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Hollow Knight - Soulsvania platformer

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Finally got to Hornet. Bloody hell that was tricky. I clearly need to git gud as she took me more than 20 attempts. Still, now I have the dash it’s back to the start areas to explore new avenues, before delving back down into the fungal place to find Cornifer - had a good wander initially, but haven’t found him yet. I’ll be back.

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I have now bailed on 3 bosses - Mantis knights, the one in soul sanctuary and the one in the starting area that spews out lava globules. Tonight I will stop wandering, stop avoiding the issue and take down those knights.

 

This game is more compelling than anything I’ve played since Dark Souls.

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I'd heard good things about this game, & I haven't been disappointed.  The Metroidvania aspect of exploring for upgrades is something I really like, but the fact that bosses & even just regular enemies present a higher level of challenge than most 2D games is also compelling in spite of how frequently I get my ass kicked.  There are now 2 distinct bosses & other ends of the map that i've faced & few times & made some headway against, but I find myself thinking about their patterns & how I could respond to them during idle moments of the day, which I understand is similar to how most people play Dark Souls.

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Spent some more time just exploring, discovering new sections of the map & picked up a few more secrets & upgrades last night.

 

I'm experimenting with different badge loadouts to see what I find most useful, & I've found some that I think could give me a bit of an edge with those bosses I couldn't take down before, but I know that the end it's going to come down to learning their patterns & responding appropriately, just like every other enemy in the game.

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Ooh, the wall jump really opens things up nicely. Got a few potential avenues to explore now I think, and some boss rooms await.

 

It's challenging, sometimes hateful, and almost wilfully obscure, but it is excellent.

 

However, it feels like it needs a bit of visual variety - hopefully the later areas push the style a little further.

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I do like how there are signposts showing that you're in the vicinity of a Stag Station or bench, just so they don't come totally out of nowhere.

 

And those are those charming Mantis Knight fellows I've heard so much about hmm?  I'll be sure go have another pleasant chat with them once the feeling returns to my everything.

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I wasn't sure I'd like this, because of the Dark Souls comparisons, but some of the Switch reviews tempted me in (along with the price) and crikey. Played two evenings' worth, and last night I could not go to bed before I'd reclaimed my soul - wait, before I've figured out this new area - wait, I need a stag station so I can get back here - oh fuck, it's 2am. Been a bit disappointed by this genre before, enjoyable games that ran out of steam (Ori and the Blind Forest, Owlboy, Dust: An Elysian Tail, etc etc). This one feels a bit like the real deal.

 

Not reading owt in the thread until I'm proper stuck!

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This is sublime.

 

I've now put more time in it than Samus Returns, but dear lord, you can't even compare the two any more. Hollow Knight is on a completely different plane. If Zero Mission was Metroid concentrated to its core, this is a lavish banquet instead.

 

This is how it's done.

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Spoiler

The Mantis Lords. :wub:

 

That was basically a remixed 1st phase Calaca (Gaucamelee!) fight, but ooooooooo....

 

giphy.gif

 

What is it with this game throwing bosses at you that seem impossible to start with, only to turn into smooth as silk no-hit fights after you "get it"?  :wub:

 

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47 minutes ago, Cyhwuhx said:
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What is it with this game throwing bosses at you that seem impossible to start with, only to turn into smooth as silk no-hit fights after you "get it"?  :wub:

 

 

TBH, that's the sign of a good Souls-like :)

 

I did that fight waaaaay too early so it was even more challenging that intended, but man, the satisfaction was immense. I even started 'toying' with them at one point (DuckTales-pogoing off of their boomerang attacks, etc.).

 

"So good", indeed.

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About 15 hours in and, daft as it sounds, I still haven’t clicked with this. It’s been a constant (and mostly unfun) struggle. I think the required skill and patience levels to enjoy it are beyond me. I’m mostly lost, no idea what’s going on, where to go or why I’m going there, battered by bosses in all directions, losing tonnes of souls/geo, and struggling to pull off seemingly essential moves like the pogo downwards slash (sticks on joycon just not accurate enough for this). It also takes too long to earn geo, many areas you traipse through have fuck all to kill.

 

I never got frustrated with say Celeste, even though I died thousands of times, as the restart was instant at the place of death. This is just a bit of a slog. And the novelty of the look and feel of the place has worn off. I have the long flying dash move from Crystal Peak, the normal dash, and a once-upgraded nail. Not helping me with bosses much.

 

Definitely love/HATE for me, and I may park it for a while and try something a bit more relaxing. Maybe Yoku’s.

 

Ho hum. Moan over.

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That's a shame. I'm a bit lost at the minute but I'm not finding the combat too difficult. It's challenging for sure but the controls are lovely and precise. 

 

Any idea where I do go now? 

 

Spoiler

I just encountered hornet for the first time, then found those two turtling guys that you need to shoot with the soul thing. Killed a bouncing bug that was guarding the way to a charm shop.

 

Not quite sure where to go now. 

 

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2 hours ago, Mrs Horribleman said:

That's a shame. I'm a bit lost at the minute but I'm not finding the combat too difficult. It's challenging for sure but the controls are lovely and precise. 

 

Any idea where I do go now? 

 

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I just encountered hornet for the first time, then found those two turtling guys that you need to shoot with the soul thing. Killed a bouncing bug that was guarding the way to a charm shop.

 

Not quite sure where to go now. 

 

 

Spoiler

Go down from the hot spring in Forgotten Crossroads. Your new dash skill should help you out down there.

 

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I adore this game and i'm not even a massive fan of metroidvania games. I would say its the Dark Souls aspect, but im not a massive fan of Dark Souls (loved Bloodborne though). I'm really finding it hard to put down.

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It's amazing and a bargain. The only small niggle I have is keeping track of the different paths which require an enhancement. So when I get a new ability I'm revising the entire map to figure out where to use it to advance.

 

The platforming 'feel' is spot on as well.

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Excellent game, this. Really enjoying it. I'm currently at the (2nd) Hornet fight, and flipping blimey, it's a frustrating one. Even though she's pretty much the same as the first time, I'm really struggling with it. I had to put down my switch last night because I knew I end up throwing it across the room if I didn't!

 

Boss frustration aside, this game is structured brilliantly. I'm pretty far in, but I haven't been stuck once. Even if you're in an area where you don't know what to do, revisiting old areas will usually set you on the right path because you'll now have abilities you didn't have when you initially visited them.

 

I do wish, though, that there were more fast travel options. The stag stations are fine, but not all areas seem to have one, so it can sometimes be a mission if you want to, for example, go to the nail upgrade guy because you've just found a pale ore. Of course, it's entirely possible that all areas do in fact have a stag station, but I've just not found them all. I would like to see (perhaps as a new game + option) the ability to warp between benches. But then again, maybe that's too much and would detract from the exploration. Good thing I don't design games, I wouldn't have a bloody clue.

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One quick question (possibly a bug?)... I died at one point with 1500 coins but when I recovered my soul I didn't get the coins back as usual.

 

Bug or is there a time based component to ensure you get them back?

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29 minutes ago, hub2 said:

One quick question (possibly a bug?)... I died at one point with 1500 coins but when I recovered my soul I didn't get the coins back as usual.

 

Bug or is there a time based component to ensure you get them back?

That sounds buggy unfortunately. Haven’t seen a recovery gone wrong yet. Or did you “shortcut” your recovery?

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24 minutes ago, hub2 said:

What does that mean?

 

If you don't know what the "shortcut" is, you don't need to worry about it (yet).

 

But sadly, that would make this a bug indeed.

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4 hours ago, hub2 said:

One quick question (possibly a bug?)... I died at one point with 1500 coins but when I recovered my soul I didn't get the coins back as usual.

 

Bug or is there a time based component to ensure you get them back?

Maybe a silly question, but did you die again before the recovery?

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I just started this today and my feelings towards it are somewhat mixed. I feel the controls and platforming aren’t as tight as I was hoping, but am generally enjoying it. 

 

I beat Hornet but it was quite frustrating. She has too much life and the fight just becomes dull. Also, I made it to her without finding the map guy, and it’s fairly easy to miss the bench, too, in which case you’ll respawn a fair way off. 

 

I don't know how I feel about the general lack of direction. I haven’t felt much sense of discovery. More just “haven’t got a clue where to go, just keep going until you find something.”

 

 

Still, I’m enjoying it. Really like the mysterious NPCs, and I’m genuinely curious about the world. 

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4 hours ago, metallicfrodo said:

Maybe a silly question, but did you die again before the recovery?

 

Ah, maybe, so you're saying you cannot die before recovering your soul if you want to keep the coins? I did not know that... good to know.

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