While games in the Metroidvania genre keep popping up on the eShop, they can be hit or miss. Developer Neopopcorn brings us 3000th Duel that is a must-play for fans of the genre. Let’s find out why.
You play as an unnamed hero with no memory of who they are or where they are from. You travel through a mysterious world in the hope of discovering who you indeed are. While exploring the vast world, you will find more powerful weapons, items, and magic.
Like most Metroidvania games, backtracking is a must, but doing so is always rewarded with loot or new magic abilities. Platforming at times can be a bit difficult when attempting to dodge an enemy when trying to make a jump. Luckily 3000th Duel allows for some traps to be deactivated without compromising the integrity of the game.
Weapons are divided into three different class types. The class types include long-range attacks of spears, fast attacks of swords, and the heavy attack of axes or broadswords. Players can equip two types at a time and can change with the tap of a button. Weapons can also be upgraded by collecting materials found along the way in treasure chests or occasionally left behind after defeating enemies.
Karma is collected when you defeat an enemy, and it can be later traded for upgrading your character. The traits that you can exchange karma for are vitality, strength, mind, and activity. As I have previously mentioned, 3000th Duel can be a bit difficult if you die, as you lose your karma. It can be reclaimed by making it back to the area you previously died. While it might seem like kind of a pain going back through the areas you already have been, you still get to earn the karma from defeating the enemies along the way. So when you reclaim the karma you previously lost, it can be quite rewarding. As those are upgraded, you will also receive seal breaker stones; which can be used to unlock skills from the skills tree. Skills unlocked here range from things such as charged attacks useful during a battle to skills more for exploration like air dashing or double jumping.
Boss battles can be as fun as they are challenging. Learning the pattern of the boss is only part of the strategy of winning. The second will be finding out if one type of weapon or magic is more effective than another, then realizing halfway through the battle that you have to try something else. It always keeps you on your toes.
The only thing that really bothered me is much of the map design felt kind of uninspired from one theme to the next. The hallways seemed to be pretty much the same with a few weaker enemies followed by stronger ones in between. It was followed by rooms with some platforming followed by a vertical hallway, either descending or ascending. The variety of enemies did help keep this from feeling too bad.
Review: 3000th Duel (Nintendo Switch)
3000th Duel is a great play through and truly a hidden gem on the Switch. The more time I put into it, the more I enjoyed it. Despite my one small complaint, I enjoyed seeing what I would discover next. Metroidvania fans should certainly give this game a playthrough.