Metroidvania Axiom Verge Coming To PC In May

Get a couple of folks from Konami and Nintendo around a table with a few drinks inside them and I’m sure it won’t be long before the argument starts again. “What makes you so damn special?” cries a Konamiac slamming down her flagon (she brings her own) of foamy real ale. “Why do you go first?” A Nintendeer sips cooly from his glowing green cocktail fizzing with dry ice before responding, “Because Castletroid would sound daft.”

Whatever you call ’em (“action-adventure” seems such a useless term), another’s on its way. Following a debut on PlayThings in March, Axiom Verge [official site] is due on PC on May 14th.

Set in the future or an alien world or virtual reality or something else where everything’s a bit off, Axiom Verge sees a chap exploring around, blasting enemies, and finding upgrades, weapons, and new abilities. You know: a Castletroid. It seems a bit shooty-shootier than is perhaps normal for the genre, which is probably because developer Thomas Happ cites Contra and Blaster Master as big influences too. I’ve heard it’s pretty good.

Some of the new abilities have an interesting glitchy aesthetic too, letting the chap do things like judder through walls. Perhaps it’s all a futuristic alien virtual reality in a dream. Either way you’ll get to find out on May 14th. It’ll cost $19.99/17,99€, which I assume probably comes out at £14.99.


  1. Low Life says:

    The first paragraph makes it sound like you’re saying Metroid series is from Capcom. I hope I’m just reading too much into it.

    As for the game, I’d highly recommend it assuming there are no problems with the PC port. One of the best games in the style released recently.

  2. jrodman says:

    How is capcom involved?

  3. Syt says:

    Over Easter I’ve watched ManVsGame play this title a fair bit (at one point he did a 44 hour nonstop stream, the man’s insane; I think he streamed 60 hours of this, a lot of it being stuck on a boss). It’s one of the games that absolutely nails the pixel look of 8/16 bit titles completely, including the sound, and even has a “glitch” mechanic with broken sprites. And if you’ve played Super Metroid you will find that it’s a love letter to that game. Plus it has a very cool soundtrack.

    If I wasn’t complete failure at playing these types of games I would buy on release.

    • jrodman says:

      Really? I thought Super Metroid was at that point where nearly everyone could complete the game, though maybe with some difficulty.

  4. PaladinGunn says:

    I have it on the PS4, and I love it.

    I think I have spent over 60 hours on that game.
    Even bought the soundtrack, which is great, and I’m considering buying it again on Steam, just because this is a one man job, and I think he deserves my money.

  5. dethtoll says:

    “Because Castletroid would sound daft.”

    I actually got into an argument over the use of this word. I specifically used it in reference to the Castlevania games that emulated Metroid, as opposed to the many, many other games that did so, but of course because I (used to) hang out with other male geeks someone always has to be a fucking pedant and scream IT’S CALLED A METROIDVANIA YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.

    Whatever. Castletroid is a perfectly fine word to refer to Castlevania games like Symphony and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees.

    • draglikepull says:

      According to the director of Symphony of the Night, he was aping the design of Zelda, not Metroid. So maybe they should be called Zeldroids.

      • Philotic Symmetrist says:

        I’d be much more ok with a term like Zeldroids (or a similar portmanteau, the one thing going for Metroidvania is that -vania fits onto the ends of other words just so well) than Metroidvania since Zelda and Metroid are games which developed the key mechanics of that ‘sub-genre’ whereas Castlevania was just the first series to adopt the mechanics.

        Metroidvania originally was just the term used specifically to refer to Castlevania games in the style of Metroid.

    • BisonHero says:

      I think “Metroidvania” as a label gives Castlevania: Symphony of the Night too much credit. All it added to the formula was grinding for XP and random loot drops that you can equip. While some “Metroidvania” games have those features (Dust: An Elysian Tail, etc.), most “Metroidvania” games that indie devs are making (Axiom Verge, Guacamelee, etc.) do not have those features at all, and simply have all of the design ideas pioneered by Metroid/Super Metroid.
      The vast majority of “Metroidvanias” being developed by indies of late could more accurately be called Metroidlikes, as they’re incorporating none of the features that Castlevania added to the formula.

      • welverin says:

        I’m of the opinion that SotN gets too much credit simply because Castlevania 2 had all of the explorey bits long before it came along.

  6. Ejia says:

    I was concerned zombie survival horror crafting had completely supplanted the metroidvania, but I am happy to see it is alive and well.

    It would be nice if Nintendo and Konami themselves made some more, though.

  7. derbefrier says:

    You had me at Blaster Master, well you had me me at castleroid but Blaster Master sealed it. I must play this game.

  8. SirBryghtside says:

    Nice, I’ve been wanting to play this ever since I first heard about it in December :D I’m a huge fan of the Metroid franchise’s approach to gameplay, but every time I’ve dipped into other Castletroids I’ve always been put off by the Castlevania side of things – mainly the focus on RPG mechanics over the more direct act of just picking up items that give you abilities. This one really looks like it’s going to be following the conventions of the old sidescrollers like Super Metroid, and given that Nintendo probably aren’t going to release another one for a good few years left (when the fanbase has forgotten about Other M, presumably), I’ll take this as the next best thing :)

  9. kwyjibo says:

    Because vania sounds better than clone.

  10. Robstafarian says:

    As ever, I suspect that I will wind up agreeing with Yahtzee.

  11. muira says:

    I prefer ‘pertaining to the Super Metroid sub genre’. Castlevania was never a good game, doesn’t deserve to be associated with metroid in any way. I believe were were won over by the graphics n tunes. Try playing both now. Metroid is still great.. ‘Vania? not so…
    In summary; ‘pertaining to the Super Metroid sub genre’.

    • welverin says:

      You take that back heathen! There are plenty of great Castlevania games.

      Unless you very specifically mean Castlevania 1, then o.k..

  12. Philotic Symmetrist says:

    Also, even ignoring the question of what game created what mechanics, Metroid goes first because Metroid was first; calling them Castletroids would be like calling Rogue a NetHacklike.