Axiom Verge 2

released on Aug 11, 2021

You may have played Axiom Verge, or heard it referenced as a benchmark for indie “metroidvania” adventures. Axiom Verge 2 is part of the same story as Axiom Verge 1 but is a completely new game: new characters, new powers, new enemies, and a new world. You can play it before or after the original.

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Love a good Metroidvania, and this one was free on PS Plus so thought id give it a go, and its pretty damn fun. Uncovering 100% map and all items was addictive as hell, probably more fun than the actual main game.
The story is weak though, I never really cared about what was happening, and all the lore stuff you find was just boring gibberish for the most part. Combat is ok, nothing special. Graphics are standard 8-bit retro style, its ok, definitely not anything too special. Level design is great, the way all the different stages and levels are interconnected is pure Metroid and is impressive. Also the way the overworld and breach world interconnect is clever, and a great feature that plays a big part in completing many of the puzzles.
The map is absolutely essential to the game, and is something you will be referring to like every 5 seconds. It could have been a lot better though and more user friendly. I wish I could have beat this game and 100% it without using a guide but its impossible. You can 100% without a guide (maybe) but it will take you 100 hours of running around blindly and backtracking, which is ridiculous. You have to use a guide, there's just no way around it. And I hate that. The map just needed to be more user friendly, the compass really doesn't help at all and is almost useless. This is the most frustrating part of the game, no doubt.
Its a good metroidvania and definitely a fun 10-15 hours game. But give me a good intuitive map and an easier way to 100% it without constantly referring to internet guides and reddit threads. And also a better story with decent characters. This goes from a 6 to an 8 or 9 easy.

No me gusto, muy chuminga la pocha, el 1 esta muchisimo mejor y es tremendo juegazo.... pero este no me gusto

Its not better then the original but its fun and cool I enjoyed exploring

+ Phenomenal pre-sequel to a phenomenal game that was well worth the wait. Very hard to say if this one's better or not, they're better than each other in different ways
+ Not as much catchy music, but the soundtrack is way bigger and the more ambient tracks are still really good
+ Art style is entirely different, having more bits which improves detail while maintaining the original's groovy retro feel (also makes animations with more frames look better since they have more pixels to work with)
+ Is more grounded but still somehow finds its way to make the lore even more complicatingly interesting and head-scratching (in a good way, for the most part!) TL;DR, it expands the original lore very well
+ Combat is focused much more on melee and lower-range attacks as opposed to the first game's projectiles, which increases difficulty while keeping it fair
+ Progression and level design is focused in a more balanced way. The first one had a lot of vertical hallways like original Metroid games, which this game practically eliminates by interconnecting different areas much more and revamping the fast travel system entirely
- Very little traditional bosses (which is a real shame, since this game's combat system would really improve the spammy bosses from the original game. However, the bosses that are in the game are mostly really cool!)
- Once again, the final boss and ending is a bit anticlimactic, maybe even more so than the original. In general, the story feels a little bit less focused because it's started expanding Axiom Verge's world and timeline which results importance being put on specific characters.
- There are less of the inherent surprises from the original game, though maybe that's just because after playing the first one you're at least vaguely familiar with most concepts
- Feels maybe a bit drawn-out and the backtracking can sometimes feel a bit clunky due to a certain area introduced in this game, resulting in a game that isn't as enjoyable to speedrun as the first one

I feel like it's a definite step down from the first game in terms of combat, but the exploration is actually pretty fun despite the world being more linear.
The music and visuals are just as good if not better than the first game but it's just let down a little by the super easy boss fights and lack of ranged weapons. I had no idea what was going on in terms of the narrative though because I played half of this game at the start of January and half in the last few days.