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Hollow Knight - Soulsvania platformer

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Really enjoying this now (have just beaten the second boss) however I'm not convinced by the map buying mechanic if I'm honest. I spent ages in the second area as I basically followed the person that you see, and in doing so I totally missed the map guy. This meant that I felt like I was wasting a lot of time fumbling around not knowing where to go or how to get back to places. Which when you are continually being beaten by the boss is pretty bloody annoying. (I mean after the second time I knew the way back but initially I just stumbled upon it and had no idea how to get back to it from the bench). I'm not convinced about buying the quill and markers either. For me personally (and I know I didn't have to do this) it mean that I just ground out the coins until I had enough to purchase everything from the start. This meant that a significant amount of my early time with the game was spent flicking between two screens to get enemies to respawn. As I say, that was my choice but in this type of game which is about going back to previous areas etc... I didn't want to feel that I was discovering things that I'd forget about (because it's a pretty big map) and then have to try and find again by checking everything again.

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I started this last week. I mean, it's perfectly solid, but I just haven't got a clue where I'm meant to be going half the time, which is just boring me.

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1 hour ago, Meh said:

I started this last week. I mean, it's perfectly solid, but I just haven't got a clue where I'm meant to be going half the time, which is just boring me.

 

There aren't any quest markers forthcoming so buckle up or bow out I'd say.

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Ooooh this is really lovely.  Literally only played half an hour but it's super moody and intriguing!   I liked how I bought a map and it was literally just like someone had drawn it and I had to try and figure out the landmarks etc.  So neat!  

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It swings from great explorations to maddeningly unfair drops into dealing with bosses... I know it's going for the Souls vibe - so it often chucks you a bit further back from the boss than you would normally like... but... compare it with actual souls.  Quite often you can see the big bad in front of you.  You've got a choice.  This misses that... I was exploring in the fungal bit, dropped down into an area and found myself facing two big fat mushroom guys that killed me.  Back I go.  So, I'm on a right love/hate with this game so far.  When I love it, it's wonderful - but it really makes me want to snap my switch in two sometimes for feeling just really *unfair* rather than just hard.

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21 hours ago, Cyhwuhx said:

 

There aren't any quest markers forthcoming so buckle up or bow out I'd say.

 

you can buy things to put onto the map though to jog your memory about places you want to return to or what-not.

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About 10 hours into this now and it's bloody great. Great when you figure out how to beat some of the bosses though I think my skill set is slowing down as I age. Opening up a fair bit of the map now too. Anyone on the fence should really check it out. Great value for money.

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I've played a couple of hours and as others have said, it's a great "souls meets metroidvania" in the form of a 2D platformer.

 

I'm currently trying to get my head around the game's structure. I've found that due to some unplanned falls and exploration, I seem to have wandered quite far down and across the world in to new biomes. I've also bumped in to a boss who just smacks me with a big hammer and I die. I do have a map, but there's not a "you are here" marker as far as I can tell, so navigation is a bit trial-and error. 

 

Spoiler

I did find a travel tube, so I have a fast travel back to the surface now, which is nice. Makes it seem like Steamworld Dig actually.

 

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4 hours ago, tyagi said:

I've played a couple of hours and as others have said, it's a great "souls meets metroidvania" in the form of a 2D platformer.

 

I'm currently trying to get my head around the game's structure. I've found that due to some unplanned falls and exploration, I seem to have wandered quite far down and across the world in to new biomes. I've also bumped in to a boss who just smacks me with a big hammer and I die. I do have a map, but there's not a "you are here" marker as far as I can tell, so navigation is a bit trial-and error. 

 

 

You can buy a compass for 100 of the currency from the shop in the starting area ( the surface) which marks your position on the map. You can also buy markers there which mark specific things on the map. Also make sure you buy the quill.

 

I’m further in now and I still dislike the fact a lot of things cost to open/get. I know if they didn’t have it the ‘die and you lose your geos’ mechanic couldn’t exist but it just ends up with me grinding between screens (to initiate a respawn of the enemies) if I don’t have enough.

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20 minutes ago, metallicfrodo said:

You can buy a compass for 100 of the currency from the shop in the starting area ( the surface) which marks your position on the map. You can also buy markers there which mark specific things on the map. Also make sure you buy the quill.

 

Yes, thanks. I googled and found a Hollow Knight Wiki, which told me all about the Map and Quill (http://hollowknight.wikia.com/wiki/Map_and_Quill).

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Got the wall jump and that’s opened things up quite a bit. Went exploring for a while into a place with no map or bench. Got killed by a boss thing. Can’t be arsed going back there.

 

so yeah, this is good... but I don’t think the Souls thing works that well. And it’s ‘Soulstroid’ not ‘Soulsvania’

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On 20/06/2018 at 19:50, scottcr said:

Got the wall jump and that’s opened things up quite a bit. Went exploring for a while into a place with no map or bench. Got killed by a boss thing. Can’t be arsed going back there.

 

so yeah, this is good... but I don’t think the Souls thing works that well. And it’s ‘Soulstroid’ not ‘Soulsvania’

 

I think that’s just simple fear talking. :) Go and explore. And as with anything Souls inspired: take your time. That said, you should probably head East. 

 

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Playing on Switch and this is excellent - first boss down and first ability unlocked. I wish the map would build dynamically as I explore a la Castlevania, but that's my only gripe so far.

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:D

 

Spoiler

The fight with Dung was great. The voice upfront and then the actual fight! Such chaos with bouncing balls, yet never overwhelming to the point of it becoming unfair.

 

So far, combat balance is excellently pitched. I do notice becoming a bit more confident, but the game always seems to have something up its sleeve to - at the very least - slap you in the face a few times. 

 

An absolute joy. Especially when you start mixing up those Charms. 

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By far the hardest thing about Hollow Knight for me is finding appropriate moments to heal during boss encounters. Occasionally a boss will pause overtly with the obvious intention to give you a moment to heal, but outside of those moments healing is almost impossible. I'm trying to defeat Brooding Mawlek with six hearts and a nail upgraded once, which I think I'm probably supposed to be able to do fairly easily at this point, but I get wrecked whenever I try to heal up. The charm that's supposed to speed up healing doesn't do much either.

 

Edit one minute later: boss down. Surefire way of defeating a boss you're stuck on: post on rllmuk about being stuck.

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11 minutes ago, GamesGamesGames said:

What advantages does this videogame have over, say, Salt and Sanctuary? Which I could also afford.

 

This is beautiful.

 

and it is also the better game. 

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Got it yesterday and am already six hours in now, despite having a lot of other things to do this weekend. What a marvel of a game; a perfect balance between Metroidvania and Souls-like, IMHO, and much more fun than Souls & Sanctuary (which I stopped playing halfway through). Having the dash and double-jump is just a joy! There's nothing a I love more than good mobility that ties in neatly with the offensive options. Truly loving the boss battles, as well; they seem really intimidating at first, but they only take a try (or two) before you understand the attack patterns and you start getting super confident. Amazing. I just gave the Mantis Kings (?) a try, and they really kicked my ass, but despite that swift defeat I can already see how they need to be dealt with. Can't wait to jump back into that.

 

I also really love how well sound is incorporated into this. I initially hated having the find the map maker in each area, but knowing that I just have to listen to his humming, changed it from an annoyance into something I now actively look forward to. Being in the right room and hearing him hum, gives me a similar feeling to finding a shortcut in a Souls game. See also: the crying caterpillars. "Ooh, there has to be one in this room!" Great stuff.

 

I seem to be alone in not completely digging the art style, however. Although much better looking than, say, Forgotton Anne, it has a similar hand-drawn look that looks a bit too hand-drawn for my tastes. It's cute, but the characters look overly simplistic and flat, IMHO. And the dark colour scheme gets a bit samey after a while, which is a problem I had with Salt & Sanctuary and even the first Metroid, ironically. Still, it oozes charm, so it's not ruining the experience.

 

Glad I waited for the Switch version, too.

 

EDIT: Two things I just found out on the internet and didn't know despite hours of playing this: 1) you can parry attacks by hitting an enemy sword strike with your own, and 2) if you find your soul meter not filling up all the way, it's because you haven't reclaimed your spirit yet (this one drove me crazy).

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The first I figured out by accident. The second seems logical considering the Soul ‘receptacle’ is actually broken. :)

 

Spoiler

Also loved the Soul Master battle and especially the ‘encore’. Like Guacamelee! this game makes you own your skills. 

 

If this keeps up, Zero Mission might get a new sibling.

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Put about three hours in, looks and plays lovely.

 

Really need to unlock some movement options though, and got a little bored of traipsing through the same areas by the end of my last session trying to find a Stag fast travel for Greenpath. I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious.

 

The map is poor too. I don’t mind the unlocking, mechanics but the zoom level isn’t good enough.

 

Still, very early days, but just lost the love a bit in the last hour.

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Do agree about the map zoom, I was expecting one extra level at the least, it's not deal-breaking, just slightly annoying, especially when the markers are pretty large.

 

You'll get more toys. :) Just push on a little further.

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I find that the map is enough to quickly orientate yourself in the wider world but not so detailed that you’re focused on the map rather than the actual environment. Works well IMO.

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Fair enough. But when they give you markers you can drop on the map to make mental notes of things to come back to, and those markers obscure multiple rooms at the best mag, it's a bit naff.

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I tell you what I *would* like - the ability to add text notes to my markers. I’m currently keeping a separate log of things like ‘blue marker near Mantis village requires dive’

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