Blasphemous is a brilliant and dark Metroidvania from The Game Kitchen. It began its path on Kickstarter, where it saw massive success from fans of Metroidvanias and Dark Souls, and its beautiful pixel graphics, heavy themes, and brutal nature caught the eyes of nearly 10,000 backers. It ultimately released in September of 2019, and it has been widely accepted as one of the best indie games on the Nintendo Switch.
My name is Jason, and this is your Nindie Spotlight for this week: Blasphemous.
WARNING: This is a dark, graphic, and brooding game. Viewer discretion advised.
A foul curse has fallen upon the land of Cvstodia and all its inhabitants – it is simply known as The Miracle. You play as The Penitent One – a sole survivor of the massacre of the ‘Silent Sorrow’. Trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth, it’s down to you to free the world from this terrible fate and reach the origin of your anguish.
Explore this nightmarish world of twisted religion and discover its many secrets hidden deep inside. Use devastating combos and brutal executions to smite the hordes of grotesque monsters and titanic bosses, who are all ready to rip your limbs off. Locate and equip relics, rosary beads, and prayers that call on the powers of the heavens to aid you in your quest to break your eternal damnation.
Blasphemous carries so many religious ideas, particularly of the Catholic kind, and the way it is woven into the world and story is outstanding. It is dark, heavy, and at times hard to watch, because the story being told is not just what is being said but also what is being shown. The Penitent One carries a plethora of heavy burdens, and the task put upon him is one that has killed many before. This is not a title for the faint of heart, but for those looking for a challenge unlike anything else on the hybrid console, it is damn-near perfect.
One of the things players immediately run into in Blasphemous is the insane gameplay. The Game Kitchen has truly married the 2D platformer with Souls-like elements that truly makes Blasphemous a one-of-a-kind indie game. Parry and dodge are important controls that are musts for success, which is very similar to those Souls games, and this creates some of the most intense encounters across any game on the hybrid console, no matter the genre.
Death is looming, and since Blasphemous takes inspiration from the Souls games, this is expected on your route to success, which means death is not a sign of weakness but of growth. Each death will teach you something, and since the controls are so tight, your failures are rarely-to-never the fault of the game itself but of your inability to do the right action at the right time.
This is especially evident in boss encounters, and these are massive in Blasphemous. Bosses will test your skills to the max, and learning how to read their movements and attacks is part of the experience. That means death again is inevitable, and each death will teach you something new until you achieve that final blow that is more satisfying than completing most games. There is a sense of accomplishment like few others when you defeat the massive bosses in Blasphemous.
In addition to the gameplay, Blasphemous looks incredible. The art style obviously borrows inspiration from numerous sources, namely games like Dark Souls and Castlevania, while also pulling inspiration from the Catholic Church and its long and often-times dark history. This combination gives us a style unlike any other, and it is a tragic yet beautiful style that gets seared into the brain.
The Penitent One, the random NPCs, the enemies, and the bosses are all incredibly designed. Some moments may even take your breath away, because what is being presented on screen is often hard to describe. Yet the themes and backgrounds cater perfectly to this desolate world that has been struck with tragedy and pain. Based simply on the visuals and art style, you can feel this.
On top of the natural gameplay graphics, Blasphemous also presents stunning cutscenes that frequently paint The Penitent One in a suffering state, and seeing them breathing heavily, rising to their feet, and encountering monsters that the normal mind cannot comprehend is one of the most incredible achievements in indie games. This is truly one of the most stunning titles on the Nintendo Switch, and it is even more mind-boggling when you learn of the size of the team behind it.
Blasphemous has found massive success thanks to its wonderful Kickstarter campaign, brilliant development, and incredible launch. Since launch, the game has been praised by most outlets for the reasons shared and even more, and The Game Kitchen has continued to support the title since it initially released, adding new free content to bless their fans and supporters and remind everyone why Blasphemous is one of the best indie games on the market.
In addition to the free content for the first title, The Game Kitchen has also confirmed that Blasphemous II is on the way, which means we are most likely getting another phenomenal experience from a small and young team that has already delivered tremendously on the first outing.
“Sorrowful be the heart, Penitant One”, and prepare thyself for the journey ahead. In the meantime, the original Blasphemous is here to quench our thirst and test us in ways immeasurable.
There is your Nindie Spotlight on Blasphemous. Check back again next time for a look into another great Nindie title. What are some of your favorite indie games? Let us know in the comments below! Thank you for visiting Nintendo Link. Happy gaming, everyone.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.