For those who’ve read my previous reviews about 2D side-scrolling platformers will know that I am not a fan, I find them incredibly boring and each one very similar, there are some that graphically have looked stunning, but again, I found the gameplay very samey, nothing new brought to the table.
You may ask why I continue to review them, well mainly because I want one to jump out at me and surprise me, to bring something new to the table and wow me. Does this make it a bad game? Not in the slightest, it is after all my opinion and those who like this genre will probably have a difference of opinion to me.
In terms of gameplay and how Blasphemous plays, it is to me, more of the same, but it does play very well, it embodies the Dark Souls style well and has that Castlevania feel to it. The controls are very responsive and well done and because of this, the game is a joy to play through. This is one thing that I find with side scrollers, if the controls are off, the experience can be terrible, so having nice responsive controls were good.
Blasphemous does have a lot of combat to it and mixes in puzzles very well, the game doesn’t try to overburden you to the point that you just want to give up, where it does provide a challenge, it keeps that balance in control and that is one thing that I appreciated from the game.
Your repertoire of attacks can be increased by defeating enemies and gaining tears of atonement… lovely. But to improve your character further you need to discover other items as well as alters and fountains. You’ll be happy to know that you don’t lost items when you die, however the other area which this game takes from Dark Souls is that when you die, you will be returned to the last place you rested at, but what is worse is that your Fervour (which is like your mana) is reduced until you return to the place you died and recover it. Sizzling. You can also visit a shrine that will rid you of your sins… Holy.
I must admit that there were times that I could end up exploring somewhere, end up fighting a boss and get my backside well and truly handed to me, but then find another section to explore where I will find some upgrades which have helped massively. That was one thing I appreciated with Blasphemous, it wants you to go through the game and find everything, yes, you can power your way through, but you wouldn’t get that full experience. I personally feel would be a shame.
However, saying that, when it comes to backtracking and going back to a room you couldn’t get in earlier or doing a side quest, you would have to have a good memory to figure out how to get back to it. You could very well end up running around for ages trying to find something that you’re still nowhere near, which does provide a bit of frustration, as I found at times I was giving up on rooms or side quests because I just couldn’t get back to them.
Has Blasphemous changed my mind in terms of side scrollers? The answer, unfortunately, is no. For me, there was more of the same, and as good as the game felt, there were still too many frustrations and similarities to others, with not enough fresh ideas.
Don’t take anything away from it though, if you love this genre, you will love this game, it is satisfying when you get past the bosses and combat does feel good with the controls. An enjoyable experience but nothing new brought to the table in this reviewer’s eyes.