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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:19 pm

MrPopo wrote:
I have a similar problem with "Soulsborne" when I feel "Souls-like" works just fine.

I think that one came from Bloodborne coming out and people wanting to refer to Dark Souls and Bloodborne in reference to the games From was putting out, so calling it the Soulsborne series was a reasonable way to go. And Soulsborne sounds better than Souls-like.


I don't think I've ever properly realized that Soulsborne in and of itself is a genre term. I use it to refer to like what you say, to Demon Souls, Dark Souls 1-3, and Bloodborne in a combined fashion (e.g. "I've never been a huge fan of the Soulsborne games"), but I use "Souls-like" for the genre itself. :O
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by samsonlonghair Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:51 pm

In response to the initial question, I feel like Ecco the Dolphin and Ecco Tides of Time are both strongly influenced by Metroid.
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by pook99 Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:22 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Yeah, I tend to think of the term as being synonymous with "nonlinear platformer with backtracking." Most Metroidvanias don't feel too much like either Metroid or Castlevania, .


This is a good summary of what most people think of when they hear metroidvania. Basically non-linear and backtracking with new powers to unlock new areas is really all a game needs to be classified as a metroidvania.

A good example is something like guacamelee, definitely a metroidvania but plays nothing like either metroid or castlevania.
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by PresidentLeever Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:42 pm

Spyro 2 was a recent borderline case that I covered on my site. What do y'all think of that one?

The points against it for me are that a couple of things reset between level visits and levels only have one entry point. Since it has the other elements, some RPG/AA elements as well as a variety of sequence breaking opportunities I think it still counts, although the sequence breaking is more like an advanced optional feature that not all MVs have but fans of the genre tend to appreciate.
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by pook99 Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:44 pm

PresidentLeever wrote:Spyro 2 was a recent borderline case that I covered on my site. What do y'all think of that one?

The points against it for me are that a couple of things reset between level visits and levels only have one entry point. Since it has the other elements, some RPG/AA elements as well as a variety of sequence breaking opportunities I think it still counts, although the sequence breaking is more like an advanced optional feature that not all MVs have but fans of the genre tend to appreciate.


I never played Spyro 2 but I also never considered 3d platformers as contenders for metroidvanias, in my mind a metroid vania is always a 2d game, but that certainly is something interesting for people to discuss, and I would be curious to hear others thoughts on that.
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by PresidentLeever Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:55 pm

Yeah it's something I've come to accept very recently but thinking about it, we don't divide other genres by the dimensions so why MV? And MV fans tend to accept Metroid Prime which are also FP view, an even bigger difference.

That said I make sure to point out which ones are 3D.
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by MrPopo Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:34 pm

PresidentLeever wrote:Yeah it's something I've com to accept very recently but thinking about it, we don't divide other genres by the dimensions so why MV? And MV fans tend to accept Metroid Prime which are also FP view, an even bigger difference.

I'd say that while it is not impossible for a 3D title to be a Metroidvania (e.g. Metroid Prime), it's harder for it to be definitively a Metroidvania vs. just a nonlinear platformer. 3D games in general are more likely to be non-linear because the third dimension encourages design that is more open. When you have a more linear design, like Crash Bandicoot, it stands out more than with a 2D game. So since 3D games can be considered to have a measure of non-linearity by default you now have to look closer at some of the spices that make a Metroidvania a Metroidvania. And I think the deep exploration bit ends up being the thing that will push a 3D game into Metroidvania. Because many 3D games will have areas that are gated behind a mobility; SM64 has things like the Wing Cap, DK64 has the Kong abilities, etc. But the games don't have that sense of trailblazing that Metroid Prime does, with little nooks and crannies. I'd say Dark Souls ends up capturing that aspect of things, but then doesn't really have the backtracking and mobility component; rather, you have multiple paths you can start with and then once you've finished one you do the other (and maybe one of them gives you a key to open a third path behind a door).
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PresidentLeever
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by PresidentLeever Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:19 pm

Yep. It's not that great but I'd say The Divide: Enemies Within (PS1) is one that qualifies so far, it's almost a Metroid clone in early-ish 3D. Exhumed/Powerslave is also there besides missing some persistency aspects (locked doors in the levels/areas reset and you can only enter each area via their first entrance), and there are some sequence breaking possibilities in it as well. System Shock is another one, which is light on ability gating and a bit light on non-linearity too but does some advanced things for the time like new enemies when backtracking to previous areas and audio/text logs. There are a few more which I've listed on my platform adventure reference guide thingy.

Well it made sense for devs to want to explore 3D when it was new with more open level design, it's not just that Mario 64 took that approach and a lot of games followed its formula. Mario 64 isn't quite all the way there to me since you can't learn a power-up as a permanent ability (or even keep it in an inventory like in SMB3) and then go use it wherever; IIRC you also don't really need to use an ability to reach further into the hub area or a new level?

The DS version gets a bit closer with multiple characters and some having unique abilities, and apparently Yoshi can't finish the whole game on his own (without glitches) - but it's like you just grab Mario/Luigi and open the doors that Yoshi can't, while the rest (stars) is all optional content for completionists I think, so it's not fully developed.

Edit:
Interesting bit from a shmuplations interview about Mario 64, regarding MVs:
"—How about everyone else? Were there other things you wanted to do more of in Mario 64?
Yajima: I wanted to make terrain that could be changed—and for the game to remember the change. For example, if you destroy a block somewhere, and went to that area again, the block would still be destroyed. The N64 is capable of doing that, and I don’t think we’ve come close to exhausting it’s possibilities, to be honest."
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samsonlonghair
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by samsonlonghair Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:11 am

Just found out something I didn't know before. I was never a fan of the anime Shaman King. It turns out that the Gameboy Advance game, "Shaman King: Master of Spirits" was a metroidvania game made by some of the same people who worked on Konami's Castlevania GBA games. From the reviews I'm reading, it seems like a metroidvania-lite: a short, but enjoyable metroidvania that you could knock out in relatively short order. I guess when I was a teenager I would have passed over this as a baby game. Now that I'm a thirty something with limited time, a short easy metroidvania sounds like an attractive idea to me. I might have to check this one out.
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Re: When is a Metroidvania not a Metroidvania?

by marurun Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:34 am

I have the game and it is fun, but I got stuck in the game midway through and I don't know how to proceed. So there may be some confusion. Also, it's level-based, but you can go back and forth between levels. It's sort of a weird hybrid between Metroid and a standard stage-based platformer.
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