs. 3D, so I apologize if I went too far the other direction. My comments still stand though, and pixels do not indicate a lack of progress, quality, or value.

Small Edit: to be less of a J3RK about it. :D
I don't mind 2D games, however I dislike pixel games. I don't play a lot of good games I would otherwise play because they are pixelated. I want to see clearly what my character is holding, not a pixel representation of a sword.
 

J3RK

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I don't mind 2D games, however I dislike pixel games. I don't play a lot of good games I would otherwise play because they are pixelated. I want to see clearly what my character is holding, not a pixel representation of a sword.
Fair enough. I completely disagree, but... (there's that taste thing again... :D )

Edit: I'll explain a bit more about why I like pixel art. First, admittedly there is a touch of nostalgia. It's not the full driving factor, but it is there. I grew up on the C64, Amiga, early PCs, both gaming and watching scene demos, and there used to be HUGE competitions for best pixel art at some of the demo parties. I also knew a lot of artists, and even did quite a bit myself back then.

That out of the way.

Pixel art is clean. You have a set of limitations. (your X and Y resolution, and color depth or set palette) Everything you do with that is deliberate. You define every single dot. Nothing is out of place. Anything you see was crafted exactly as it was meant to be by the artist at the finest level. The artist usually limits the resolution as drawing something by hand in a resolution like 1920x1080 for an entire game would take FOREVER.

Compare that to non-pixel art hand-drawn 2D. This style typically uses more advanced tools, such as air-brushes, droppers, fills, blurs, etc. There may be more colors available, resolution can be vastly higher. So, one would think it should look better, but it doesn't. IMO this is due to the use of the very tools that should facilitate a higher quality. When you start relying on computer generated fills, blurring, etc. things start to look less crisp, a bit washed out sometimes, and often even a bit lazy by comparison. Often the overall quality of the artwork is there, but because of these things, it just doesn't (at least to me) look as crisp, precise, and deliberate by comparison.

Obviously there are exceptions, and in the hands of the right artist, either style could look better or worse. My comments are more general observation over the last couple of decades. I'll see if I can hunt down a good set of comparison shots between two similar types of game to illustrate what I'm saying.

Anyway, it's not this way 100% of the time, and I've see some REALLY REALLY good hand-drawn non-pixel-art artwork in some games, it's just that generally I will give pixel-art the edge if overall quality is similar between two works.

Seeing good pixel art in a game that is further enhanced by high color depth, lighting effects, and animation that was intricately drawn a pixel at a time is just awe-inspiring to me. It may be a bit chunkier, you may notice every single block, but every one of those blocks was chosen for its position and color.

Anyway... Just thought I'd elaborate a bit... :D

Have you seen Paul Robertson's work before? (Just an example of why I like this stuff, even if it isn't a game...)

http://probertson.tumblr.com/
 

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Nebell

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Well, I have grown up with old consoles like Sega Mega Drive, playing pixel games. It's my childhood, but today I just can't stomach games that look like Dead Cells for example. I understand some people like it, I'm just not one of them. I just think that progress should be going forward, not backward.
 

J3RK

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Well, I have grown up with old consoles like Sega Mega Drive, playing pixel games. It's my childhood, but today I just can't stomach games that look like Dead Cells for example. I understand some people like it, I'm just not one of them. I just think that progress should be going forward, not backward.
That's cool. I think I just have a different way of looking at it. It's a different art style to me. IMO progress is moving forward both with other art styles, and pixel art. They're doing some things with pixel art that weren't done before in some cases. They're progressing on the AAA 3D front as well, though maybe not the pace they were in the late 90s early 2000s. Everything is progressing, but for me, you have to break things down by style, medium, etc. I personally can't look at Dead Cells and say that it's primitive, because I know how it excels above what many other games of its style are doing. (even graphically) The quality of the pixel art is incredibly good IMO as well. It's kind of like the difference between an artist that does tile mosaics and one that paints in oils, against maybe a marble sculptor. They're all different, but all of them can make pretty amazing pieces. Where taste comes in is where you decide that you don't like tile mosaics in general, so you steer yourself more toward the oil paintings. That's totally fine. I just don't think at the same time you can say that the mosaic artist is any less skilled. He's just working with materials you're not into. He may have progressed his art further than it's ever been progressed before, but you're still not going to be into it all that much.
 
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