Axiom Verge is a game that has been garnering nothing but hype the last few years. So when I happened upon a used copy recently I figured it was about time I finally check it out. I had high hopes that I'd be getting the closest thing I could get to a new Metroid game for my Switch as possible. And I guess that's true. Except I could just be playing the original Metroid via Switch's Online Service instead. And there lies the problem.
But let me rewind for a moment. I want to talk about my history with Metroid in general. My first exposure to the series would be the original game way way back when it was first released on NES. I remember I was in Cub Scouts the first time I saw it. I remember going to a kid's house for a Scout meeting and his dad was playing it. I was too young to really get what the game even was and in my mind it was a "dad game." Something dads played. Too cerebral for my young mind.
I didn't actually get into the series until Metroid II was released on Game Boy and oh man did I love that game. Ironic, I suppose as it seems like that's the game that's really been slept on over the years. Maybe because it was Game Boy exclusive. I don't know. But I loved it. I remember playing it in the backseat of my step-mom's car and feeling like it was mind-blowing that such a huge adventure was portable. I've been meaning to check out that 3DS remake come to think of it.
While it's fair to say I've never been a total obsessive fan of the series over the year, I certainly do respect it. The GBA releases of Fusion and Zero Mission (a remake of the original) were both huge for me. And I really thought Prime was incredible - no small feat considering my FPS aversion at the time of its release. But more importantly, I've played many other so-called Metroidvanias that I've thought excellent. I mean let's not even get into the actual Castlevania games like Symphony Of The Night and the awesome GBA and DS games. But what about Alien: Infestation - a game that was effectively Way Forward's way of taking Metroid which was inspired by Alien and putting it into the actual Alien universe? It's fascinating.
And then there's Axiom Verge. A game that was developed by one guy - which is totally impressive. And that acts a true love letter to Metroid. Again, something I respect. The music's great. The visuals are spot-on. But for some reason... I just can't get into it.
I wish there was a simple answer. I just don't know. Something - SOMETHING - just isn't clicking with me. I've been playing for several hours now and it's just not sucking me in at all. I've gotten several weapon upgrades, fought a few bosses, seen a few 'glitches' and yet every single moment I'm playing I'm just thinking that I'd rather be playing an actual Metroid game. It's weird. I never got that feeling playing Alien: Infestation for example. So I know that it's just not grabbing me the way that I thought it should.
I want this game to be more compelling to me - and maybe part of that is out of respect. I really am impressed by its creation via Thomas Happ. But damn. I just don't care to continue on any further. I wish I could say that in a nicer way, but it's just fact. I'm not enjoying this game - like at all. So maybe I don't have a new Metroid game for my Switch after all. Sigh.