I look at Valdis Story: Abyssal City!

It has been a while since I played a metroidvania and Valdis Story: Abyssal City didn't disappoint me for the largest part of the game. It's an amazing game with skills and equipment, and interesting alignment system, crafting recipes, challenging bosses and some nefarious platforming puzzles. I really wish I could've beat it.

This guy kinda looks grumpy

All of that being said, I wish this game was on 3ds instead of the pc, the controls are a bit convoluted for a pc game (hitting S+W at the same time?) and there are a lot of buttons that do different things. The map could be on the bottom screen and you could also see informations about the enemies you're killing - loot tables and the like - instead of having to visit a guy to tell you stuff about your opponents. And that's not really a knock against the game, I'd try it again all over if it came out on such a platform.

The alignment system is pretty neat

The way the alignment system works is very interesting, each of your equipped spell and gear piece is either 'neutral','good', or 'evil' and having alignment in one direction or another will give you stat bonuses depending on the alignment. Some skills have odds to work based on that value and some skills even give you alignment modifiers. That system is pretty neat because it encourages playing the game multiple times alongside the passive skill system. That being said,  I'm not a fan of how some movement abilities have alignments. You get an ice move that serves as a double jump, you get a punch to break walls and these two things change your alignment. It means that if you try to go all evil, you'll still have to equip that 'good' spell and it's a bit of a bother to change them in and out all the time to keep your alignment as low or as high as you want.

I love skill trees!

While levelling up, you get stat points to place between strength, dexterity, intelligence and luck, you also get skill points to place into some interesting skill trees. From physical damage bonuses to hp regeneration, on-hit magical effects and spell vamp, you can build your character the way you want it. You also get helper characters that you level up by using, they do various attacks and are pretty useful. Different weapons have different properties and the armours / accessories are also pretty varied between each other and you have tons of ways to build your character. I loved how removing your sword gave you more exp.

That's a bit too vague, game

The map isn't perfect, you have some vague ideas of where locked doors are, but not exactly where they are, I also wish the maps would show unopened chests, spots where you need to ice-jump and punch the walls to go through. Some challenges get really tough, between stomping on switches, activating crystals and a lot of dashing, they all reward you with some equipment or piece of loot. The bosses are also pretty challenging and you get graded on them, giving you permanent stat bonuses based on speed, damage taken and items used. You get potions through the game that refill your life and mana automatically - and these potions themselves refill on save points, pretty useful. 


Sadly for me, even if I found the game pretty great, there's something wrong about the controls, you don't snap at all to the right things. In the screenshot above, if you just walk to the platform? You fall onto the spikes and take a bunch of hits. It's too hard to just jump and grab the things you want. Oh and you don't have invincibility frames where you get hit, so hitting spikes would just trigger a dozen of hits. I just quit the game after climbing two fairly difficult floors of a huge tower where there's a gigantic chasm everywhere to make you fall down to the bottom of the tower whenever you get knocked back. There's no way to remove knockback and after being frustrated trying to get up the tower, having to fall down like that broke my will to play this game.