Word of warning:
Record of Lodoss War is one of the few anime I've ever watched to completion, and has a very special place in my heart. So, my mind was blown when, about two years ago, they announced a 2D sidescroller HEAVILY influenced Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. After the announcement, however, there was no word of this game, so I honestly figured that maybe it wasn't going to happen. Fortunately, I was wrong, and this game has been put up on Steam as an early access title for only $13.
Honestly, there isn't much content in the game yet (I accidentally beat it under an hour), but what is there is actually really good. The game heavily features Deedlit's ability to commune with the spirits of nature, particularly those of fire and wind. These two spirits serve to create a system similar to Ikaruga where you gain a strong resistance to an element if you have the proper spirit equipped, and will deal more damage if the enemy is weak to it. It makes combat and navigating the map pretty unique.
Speaking of unique, many games of the Metroidvania variety like to slowly give you powerful, and interesting abilities slowly over the course of the game. Not so much the case here, as the VERY FIRST skill that you pick up is the ability to pretty much straight-up fly. Within the first 5-minutes of the game, you are just hovering around, and it's actually a lot of fun! You also pretty quickly pick up a bow, which adds another level to the game's combat and opens up some fun puzzles where you have to ricochet arrows off of metal surfaces. There also is also at least one magic spell in the game at this time, so hopefully we can look forward to a cool magic system in the game as it updates.
Now, when I said earlier that this game was heavily influenced by SOTN, I mean that it is pretty much a straight-up love letter to that game. Hell, just look at what the game's visuals look like:
Just...damn! It's also kind of funny how it perfectly fits for Deedlit to have such similar animations to Alucard. I wonder if it's at all possible to seek membership into the prestigious "Cloak Gang"...
All-in-all, I'm extremely impressed by the game so far. It feels like it could become on of the best Metroidvanias in market that has surprisingly blown up quite a bit in the last 5-years or so.