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Discussing the Upcoming Wii U Port of Axiom Verge

by Alex Culafi, Zachary Miller, and Neal Ronaghan - May 11, 2016, 2:33 pm PDT
Total comments: 4

Three of us got hands-on time with the port – what's it all about?

At PAX East 2016, three NWR attendees got together and played the upcoming Wii U port of the well-received Axiom Verge, originally released on PlayStation 4 last March. This version is due later this year, and features a few new GamePad features. I (Alex) came into this as a newcomer to the game, with this being the first time I played it, while both Neal and Zach are much more experienced.

Alex: I've never played Axiom Verge on any platform before trying the Wii U version, so I'm not totally sure what's new other than the map and weapon selection being moved to the GamePad (you guys can definitely fill me in on that). What I will say, is that as a newcomer, I was surprised at how not-totally-Metroid this game is. It is totally Metroid, but I would say that its combat has a certain fluidity that reminds me of Contra or Metal Slug even more than it does Metroid and Super Metroid.

Neal: You got it: the Wii U version just basically adds the map/inventory on the GamePad and nothing else. I couldn't even find a way to play Off-TV, but you'd think that feature has to be there.

When I went to play Axiom Verge on PS4 last year, I expected a slavish Metroid-influenced experience. Don't get me wrong: Axiom Verge draws heavy inspiration from Metroid, but it's much more than that. The weapons and bosses reminded me a lot more of Contra than I ever expected. If I had to give it a stupid genre-creating moniker, I might call it a Controid.

Zach - I know you played the Vita version on your flight to and from Boston. How did that compare to the Wii U version? Would you be down for playing the Wii U version for a replay in lieu of another system?

Zach: I've played through most of the game on PS4 and now Vita. I will likely triple-dip on Wii U. Having the map on the GamePad is a huge advantage. The game also runs poorly on the Vita for some reason.

Axiom Verge is crazy good; I agree that the combat, and especially bosses, has a real Contra vibe to it. The different weapons seem nice on the surface, but I honestly only use two or three of them routinely.

Big shout-out to the soundtrack, which is just the best thing. Unlike Metroid's heroic, upbeat soundtrack, Axiom's sets a very different mood. The whole game, including the storyline, is kind of tragic and isolating. I can't say enough good things about it.

Alex: How is the storyline? Does it stay minimalist like the early Metroid games or does it pull a Shovel Knight and have that surprising retro indie depth to it? I got the impression (from my 10-15 minutes with it) that it was gameplay, gameplay, gameplay much like those early Metroid games. Am I mistaken?

Zach: Yup. It goes pretty deep later on, with cutscenes and shit. Never overwhelming, but impactful.

Alex: That sounds very Shovel Knight-y in a good way. Let's end on this: Neal, who is this game for? What would you say to someone like me who was on the fence?

Neal: People who like good video games and can tolerate being hopelessly lost at times. The best through-point is definitely that it's "totally like old-school Metroid," but reducing Axiom Verge to just that is a little disingenuous. The setup feels super Metroid-like, but it spreads out into this beautiful, expansive adventure with game-changing late game power-ups, lots of shooting, and a surprisingly engaging story.

Talkback

ClexYoshiMay 12, 2016

I actually think Axiom Verge is a bit overrated, and I friggin' LOVE Metroidvanias... it's an impressive title, but like... I dunno, Axiom Verge left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Quote from: ClexYoshi

I actually think Axiom Verge is a bit overrated, and I friggin' LOVE Metroidvanias... it's an impressive title, but like... I dunno, Axiom Verge left a bitter taste in my mouth.

I agree. It's not bad, but I didn't think it was anything special.

Luigi DudeMay 13, 2016

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Quote from: ClexYoshi

I actually think Axiom Verge is a bit overrated, and I friggin' LOVE Metroidvanias... it's an impressive title, but like... I dunno, Axiom Verge left a bitter taste in my mouth.

I agree. It's not bad, but I didn't think it was anything special.

Most of the love came from the fact it's a Metroidvania on a non-Nintendo system at the time.  A lot of Nintendo haters, especially Sony fanboys love to overate Nintendo-like titles on their systems just so they can act like they're getting better Nintendo style games then Nintendo systems.  Now that the Wii U is getting this game expect less people to praise it as much since they can't use it against Nintendo fans anymore.

ThePermMay 13, 2016

also, its like fps shooters up here in Nintendoville.

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Genre Action / Adventure
Developer Thomas Happ Games
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Axiom Verge
Release Sep 01, 2016
PublisherThomas Happ Games
RatingTeen
eu: Axiom Verge
Release Sep 01, 2016
PublisherThomas Happ Games
Rating12+
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