Paradox Soul PC Review with Stream
Great enemy variety
Not even levels
For those who don’t know, the term Metroidvania usually describes a certain type of 2D platforming game. It will consist of one large map instead of many levels or stages, and each part of the large map is slowly explored with an item in one area will unlock another. Paradox Soul seems to be an homage to this type of gameplay, but with a twist of greatly accelerating every part of it for maximum effect.
In this new title from Ritual Games, you play as Dr. Alli Rose, a scientist who is trapped in an evil test facility and must find her way out. You have very basic controls like a small jump, a slide like in classic Mega Man, and a simple blaster. The map is fairly big, and like other games, you must carefully navigate however you can through the labyrinth to find the next power up or key that will let you progress. I do appreciate that the map is very well designed as it makes use of the multiple doors per room to provide multiple exists that lead to very different places. As with this genre, there is a large amount of backtracking, but it didn’t feel as bad here since each room isn’t too big to just run through.
For weapons, you with the basic blaster, but you can upgrade this by finding new weapons and other secrets along the way. That said, I found that the difficulty curve for this adventure is quite skewed as it is difficult at the beginning and only mild near the end. The basic gun is just fine, but the enemies even at the beginning take forever to kill, and they can kill you in one shot. Add on to that that they are very fast, and seem to pop up out of nowhere. One of the other problems was that due to the retro pixel art style, which I did enjoy aesthetically, it made it very difficult to distinguish what was part of the game, and what was background. It took a while to figure out that you could get cover behind the boxes so that you had time to fire back at the seemingly death proof robots.
Once you understand the cover, and you get some upgrades, the combat doesn’t feel so bad however. It still provides a challenge as the reflexes and timing needed to kill them even with cover is substantial, and there are a few different types of enemies that make you change your style. Minor enemies aside, the several bosses you meet along the way are unique and challenging in different ways which really keeps you on your toes at all times.