Afterimage is a beautiful hand-drawn Metroidvania-style game with satisfying melee combat and a gratifying array of options with which to overcome its many tough boss encounters. Fans of Hollow Knight and Blasphemous will likely find much to love here as it has in common a similarly excellent visual aesthetic, tense platforming sections, a challenging brand of 2D combat, and a vast, interconnected world.
Developed by Aurogon Shanghai, Afterimage tells the tale of the amnesiac girl, Renee, as she journeys across the vibrant world of Engardin, tracking down and defeating the goliaths that plague this world. She is ably assisted in this, unfortunately, by her annoying sidekick, Ifree, who almost immediately wears out his welcome with his grating voiceover.
The RPG mechanics at play are quite engaging, even if the massive skill tree offers less freedom than we initially thought, with certain abilities being gated by level requirements. Still, you can create builds around the varied weapons you come across, with each type having its own unique move set. Two weapons can be equipped at once, and skill tree investment can unlock additional abilities for each weapon, allowing for yet further customization.
Afterimage is a challenging game, and quite long too, featuring more than 30 boss encounters across its 20+ hour runtime. Grinding will be necessary at times, too, both for XP and upgrade materials in order to power up your armaments. Thankfully combat is fast and fluid, with controls feeling finely tuned, and lucrative runs can be chained together later on, making this aspect much less of a chore.
There is a veritable smorgasbord of enemies to overcome, more than 150 all told, each lovingly designed and presenting a particular challenge to the player. Mixups can become quite devious later on, and boss encounters will feature multiple phases, requiring repetition and mastery to overcome.
Afterimage does enough to stand out in a genre that is quickly becoming overcrowded, with its surprisingly deep combat and excellent visual design. It doesn't reinvent the wheel but will likely find a loving home in the hands of Metroidvania enthusiasts.
I am sucker for Metroidvania games (just beat Metroid Prime on Switch). Will try this.
Wow beautiful art style
Added to the wishlist. One day it shall be mine!
I love me a Metroidvania. Definitely have to pick this up.
I'm new to MetroidVania's so I'll give it a go
Oh gawd, right next to Jedi too. Sorry, Octopath 2, it’s going to be another couple of months!
Oh, ok, I'm convinced enough..
@Deadlyblack @naruball @AndyKazama Yup, Metroidvania is one of my favourite genres too. I enjoy them so much that I can even tolerate some of the more mediocre titles. Already on my wishlist.
@DrGonzo Nope. Readers need to understand that a reviewers job is to give you an idea of what the game is and how they felt about. It’s up to you how you use this information. A 7 to them might be a 9 to you. They just try to compare the game to others in the genre. How much the negative qualities of the game bother you is a matter of perspective.
Looks good but it's made in China, even if the publisher is a western company. That's why I won't buy a copy.
It's really amusing to think this genre was all but dead 7 or 8 years ago. Metroidvania fans eating good these days.
@Sil_Am You know 90% of everything you interact with on a daily basis is manufactured in china right?
@TripleKing333 If I can avoid the made in China products, i will. There is a trend anyway of moving production line from there. Samsung moved factories, at least for the products I own, TVs and phones.
Asian anime/manga... meh. Move along.
How's the story? I'm not 100% sure I can see myself playing this for 20+ hours if the story isn't good enough to motivate me.
@Impossibilium did you play Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth? That's another metroidvania that looks stunning, got average reviews, and is fantastic for fans of the genre.
Already tried the demo on steam festival, looks gorgeous but the gameplay is just okay and the story is kind of gibberish, I think I'll pass on this.
@Sil_Am Playstation 5, xbox, nintendo, iphone, android phone, and pc all made in china, so how you're able to play games or even write comment in this website lol.
This would be perfect for the vita...oh well..stupid stupid Sony
@Sil_Am you can't escape it ,if you get someone to look at the back of your neck ,it'll say made in China
@wiiware I know about PS5 but I can't avoid it, sadly. My phone is made in Vietnam, though, Galaxy S10.
@tallythwack If it doesn't make you money why keep on producing it.
@AndyKazama No, but that’s another one that’s on my wishlist, waiting for a good sale price.
Too many of these kinda makes them feel meh nowadays.
@Sil_Am That's a classic, before iphone I used galaxy note series phone and it usually come from vietnam too 😃
This game is utterly fantastic, you might feel that its unfair but each boss has a tell and gives more than enough time to heal. the balance in my opinion is top tier. This is the new metroidvania game to beat.
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