If you’re into bastard-hard 2D retro platformers, you may have enjoyed Odallus: The Dark Call [official site] earlier this year. Against the waves of pseudo-old school throwbacks that have spawned over the last few years, Odallus not only captures the late 80s/early 90s ala mode Castlevania-esque aesthetic with aplomb, it backs it up with genuine challenge, solid platforming and thoughtful AI. If you missed it before, it’s well worth a bash. If you beat it before, developers JoyMasher have just released a ‘Veteran Mode’ in a free update. It’s tough. Bloody Hell, it’s tough.
So tough I had to get up from my chair, leave my desk and wander into the kitchen for a break when I realised my HP didn’t restore itself upon entering a new location. So tough I nearly screamed when I lost ALL of my orbs after running out of lives. So tough I can feel my hands trembling, my pulse quickening, my temples throbbing right now as I recall the salesman’s price hike; the new enemy placements; or the fact that the bosses are a shit-sight harder now than they ever were before. Dear reader, you’ll have to excuse me.
Ah, deep breath. Right. Better now. If you manage to beat Odallus in Veteran Mode you get a new skin for protagonist Haggis, apparently. Let me know what it looks like, will you?