Games

Grimvalor (mobile review)

This game is also available on Switch.

This review is the mobile version as stated in the title. Grimvalor is a 3D 2D side-scroller in the vein of metrovania but due to its dark, gloomy, and despairing environment it falls under darkvania. You play as a lone warrior sent to figure out why misfigured monsters and entities are encroaching on your land’s borders. To that end, you are equipped with a sword and an axe with possible, optional, hidden weapons. You can jump, and you can dodge in addition to your movesets.

The game is very clearly trying to copy dark souls, down to the message that plays in red when you fail “You died.” Unlike dark souls, you get to keep all your souls or xp/currency gained during a run. This helps alleviate some of the difficulty, allowing you to increase your stats with ease. You can also acquire trinkets that give various boons, such as slowing time during a perfect dodge, that allows for an easier experience. Its normal playthrough is challenging while still being fair to the player and incentivizing skill. The bosses are hard but reward patience and timing your attacks. The storyline is simple but still provides a bit of intrigue. Overall, the normal playthrough is hard, but fun.

Now the problems arise in new game plus, where you are offered the opportunity to play through the game again with new pathways and new equipment. And to further your stats. The developers promised new challenging enemies but in reality, all they’ve done is take the same enemies, cranked their health up, given them armor and massively increased their damage output. They did not give any new enemies that required thinking or skill to beat. They’ve introduced enemies that require you to grind areas over and over to pump your stats up so you can cheese through them with raw power. In addition, bosses are now purely an exercise in frustration. Now not only do you have to fight a boss, but the boss will endlessly spawn armored units. I gave up in frustration at an act 2 boss in new game plus. You have to fight 3 different armored units then 9 of em total, and just when you think it’s over, you have to fight a boss who once you chip away 1/5 of its health will summon all those units you just struggled to face. It’s incredibly lazy development. To merely pump up the amount of enemies without offering new ones with new attack patterns. And the worst part is if you die, you have to go through all that again. And speaking of having to go through something again, this game commits the cardinal sin of unskippable cutscenes. You’re forced to watch the boss be summoned every time.

Do I recommend this game? Honestly, no. It’s a hard game with no reward. The storyline offers no resolution to its plot. It merely forces you back into the thick of things again. Its new game plus exemplifies the lazy programming and development of the creators. It’s a dark souls clone that fizzles and sizzles out in its execution. I do applaud them for having a relatively bug free experience. Avoid this title.

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