Fighting in front of a tree in Ghost Song

ghost song review

ghost song review

need to know

what is it? Sci-fi Metroid with a few soul mechanics.

Expected payment: £15/$20

release date: come out now

Developer: old moon

Publisher: humble game

Comment on: Nvidia RTX 3060, i5-11400F, 16GB RAM

multiplayer game? Do not

Association: Official website(opens in a new tab)

Repetition is the bread and butter of any delightful Metroidvania, but as I search for the next story beat in the seemingly endless maze of Ghost Song’s subterranean corridors, it’s hard not to wonder what’s wrong. First impressions seem strong, thanks in large part to the captivating hand-drawn art style, though the frustrating limitations of its mechanics kick in when you start to master its clunky combat and confusing level design. highlighted.

You play as Deadsuit, a robotic entity awakened from an ancient slumber on the desolate planet Lorian. Your real name and origins are shrouded in mystery, so exploring this unfamiliar environment is your first priority as you begin your search for answers. The eerie and oppressive atmosphere that shapes the earth’s surface is instantly mesmerizing. Everything is bathed in eerie, supernatural light, and the beautiful background art is littered with the remains of countless crashed spacecraft, creating an urgent sense of isolation and decay. This art direction remains a consistent bright spot when you’re venturing underground, and the Metroid roots are clearly seen in Deadsuit’s playful design – which accommodates a faceless visor and a familiar arm pose Plasma Cannon.

(Image credit: Old Moon)

The first of many major oversights only becomes apparent when you start encountering the army of Lorian’s mutant inhabitants. The clunky keyboard control scheme makes Deadsuit a far more clunky hero than any Nintendo protagonist, and while the clunky bindings can be mercifully adjusted from the options menu, the inexplicable lack of mouse support means you’re playing with the keyboard. Aiming at certain angles is simply impossible with the arrow keys, and while this can be quickly resolved by using a compatible controller, this limitation makes several later sections dominated by fast-flying enemies nearly impossible.

The first of many major oversights only becomes apparent when you start encountering the army of Lorian’s mutant inhabitants.

Even with the controller in hand, traversal felt sluggish due to slow max walking speeds and inexplicable floating jumps. As you’d expect from the genre, more movement options gradually unlock as you progress, including the much-needed ability to double jump and sprint, but it’s hard to ignore the frankly unpleasant level of imprecision that this The level of imprecision is pervasive throughout your platforming attempts. travel. The fight was similarly sloppy, with weird hitboxes killing me as a result of at least a dozen enemy piercings through solid surfaces.

Then there’s the real diabolical evasion, which is hard to tell with the naked eye and usually throws you into the clutches of a much larger foe, with near-instant death. This is probably one of the least effective evasion maneuvers ever implemented, and the visible meter that measures the brief invulnerability time that accompanies each evasion is a positive addition, however, it provides an intuitive alternative to other similar Soul’s more opaque invincibility frame, but in many cases it simply can’t correlate with the damage I’ve taken.

(Image credit: Old Moon)

These problems are most evident in boss fights, where repetitive encounters filled with oversized hitboxes and inconsistent attack patterns push the combat system to its absolute limits. They look more like a test of patience than skill, a sentiment only intensified by poorly placed save points, forcing you to waste time dragging yourself back into combat after an unfair death.

In the foundation of ghost songs, there is still a glimmer of hope.

However, there’s still a silver lining to Ghost Song’s foundation, and a mechanic that sees your projectile weapon overheat with prolonged use while increasing melee damage, which results in a satisfying critical hit before hitting A pleasant rhythm that nerfs the health of weaker enemies. The upgrade system is just as enjoyable, offering a variety of new suits and blaster enhancements or mods for you to discover. Each is quite unique, with highlights ranging from launching a flurry of friendly slimes at your opponents to the more practical ability to view enemy health bars. Each slain enemy also rewards a wave of Nano Cells, a currency that can be used for additional stat upgrades on statues – lumbering downed robots located near a handful of save points.

On Standard difficulty, dying will not only cause you to give up your current collection of Nanocells, it will also deplete your overall health pool. This can only be restored by spending more Nano Cells on the statue, creating something like 22. The only time you need to fix your Deadsuit is after you die and lose all your cells, at which point your new reduced health bar makes reaching the statue more difficult. Thankfully, the cost of repairs is very low, but the fact that the statues are so few and far apart means they often require a detour to get there. It’s a totally unnecessary chore that doesn’t seem to do much good other than waste your time.

(Image credit: Old Moon)

The base map design only further exacerbates this frustration. You’ll spend the entire game in one dungeon, and even with several late-game traversal options unlocked, your exploration options are still disappointingly linear. With the number of interconnected areas kept to a minimum, there are some substantial shortcuts overall, and the vast majority of the roughly ten hours it takes to complete the story is spent backtracking in familiar territory. It’s pretty worn, and while some interesting sights stand out from the crowd (some more spooky and abstract come to mind immediately afterwards), the underground venue also has many disturbing nearly identical dimly lit corridors.

At a time when new Metroidvania keeps coming and classics like Dead Cells keep rolling out interesting updates, Ghost Song has little to offer. Keep Deadsuit dead.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.