3000th Duel – GAME REVIEW
NeoPopcorn’s new metroidvania delivery called 3000th Duel is one of those games that tends to sit in my gaming queue. Clearly fun and good at what it does, yet doesn’t really offer anything in particular to make me want to play it before something else. Whether that status is good or bad totally depends on your affinity for games in this genre.
As an action platformer, 3000th Duel blends the inner workings of games like Dark Souls and Hollow Knight to exist in a fun but somehow uninspired offering.
You play as an unnamed hero directed by some disembodied voice to recover memories by defeating enemies with swords, magic, and other weaponry. As you slay your foes, orbs of karma (or experience) are gathered to allow you to upgrade your hero’s stats RPG style. As an added hurdle, you are only able to use the experience at specific statues. So if you die before reaching a statue, any unspent karma you’ve collected is lost Dark Souls style.
Truth be told, as you are playing through the game, the story kind of gets lost in the sauce. As an action game, the narrative kind of weakly pulls you from boss fight to boss fight. Thankfully, those boss fights are where the game excels.
Much like arcade games of old, 3000th Duel places a lot of its energy and flair in the somewhat challenging boss fights. For fans of the metroidvania genre, this may be all that is needed to try this game out. With large and stylistic bosses that are pretty to look at, 3000th Duel does at least showcase its fun through the combat and the needed strategy to take down the various bosses. Unfortunately, the level design doesn’t do much to make you crave the journey from boss to boss.
3000th Duel fills in those spaces between bosses with easy and drab enemies that may occasionally knock you out of a jump from time to time. The levels weave up and down in a maze like fashion that cause you to search for new weapons, power ups, and gear needed in future fights. The searching isn’t particularly difficult though. In a way, you could probably say that these levels provide you most of the opportunity to try out the wealth of weaponry and skills that you’ll acquire in the game. While you aren’t confronted with hordes of enemies at any one time, the combat still does have a depth that is fun to use on what is thrown at you.
With a surprisingly fun combat depth, 3000th Duel is worth taking a shot at. If 2D sidescrolling action adventure games are your cup of tea, then 3000th Duel deserves to be in your gaming library. Just don’t expect to get the same challenge from it as the Dark Souls stylings would lead you to believe it has.