Hey gang, Valkor here. And I’m back with another GameView nugget that’s worthy of your time. This round, I’m taking a gander at Valfaris for the Nintendo Switch, a 2D action title that mixes a rocking soundtrack with some intense gameplay. After the beat em ups went through recently, this was definitely the change I needed. Check it out!
In Valfaris, you play as Prince Therion who has just returned to his homeworld of Valfaris extraordinarily. And things aren’t looking too rosy around these parts. Therion believes it to be the work of his father. But the further he ventures forward, the more that he learns other hands are stirring this demented pot. And anything tossed in that pot is looking to take a shot at Therion before he reaches his endgame.
Valfaris is a straight-up 2D platformer with some puzzle elements tossed in. As brutal as the bad guys are, Therion is well equipped to face whatever comes his way. You have four main weapons—a sword, a blaster, a special blaster that diminishes some of your energy bar, and finally a shield. And other than the shield, each item can be upgraded or swapped out at checkpoints. To upgrade an item, you must find resources that you can get from the environment or certain enemies. Last, the shield is pretty dope as it not only defends against certain attacks, it can also snag projectiles and send them right back towards the enemy. Either way, you’re gonna need all this and more if you plan to make it towards the end. Thankfully, you’ll find weapons lying around that as soon as you pick one up, you’ll be treated to a Therion headbang.
Each area poses a different challenge for Therion—some you can simply run and gun, while others you’ll need some problem-solving skills. Those stages don’t require too much thought, but it’ll toss some extra enemies at you to slow you down. Thankfully, there are enough checkpoints located at just the right spots so you’re not stuck having to tread difficult areas all over again. The boss levels are also brutal, but all you really need to do is figure out their pattern and you’ll take them down with ease. The game reminds me of Contra, but I’ll admit it’s a lot more fun. And I’ll tell you why in the TOV Breakdown!
From the jump and continuing onward, Valfaris is a fierce and entertaining 2D platformer that’s hard to put down! Each time I thought I could take a break, I ended up picking the controller just to complete “one more stage”. But the game doesn’t make it easy as you’ll die—a lot! But not in how it’s rage-inducing, toss your controller frustrating like Demon Souls. Like for me, sometimes I’ll die, but it clearly was my fault, just some dumb mistake. Thankfully, the generous checkpoints make this brutal trek easier to endure, so going back to face a stage after a harsh death wasn’t as painful as I would have thought. The gameplay is on point and controlling Therion is a breeze, with some fluid animation to boot. And while I loved mowing down baddies with my blaster, or hack and slashing them to bits with the sword, it took some adjusting using the shoulder button for the shield. Then again, I barely used it. It worked great on certain enemies, but if I’m able to take them out with the quickness with my blaster, then that’s OK too. The graphics are insane with beautiful yet sick and twisted backdrops that look like it should be a Metroid game (and initially I thought it was a Metroid style game). The animation is fluid and its nailed with Therion’s head banging! Finally, the metal soundtrack is simply amazing and blends well with the backdrops and on-screen action. If you’re looking for a brutal yet fun platformer, then make no mistake, Valfaris is the one to get!
I only have a few nitpicks with the game that I found to be a slight annoyance. First up, I thought Therion could stand out more; When things got too insane with the on-screen action, he’d sort of blend in and I’d lose him for a moment, which ended in his death. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often. Next, I don’t get the need for a relic to use at a checkpoint. Why can't a checkpoint simply be a checkpoint? The game ensures that you’ll always have enough relics whenever you reach one, even bumping up your count when you finish certain stages. But I feel it's something that should have been cut out altogether. Finally, the game needs more resources to upgrade weapons, or at the very least toss in some armor or shield upgrades too.
Having to kill a monster, just to use its pheromones to get to the next area. Yea, this is going to be messy!
Valfaris is available now for the Nintendo Switch (also available on STEAM, PS4, and XBONE), and it’s an intense, brutal, and entertaining platformer that was an enjoyable play from start to finish! The artwork is amazing and that soundtrack complements the entire experience. I highly recommend picking this one up! So, out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Valfaris a 4.5!