Exploring massive interconnected worlds always makes for captivating game experiences. So, let's get straight to my next batch of Metroidvania games! Maybe you'll find your next gaming obsession here.
Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut
This remake of the second Shantae game looks as old-school as it plays. The 4:3 screen and pixelated visuals are probably because it originated as a Nintendo DSi downloadable title. What makes this sequel special is the fact that the gameplay is nothing but wholesome 2D platforming yet Shantae's capable repertoire of moves are a ton of fun to experiment with. Having her transform into a monkey, elephant, or mermaid in order to work though tough situations and solve puzzles is not only enjoyable; it's super-cute!
Red Goddess: Inner World
Some games are promising yet they unfortunately fail to create a world worthy of visiting. When you hear that a game with a cool visual style and interesting story starring a transforming goddess is out, it's hard not to get your hopes up. However, Red Goddess is quite an irritating adventure with tedious platforming and combat and many difficulty spikes that make progression feel more like a chore rather than satisfying. Throw in a bunch of glitches and technical issues then you're left with a forgettable journey at the very best.
Believe it or not, there were Metroidvania games even before it was a term. This NES classic is set in an enormous underground world where you control Jason who drives an impressively agile tank. It'll definitely test the patience of modern gamers but it helped mold the genre to what it is today. Thankfully, it's still a blast to play after you forgive its more annoying components such as the brutal difficulty and unintuitive world layout. Heck, you can't even save your progress while playing on a NES. Anyway, one of its finest features is that you can play in two different perspectives which shakes up the gameplay perfectly. Oh, and the music rocks!
Although it isn't the biggest Metroidvania, Teslagrad is one of the most innovative. You control a young lad who has the ability to utilize magnets in order to traverse seemingly impossible situations. It's incredibly enjoyable flinging him around as you work through his tale and discover hidden treasures. The gorgeous art style, ambient music, and plenty of Castlevania references are just icing on the cake.
Salt and Sanctuary
If you ever wanted to know what Dark Souls would be like if it were a 2D game then Salt and Sanctuary will make you wonder no more. The established Souls gameplay fits beautifully in two dimensions and with phenomenal graphics and sound from the man behind The Dishwasher and Charlie Murder; you're in for one eerie adventure. Even though it feels a bit too familiar at times, the engrossing dimly lit environments full of secrets will keep you hooked until you explore every inch of its sinister world.