Hunter’s Legacy is a 2D platformer that comes from developer Lienzo. You explore various environments full of enemies, moving platforms and do plenty of backtracking to use new equipment you have obtained to access new areas and explore further.
You play as Ikki, a cat who is a warrior in a tribe known as the Un’Amak tribe. The evil Morodir has taken an important ancient artifact from your tribe and you must now attempt to chase down Morodir and defeat him. Your journey takes you to Morodir Persiguir, and you must go to 3 different areas that have various challenges. The core gameplay is 2D platforming with Metroidvania elements with its backtracking. The game is like any other typical platformer, which sees you jumping on ledges, braking blocks and avoiding various enemies. You have a sword to start with and as you progress you do pick up other equipment like a bow to fire arrows. You can also roll to avoid attacks and move quickly.
The mechanics are simple and easy to pick up. You can remap keys to best suit your play style which is also handy. The more progress you make the more items and skills you gain to access to areas previously accessible. Often during your travels, you will come across areas that you can’t get to, like breakable blocks that can’t be broken with your sword, meaning you will at some point return with equipment or skills that will allow you to. During the game you collect gems or ‘Ore’ to enhance your equipment.
Enemies are varied and take quite a few hits to kill. There are caterpillars, goblins, and Kobolds, which are challenging and I often found it was easier to avoid them. You have no ability to block which makes things incredibly frustrating as you have no way of defending yourself. You can collect weird looking fish to recover life however. The level design looks fairly simplistic, which on the surface it is, but in fact the backtracking and tricky enemies make things interesting. There are enough checkpoints to make progress a little easier but I found myself unsure of where to go on too many occasions.
I found that I would be backtracking when it wasn’t supposed to, with crossroads appearing with different routes to take, so I had to do a lot of trial and error before making much progress. What I really disliked about the game were the unpredictable difficulty dips and spikes. In most games the difficulty slowly ramps up, giving you time to improve and learn the mechanics of the game. In Hunter’s Legacy some areas are relatively easy and then suddenly it can feel impossible before flipping back again. This makes your equipment and weapons incredibly vital when it comes to making any sort of progress and fending off enemies. There are two upgrades to your sword, along with two bow upgrades, two for your wallet and finally three upgrades for your health.
During the game you also collect gold coins and ores. It becomes pretty important that you collect as much as possible to gain the upgrades to your equipment. I have to say in general though the combat isn’t great, mainly due to the fact you can’t block enemy attacks, so you either have to avoid them or slash away quickly and inevitably take damage yourself. The game doesn’t really have much environmental gameplay mechanics apart from wind and bubbles you can ride, which leaves environments feeling a bit bland and uninspired at times. For a game that’s all about backtracking and exploration I never really felt the urge to explore and more often than not I found myself trying to get through each area as quickly as possible. The game also has boss encounters and its here that the combat shows it weaknesses. Once again because you can’t block the combat is extremely frustrating and unenjoyable. You have to try and attack from behind, well at least that’s what worked for me. This is a real shame because the enemies and environments look great and with some slight tweaks to combat it could have been much more fun.
The presentation of the game is one of its strongest features, with a vibrant and colourful colour palette for enemies and the environments. The game suffers for the lack of story moments and the game could have also used more dialogue throughout the game to flesh out the world and characters. The environment does feel a little empty at times but the graphics are crisp and the animations are smooth. I loved the way in which Ikki moved throughout the world and his animations looked great. The sound design is also great, with a melodic soundtrack that’s pleasant to listen to and suits the tone of the game.
Overall Hunter’s Legacy is not a bad game, it’s just not great. It does have some very interesting Metroidvania elements and I enjoyed the sense of progression when eventually finding the correct path I was supposed to be taking. I was disappointed with the lackluster combat, which ultimately hindered my overall enjoyment. The visual presentation is fantastic and with a little more going on in environments it could have been even better. I would still recommend giving this game a go if you like Metroidvania style games or 2D platformers, but expect to encounter some frustrating gameplay and difficulty spikes.
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