Roundup – The Month Of Metroidvania
A once-neglected category, fans of games inspired by Metroid and Castlevania have been given all they can handle in recent years. From indies running with the torch dropped by companies like Nintendo and Konami to an official remake of Metroid II just last year, the category is booming lately. This has rarely been more evident than it will be over the next month.
Here are seven Metroid-inspired titles coming out over the course of the next 30 days.
Explore the ancient ruins of La-Mulana to learn why horrifying monsters are spilling out from the locale. With tons of monsters to fight and items to find, La-Mulana 2 looks to deliver nonstop action and mysteries to the player. La-Mulana 2 features sprawling ruins and loads of exploration, while doing away with the first game's tutorial, making it a good opening act for a month full of Metroid-inspired games.
While not technically in the same month as the rest of the entries, Chasm kicks off a period of excess for the genre. Procedurally generated dungeons and gorgeous pixel-art graphics set it apart from the crowd but look a bit deeper and you’ll find Castlevania-inspired combat and upgradable weapons. Chasm is available for PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC.
When it launched earlier this year on PlayStation 4, PC, and Vita, Iconoclasts scratched that Metroid itch. Because of that, it felt like the perfect addition to the Switch library. That finally happens this month, as the compelling 2D title comes to Nintendo’s flagship system. If you missed it on the other platforms, Iconoclasts delivers a compelling, humorous tale with fun exploration and inventive boss battles wrapped in a beautiful cartoon-like art style. Iconoclasts hits Switch on August 2. To learn more, check out our review of the original launch here.
Salt and Sanctuary (Switch)
Another game that just seems like a great fit for Switch, Salt and Sanctuary delivered fans an enjoyable exploration-based action title when it launched on PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC in 2016. Salt & Sanctuary combines traditional Metroidvania sensibilities with Dark Souls-inspired concepts to great effect. Now, fans can enjoy the intense combat, darkly beautiful visual style, and punishing difficulty on the latest Nintendo platform. You can check out our review of the 2016 launch here.
This roguelike Metroidvania has been on our radar for quite some time, but it’s finally ready to come out of Steam Early Access to punish us across all modern platforms. By amassing cells from defeated enemies, you upgrade your character. The catch is that each time you die, you lose those cells, meaning you need to make it through the gauntlet each time you collect a ton of cells and gold. Thankfully, through upgrades and unlockable abilities, the difficulty curve lessens with each life. Dead Cells hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on August 7.
2D action meets role-playing with Death’s Gambit. As Death’s right-hand man, your mission is to defeat the guardians of the realm with the promise of immortality waiting for you. With precision-based 2D combat to master, weapons and skills to unlock, and challenging battles, Death’s Gambit is one to watch when it hits PlayStation 4 and PC.
The follow-up to one of the zanier Metroidvanias in recent memory, Guacamelee 2 promises bigger wrestling moves, more chickens, and full four-player cooperative play. With a huge world inspired by Mexican folklore and luchador culture, Guacamelee 2 stands out on the list as a colorful addition to the genre when it hits PlayStation 4 and PC this month.
The original version of this article did not include La-Mulana 2. We have added it to the roundup and updated the body text.