Metroidvania adventures can be very addictive when they're done right. Thankfully, Hunter's Legacy is a rewarding experience featuring challenging gameplay that'll put your 2D gaming skills to the test so let's sharpen our claws and get ready for one tough journey.
Hunter's Legacy stars a feline huntress named Ikki who's on a mission to reclaim the Fang of Alliance in order to save her kingdom of Iripur from the dastardly Morodir. You do so by platforming through a handful of massive areas while utilizing an arsenal of various weapons and abilities. It can get extremely difficult but thankfully the controls are incredibly intuitive and responsive. As you progress, you'll unlock additional abilities that make you a more agile kitty and allow you to uncover new areas within the game world. On top of attacking with your sword, you'll eventually be able to aim, charge, and shoot arrows, perform a down thrust (like good old Link), roll (which you'll upgrade to a dash that you can perform in mid-air), and control a bird named Ferry to fly through narrow passageways. Overall, traversing the expansive areas full of tricky platforming scenarios and vicious enemies makes for quite a satisfying endeavor if you're up for a challenge.
On a visual level, Hunter's Legacy features a unique art style with hand-drawn characters and environments. Although the stages themselves are mostly blocky, the amount of detail in the textures and backgrounds is quite appealing. To complement your travels, a suitably riveting and often toe-tapping soundtrack seems to always fit the onscreen action. Listening to Ikki's grunts as she fights and jumps and rewarding chimes whenever you collect items makes the soundscape even more immersive. In the end, Hunter's Legacy combines a distinct graphical style with gratifying audio to craft quite a compelling game world.
Ikki's adventure is full of constant action that takes many different forms. The stage designs often result in extremely challenging platforming sections that'll have you trying to escape fiery hallways as quickly as possible, climbing up electrified shafts, and navigating through passages covered in spikes. Also, learning how to effectively fight the variety of enemies is an enjoyable undertaking. For example, some require you to fire enchanted arrows at them while others are heavily armoured. On top of the platforming and combat, the boss fights will thoroughly give your thumbs a workout. Some bosses include a dragon that soars around the arena, a wizard that you have to use Ferry to help take down, and a snail-like crustacean that sticks to the ceiling. These suckers can be tough but watching them fall feels oh so satisfying. Simply put, all of this variety makes Hunter's Legacy a constantly engaging tale.
As you can already tell, Hunter's Legacy is a tough game. However, unlike games such as Rise & Shine and Rive; the difficulty relies on your gaming skills and not your ability to memorize sequences of events. That being said, some parts are truly infuriating even for hardcore old-school gamers who love a challenge (such as myself). A couple parts in particular stand out as nightmarishly difficult. One of them involves having to chain together a sequence of platforming maneuvers while taking out a handful of tough enemies then ascend a column full of random electric charges that can make you fall all the way to the bottom. It can get ridiculous.
Difficulty aside, I also found that backtracking can be very monotonous. Keep in mind, you never have to backtrack but you do if you want to uncover goodies such as weapon and health power-ups. Considering there is no detailed map that displays points of interest, discovering such items can feel like finding needles in a haystack. My only other complaint is that the story doesn't progress much past its premise as you won't find any plot twists or character development. It's just good vs. evil and that's all there is to it.
Hunter's Legacy is an action-packed Metroidvania that gamers who love testing their mettle will enjoy immensely. On the other hand, those who get easily frustrated with difficult games should definitely think twice before they play with this kitty.
- + Tight controls and solid platforming action set in a challenging yet satisfying world
- + Unique art style and great audio
- + Variety of stage designs and bosses
- - Many frustrating moments that will make you want to smash your console
- - Backtracking can be quite tedious
- - Story leaves a lot to be desired