23/02/2021

⚔️๐Ÿ’€ Cathedral | Review | 8/10 | Nintendo Switch | "2D Metroidvania action with a chiptune soundtrack? Good" ๐Ÿ’€ @EldenPixels #GameDev #IndieGames

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An 8-bit styled Metroidvania, Cathedral really sucked me in with vibrant visuals and comfortably familiar gameplay. 

That said, musical issues and a clunky map do detract from the overall enjoyment.

Cathedral was a game I hadn’t heard of before but after a quick goosey at the trailer, I was sold. 2D Metroidvania action with a chiptune soundtrack? Good.
The titular Cathedral- whilst revisited later in the game - initially acts as a kind of tutorial to get you used to the pretty standard controls. As in Timespinner, combat is very horizontal and so it takes some getting used to in terms of positioning your red knight as he makes his way through the locations, locations that are illustrated in a map that is two levels deep, meaning that finding your way around can really take some getting used to.

Effectively a series of branching paths from a hub town, there’s a lot of familiar ground here, from healers and an upgrade shop to time-saving portals and collection-based side quests. 
Progress is also hindered by the need for certain items or spells to traverse areas. These are fun to come across, as are the myriad of secrets, often hidden behind attackable blocks and hidden areas.

The music is a bit of a mixed bag. A large amount of the tracks are short and often on repeat, especially when you fumble around certain areas for a while due to the finicky map system.

This can mean they get a bit grating but these niggles pale when compared to the graveyard sections which features a speeding up / slowing down time signature, a huge irritation when it’s on such a short loop and eventually led to me muting the game in these sections. 
Luckily, the music is really strong in other sections of the game where the majority of your time is spent.

Through these issues, there was a certain compulsiveness in the game that kept tugging me back for more. 

The platforming and treasure collection was oddly satisfying and the map wasn’t so sprawling as to feel overwhelming. For every moment I was lost and chewing my lip as I wondered where the next point of progress was, there were twice as many where I was lost in the game's charms and enjoying the exploration.
"Right, I’m off to pick up some WD40 for the groin joints in this suit of armour."

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