Why I Love: Axiom Verge (and New Super Mario Bros.)

Performance of Another World:
You’re probably wondering why New Super Mario Bros. is there.  …because it’s #130.  However, it is on my Top 12 because it is very well executed, but I don’t feel the need to really reach out to exclaim something unique or something I love about it.  It’s just really well done Mario.  

Let’s take a small bit of time to talk about #129, Axiom Verge.  

Axiom Verge is a sci-fi, side scrolling, metroidvania game.  It’s well executed and it’s fun to play.  And now I’m going to do that thing where I said that and I’m going to direct your attention to something random.  I really like the feeling of the world of Axiom Verge.  You’re thrown into a completely alien world where your character is also confused by said event.  

But…a lot of video game worlds feel different, so what gives?  I think Axiom Verge does a particularly great job at making a game world feel foreign.  The way the world works, sounds, and looks is just so weird, but not incoherent or entirely simple.  There is enough dialogue sprinkled throughout that makes enemies feel like something you’re interrupting.  There are environments you feel like you are invading.  You really feel like you do not belong there, and it works fantastically well in a story setting of, “Where the world am I?”

Like any metroidvania, you collect items that add to your places you can reach and things you can interact with in the game.  They have some really neat ideas that I could see being in a Metroid game.  I think the presentation and the visuals really pull off the, “this game is different” feel.  I mean, if we skeletonize what abilities can do for us we can always wash it down:: movement abilities, reaching abilities, and changing perspective to name a few.  It is very enjoyable to see how Axiom Verge handles these in fun, unique ways.

I’ll be honest, I could melt this game down and I can just state it as a Metroidvania game.  It’s just very well executed like how New Super Mario Bros. doesn’t bring huge changes to the table.  (Ah, I’m sorry colossal and mini mushrooms.  I love you mini mushroom.)  They’re just very well done.  

The only negative thing is the same negative thing I have with most metroidvania games.  Traveling around the map can be a pain.  This is a common case for most metroidvania games even when they have some sort of fast travel, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue.

Oh yeah, I said the world of Axiom Verge sounds different.  The soundtrack is very Metroid-ish.  They give off that same vibe of the unknowns of space, but there is a track that is so unique I just stopped moving and listened to it a bit when I first went in.  Love it.  If you play the game, you’ll know which one it is.  (Or I guess if people really demand it, I can send them a link.)

IT’S FUN, and the pixel graphics are gorgeous.  I guess I’ll say that about pretty much every game here.  XD

If you have it in your Epic Games pool of games you’ve grabbed for free, or you really like metroidvanias, I would recommend trying it out!  There is a prequel that is coming to the Switch as well.

Okay, so that was more than a bit of time for Axiom Verge.

Thanks for reading ULTRA.  We’ll be back with more things tomorrow!  Also, there is another Summer Games Fest showcase tomorrow, and I’ll report that too.  Stay safe!  Take care of yourselves, and we’ll see you in the next game!