Release Date: September 10, 2019
Reviewed On: PS4
Publisher: Dangen Entertainment
If there’s one game that has eluded my gaming library, it’s the Bombservice-developed Metroidvania Minoria. Now with the game’s console release, I can look forward to diving into its magical world, dying more than a few times, and see what this adventure has to offer.
Minoria puts players in the middle of a war between the Sacred Office and Witches. Players are introduced to Sisters Semilla and Fran as they do their best to put a stop to the witches and any who stand against the church. As the narrative progresses, you learn more about the witches as well as the religious group that you fight for.
The story segments are kept short to keep the pacing of the adventure up, but there were some plot holes that I had to fill in for myself. For the most part, this just had to do with the high fantasy dialogue the developers chose to tell the story with, which causes some of the text to come across a little heavy. Regardless, elements of the adventure reach some really impressive moments of narrative storytelling that keeps you eager to see where these two characters end up.
During gameplay, players will take part in some Metroidvania-style environment exploration paired with some light platforming. The Metroidvania layout offers enough for an easily digestible experience, but I wouldn’t expect anything too intricate. The structure of it all is kept easy to navigate and almost linear as it leads you to where you need to go and doesn’t allow you to go off track too much.
There are secret areas full of items that will help your quest, but there’s no real sense of urgency where you feel like you have to uncover each portion of the map. This is only because some of the items found just aren’t that useful. On the other hand, the secret rooms do have some creative platforming sections to navigate through. While the jumping systems are a bit too floaty for precision platforming, these small detours offer a nice little break from the action encountered in the rest of the game.
Semilla has a host of attacks at her disposal, but they each come with a limited number of uses making you strategically plan on when and where to use them. Savepoints do recover health and MP, but between those areas, battles become a test of skill and patience.
The battle system is relatively fast, as players will mostly use the same normal attack against grunt enemies, that evolves in several ways across the adventure. Still, if that enemy doesn’t die in the first set of strikes, then you’ll probably need to dodge or parry to not take damage. Dodge works exceptionally well, but parrying is a bit tougher because you have to stand still in order to use; if you’re moving, you’ll just dodge.
Enemies vary from area to area, but no matter where you are, expect a challenge. It was alarming the first time the smallest enemies killed me in a couple of hits, and it was frustrating the tenth time it happened. However, once I became used to the mechanics of evading and attacks, this game’s responsive controls made the entire experience more than accessible.
Sadly, the console release is more or less the same as the PC version, which means you won’t be seeing anything new if you’ve played it on PC. I wish that there were some extra costumes available or something that could possibly sweeten the port, but for the most part, it’s just a straight port with the additional balanced and enhancements that the PC version received since launch.
Graphically, Minoria is such a gorgeous game. If Semilla’s risky outfit doesn’t get your heart racing, then the environments and boss designs surely will. The developer also pared this fast action with some calming sounds as it ramps up in the more critical moments creating an immersive gaming experience.
Minoria brings an excellent action game to consoles. It plays it safe with its Metroidvania design, but it excels when it comes to immersive world-building and environmental layout. There’s so much to discover here, but expect to die many times doing so. Thankfully, there’s an evolving and competent battle system to rely on.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.