I've played a worrisome number of side-scrolling Metroidvanias in my time, but I still have a soft spot for especially attractive and/or purple ones. Ghost Song: A Journey of Hope, thankfully, qualifies as both. It's also apparently inspired by Dark Souls, as is everything these days be it a tough-as-nails videogame or a painting of some ducklings nuzzling their mother as a perfect sun sets in the background. There's ten minutes of footage below, and I find myself especially intrigued by the little bits of voice-acted character and story on show. Give it a watch.
The successfully Kickstarted Darksoulsvania touts a fully explorable world of strange characters and dubious motivations. Story is a big focus, but so are solid mechanics and overwhelming atmosphere.
"Ghost Song is a 2D action platformer set in an open world. It takes inspiration from classics such as Super Metroid and modern classics like Dark Souls. Explore a treacherous map, filled with wonders and dangers, strange creatures and even stranger characters. Piece together a deep story by finding clues and meeting npcs. Learn the secrets of the world and discover your own purpose."
"Despite what my frequent Dark Souls name dropping may lead you to believe, the game is not intended to be punishingly difficult or overly merciless. I'm subscribing to a 'tough but fair' philosophy for most areas of the game, with optional areas that may be a bit harder. The purpose of this is intrigue."
The bit toward the end of the video with the lonely, demented robo-butler definitely had me by the follicles of my Intrigue Cilia, so that's a good sign. I do wonder, though, how much (if at all) things would've changed if the player hadn't decided to just haul off and shoot the robot. Could they have bypassed Alfredtron Mk 47x peacefully?
Ghost Song will be out sometime this year. It's on Steam Greenlight right now, though. Are you interested in letting it play for you the song of its people?