This week in video games, pre-orders for the Nintendo Switch went live, Sega was announced as the new developer for the Yakuza series, and more.
It’s Friday, which means it’s GRIME time again. This week we’ve got a Salty Handsome roundup of the latest games that we’ve been playing, a round-up of the week’s hottest deals on Steam, and a look at the games we’re most looking forward to.
Please note that this blog is not about games in the traditional sense, but more of a weekly video series in which I review a game that I have played in that week. I’ve tried to mainly stick to games that have ‘broken’ in terms of them being toxic as a community, and I’ll also review games that I feel are otherwise well-appreciated in the indie scene.. Read more about this week in video game history and let us know what you think.
Grime is a new Metroidvania souls-like with platforming, action, and lots of mysteries. This game, developed by a tiny team, has a lot of promise, and if you enjoy games like Hollow Knight and Dead Cells, it’s worth checking out.
The narrative is a bit light on the ground in terms of plot, but you begin the game by being born into a dark, damp planet populated by rock people. Two enormous super-beings seem to be locked in a passionate embrace, kiss, and you are born into the world. You resemble a person with rock components, but your head is a black hole. You realize right once that you’re different from the other rock creatures in this planet; they’re deformed, ugly, and one in particular seems to revere you as a perfected form. After learning the basics of running, leaping, and utilizing your starting weapon, you’re free to explore. Your goal is to rise and locate your creators by fighting your way through a succession of caverns, deserts, and other settings.
The atmosphere and visual aesthetic of Grime are instantly noticeable. You’ll begin in a network of caverns under the surface, where the people are deformed, cruel, and hiding from the light. The soundtrack is eerie, and there are eyes peering from the walls. Pot limbs protrude, attempting to grasp and injure you. In a frantic final effort to stop you, rock creatures are collapsed on the floor, lunging forward with their assaults. It’s all extremely weird and disturbing, but it’s a fantastic backdrop for a game.
You’ll encounter a character named Yin as you go through the caverns of the early stages. He’s a cave dweller who lives in a tiny, deformed rock shape and regards you as a “perfect creature.” The subterranean rock creatures seem to be oppressed in some manner by those above, and when you make your way to the higher levels, Yin and his companions will pursue you. They give the narrative a new depth, which is extremely welcome.
Grime has a feeling of size and beauty, and the surroundings vary on a regular basis. The map is large, with many twisting tunnels and hidden entrances to discover. I was reminded of Hollow Knight by the map. You’ll begin in a dark environment, but a purple flashing beacon will reveal the location you’re in, and all levels are linked. There are checkpoints to be found, which is helpful since the game is very difficult and you will most likely die a lot. You may level up different characteristics at each checkpoints to make yourself stronger as you go.
In terms of gameplay, Grime is a typical Metroidvania where you’ll level up, discover new equipment, and unlock new sections as you advance. In terms of mobility, it isn’t nearly as fluid as Ori, but you do have a dodge mechanism that comes in handy in combat, as well as a double leap later in the game. The game’s platforming and mobility are a bit restricted at times, but it’s ultimately extremely rewarding. The levels’ verticality stands out as a highlight, and you’ll be sprinting, leaping, and navigating across collapsing platforms and high-speed moving lifts that will crush you if you make a mistake move.
Grime’s combat has a Souls-like feel to it. Enemies are difficult to defeat, and you have a range of weaponry at your disposal. Swords, clubs, and daggers come in a variety of styles and sizes. There’s a good parry mechanism that uses the black hole on your skull in addition to your weapons. When an opponent strikes, you must time the button push perfectly, otherwise the black hole will absorb the hit and rebel against the attacker with a powerful attack. Strength, Dexterity, and Resonance are the three stats that each weapon possesses (or Magic). You’ll build up a yellow/orange meter, and then you’ll be able to replenish your health regularly, in addition to attacks.
In addition to these powers, you may absorb opponents and acquire additional abilities that you can unlock with Hunt points. Each absorbable opponent has a unique ability, such as restoring health, boosting stamina, or assisting you in the discovery of secrets. These new skills offer up a lot of possibilities in Grime, allowing you to mix and match combat and exploring approaches.
Surrogates, which function similarly to Dark Souls bonfires, are checkpoints scattered around the game. As you go through the levels, you will earn XP, which may be used to level up at Surrogate spots. You don’t lose XP when you die, unlike previous Souls games, and everything you acquire is permanent, making things a bit simpler as you advance. The money you lose when you die is called Ardor, which you may earn by killing opponents without taking harm as you advance.
Your Ardor has a limit, which is currently set at 100. You’ll lose it if you die, but you can reclaim part of it if you track down the last location you died and retrieve them from your ghost. Things will become tougher as you go through Grime, thus this is a great mechanism that doesn’t penalize you too severely. This game is a cross between a metroidvania and a Souls-style game, with a mix of mechanics from both genres rather than too much Souls. It’s difficult at times, but it’s eventually well-balanced and satisfying. When you first encounter a boss, they may be very difficult, but after a few attempts and understanding their mechanics, you should be able to beat them in no time.
It’s also worth mentioning the boss battles. They’re usually huge, hideous creatures with a range of attacks, and you’ll have to dodge and time your strikes carefully to avoid being crushed in a single stroke. These set pieces represent the apex of Grime’s gameplay and provide a significant challenge. Similar to Souls bosses, you’ll need to master their techniques and timing, and choosing the correct weapon to use in combat may make all the difference. In boss battles, parrying takes center stage, as you’ll need all of your skills to carefully chip away at their enormous health bars.
Grime is a genre that has a lot going for it. Exploration and platforming are enjoyable and enjoyable. There are so many secrets to discover, and you’re taught to look for hidden walls and secret passageways early on in the game. Combat is difficult yet manageable, and the landscape is diverse and well-designed. The game is almost like seeing a picture come to life. I realize the game’s development team is tiny, but I believe they should all be very pleased of what they’ve accomplished.
Clover Bite, Spooky Doorway, Clover Bite, Spooky Doorway, Clover Bite, Spooky Door Akupara Games is the publisher. Platforms: Steam for PC, Mac, and Stadia on Android. The film will be released on August 2, 2021.
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