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Metroidvanias - Finest of all Genres

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    rhylithrhylith Death Rabbits HoustonRegistered User regular
    rhylith wrote: »
    I don’t know that I would recommend a metroidvania to someone new to gaming until they feel comfortable with platformers in general. They tend to be difficult and often obtuse.

    We suffered through as kids because ALL games were bullshit when a lot of us were kids.

    I think this is kind of bad? If someone isn't interested in the game, yeah those things might turn them away. If they find it intriguing, those will end up being net positives that hook them. It's a really weird assumption that 80s and 90s kids could figure games out by playing them a bunch, but it's impossible for modern audiences to do the same.

    Zonugal’s question was specifically what metroidvanias to recommend to someone who is relatively new to gaming.

    I would not recommend someone relatively new to gaming Hollow Knight, for example, even though I think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. There’s a certain amount of fundamentals we take for granted as people who have played these games their whole lives. There are far better avenues to recommend to someone new to gaming (see Zonugal’s JRPG posts, as JRPGs are generally not as mechanically demanding and tell interesting stories that tend to work well for people new to the hobby).

    Basically just saying i’d ease someone into metroidvanias through platformers rather than have them dive head first into a more complicated genre. If you don’t like platforming you’re probably not gonna like platforming but also way more complicated.

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    shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    rhylith wrote: »
    rhylith wrote: »
    I don’t know that I would recommend a metroidvania to someone new to gaming until they feel comfortable with platformers in general. They tend to be difficult and often obtuse.

    We suffered through as kids because ALL games were bullshit when a lot of us were kids.

    I think this is kind of bad? If someone isn't interested in the game, yeah those things might turn them away. If they find it intriguing, those will end up being net positives that hook them. It's a really weird assumption that 80s and 90s kids could figure games out by playing them a bunch, but it's impossible for modern audiences to do the same.

    Zonugal’s question was specifically what metroidvanias to recommend to someone who is relatively new to gaming.

    I would not recommend someone relatively new to gaming Hollow Knight, for example, even though I think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. There’s a certain amount of fundamentals we take for granted as people who have played these games their whole lives. There are far better avenues to recommend to someone new to gaming (see Zonugal’s JRPG posts, as JRPGs are generally not as mechanically demanding and tell interesting stories that tend to work well for people new to the hobby).

    Basically just saying i’d ease someone into metroidvanias through platformers rather than have them dive head first into a more complicated genre. If you don’t like platforming you’re probably not gonna like platforming but also way more complicated.

    My point is, a lot of us DID play these games as one of our first games and it didn't chase us off. You don't need to try to force someone to play the path of pain in Hollow Knight on their first day, but if they think the game looks fun, they should just play it. Not do a bunch of homework first.

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    PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    In terms of avoiding frustration from the exploration aspect and not figuring out where to go, Fusion's handholding might actually be a plus. There's still a lot of optional backtracking and such for upgrades, but all the key powerups are on the critical path.

    The Prime games' optional guidance also works nicely there I think.

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    rhylithrhylith Death Rabbits HoustonRegistered User regular
    rhylith wrote: »
    rhylith wrote: »
    I don’t know that I would recommend a metroidvania to someone new to gaming until they feel comfortable with platformers in general. They tend to be difficult and often obtuse.

    We suffered through as kids because ALL games were bullshit when a lot of us were kids.

    I think this is kind of bad? If someone isn't interested in the game, yeah those things might turn them away. If they find it intriguing, those will end up being net positives that hook them. It's a really weird assumption that 80s and 90s kids could figure games out by playing them a bunch, but it's impossible for modern audiences to do the same.

    Zonugal’s question was specifically what metroidvanias to recommend to someone who is relatively new to gaming.

    I would not recommend someone relatively new to gaming Hollow Knight, for example, even though I think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. There’s a certain amount of fundamentals we take for granted as people who have played these games their whole lives. There are far better avenues to recommend to someone new to gaming (see Zonugal’s JRPG posts, as JRPGs are generally not as mechanically demanding and tell interesting stories that tend to work well for people new to the hobby).

    Basically just saying i’d ease someone into metroidvanias through platformers rather than have them dive head first into a more complicated genre. If you don’t like platforming you’re probably not gonna like platforming but also way more complicated.

    My point is, a lot of us DID play these games as one of our first games and it didn't chase us off. You don't need to try to force someone to play the path of pain in Hollow Knight on their first day, but if they think the game looks fun, they should just play it. Not do a bunch of homework first.

    You’re changing the framing of the question though, which is “which 10 metroidvanias would you recommend to someone new to gaming?” not “someone comes to you and asks about metroidvanias, which ones do you recommend?”

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    Fusion's also got pretty brutal boss fights, zero mission at least has reasonable bosses

    BahamutZERO.gif
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    shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    rhylith wrote: »
    rhylith wrote: »
    rhylith wrote: »
    I don’t know that I would recommend a metroidvania to someone new to gaming until they feel comfortable with platformers in general. They tend to be difficult and often obtuse.

    We suffered through as kids because ALL games were bullshit when a lot of us were kids.

    I think this is kind of bad? If someone isn't interested in the game, yeah those things might turn them away. If they find it intriguing, those will end up being net positives that hook them. It's a really weird assumption that 80s and 90s kids could figure games out by playing them a bunch, but it's impossible for modern audiences to do the same.

    Zonugal’s question was specifically what metroidvanias to recommend to someone who is relatively new to gaming.

    I would not recommend someone relatively new to gaming Hollow Knight, for example, even though I think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. There’s a certain amount of fundamentals we take for granted as people who have played these games their whole lives. There are far better avenues to recommend to someone new to gaming (see Zonugal’s JRPG posts, as JRPGs are generally not as mechanically demanding and tell interesting stories that tend to work well for people new to the hobby).

    Basically just saying i’d ease someone into metroidvanias through platformers rather than have them dive head first into a more complicated genre. If you don’t like platforming you’re probably not gonna like platforming but also way more complicated.

    My point is, a lot of us DID play these games as one of our first games and it didn't chase us off. You don't need to try to force someone to play the path of pain in Hollow Knight on their first day, but if they think the game looks fun, they should just play it. Not do a bunch of homework first.

    You’re changing the framing of the question though, which is “which 10 metroidvanias would you recommend to someone new to gaming?” not “someone comes to you and asks about metroidvanias, which ones do you recommend?”

    I would recommend literally zero games to someone without consideration of their tastes though. For some people, their ideal first game would be Apex or Call of Duty. For others, Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing. For my parents, their ideal first game would be to never try one and presume that everyone playing them in the entire world is kind of a loser for doing so.

    The reason I'm pushing back is that there's a sort of trend of... well meaning gate keeping that goes on in gaming spaces. "Oh, it'd be mean to try to get someone to play Super Metroid as their first game, that one is hard!" A huge part of the fanbase for that series played that game when they were like 6 years old and it blew their minds, PLEASE give people more credit.

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    HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    I would recommend the first Ori game as the focus is on exploring and not combat. It also is beautiful and has a wonderful story.

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    PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Fusion's also got pretty brutal boss fights, zero mission at least has reasonable bosses

    Yeah, that's true. How much does Zero Mission do signposting? Of course, those two are also a pain to come by legally, so...

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    Zero mission added chozo statues that put waypoints for where to try to get to next on your map. It's much less restrictive feeling that fusion's story-tied door control.

    BahamutZERO.gif
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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    I know that 3D Metroidvanias are a thing but I don’t put them in my Metroidvania pile. I stick to 2D side scrollers and anything 3D becomes an FPS or third party action/adventure game in my head.

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    see317see317 Registered User regular
    Is Carrion a metroidvania?
    I think it meets most of the requirements, since none of the requirements specify that you can't be a person eating mass of alien tentacles.

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    DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist I swear! Registered User regular
    Trine and it's sequels? It's sort of a side scroller, though it's rather linear.

    "Simple, real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time." -Mustrum Ridcully in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather p. 142 (HarperPrism 1996)
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    PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    I know that 3D Metroidvanias are a thing but I don’t put them in my Metroidvania pile. I stick to 2D side scrollers and anything 3D becomes an FPS or third party action/adventure game in my head.

    The Prime games, at least, still have to fit in the bucket.

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    BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    Trine and it's sequels? It's sort of a side scroller, though it's rather linear.

    Do you really backtrack in Trine? You get new abilities, but I don't think there's any way to return to previous environments.

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    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I'm very loose with my definition of Metroidvanias. If the game involves getting new abilities that allow you to access new areas you otherwise couldn't reach, and rewards exploring when you get a new ability, then it's a Metroidvania.

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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    I know that 3D Metroidvanias are a thing but I don’t put them in my Metroidvania pile. I stick to 2D side scrollers and anything 3D becomes an FPS or third party action/adventure game in my head.

    The Prime games, at least, still have to fit in the bucket.

    Oh I’m sure they do. But in my brain if it ain’t 2D it ain’t a Metroidvania

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    JavenJaven Registered User regular
    I don't think that there's anything inherently opaque about the metroidvania genre that would make them rough on people who aren't well-versed in video game tropes. The building-blocks are very basic and are easily swalloed, which is a lot of the reason for their popularity.

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    PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Javen wrote: »
    I don't think that there's anything inherently opaque about the metroidvania genre that would make them rough on people who aren't well-versed in video game tropes. The building-blocks are very basic and are easily swalloed, which is a lot of the reason for their popularity.

    There's a very simple formula of showing you an upgrade you can't reach yet, then giving you the tool to get to it a bit later. And then the lightbulb goes on and you're hooked.

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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    Fuck the white palace.

    This is bullshit.

    edit: HA!

    eat it Team Cherry! I beat your stupid Palace!

    Xaquin on
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    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Javen wrote: »
    I don't think that there's anything inherently opaque about the metroidvania genre that would make them rough on people who aren't well-versed in video game tropes. The building-blocks are very basic and are easily swalloed, which is a lot of the reason for their popularity.

    There's a very simple formula of showing you an upgrade you can't reach yet, then giving you the tool to get to it a bit later. And then the lightbulb goes on and you're hooked.

    Also the annoyance of seeing a piece of loot right over there and if you could just reach it maybe if you take a running jump okay no how about I use these boxes to pile them up and no that didn't work okay wait if I press into the wall here and keep mashing the jump button I'm just barely not falling so I'll just carefully move towards no no stop falling back over this way no no no and into the pit.

    No I'm not giving up and just coming back when I get double jump.

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    BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    also to recommend a metroidvania

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY8VgB4leOA

    ori and the will of the wisps is my favorite sidescroller of all time, and certainly in my top 10 games of all time

    it's also really accessible as a metroidvania - progression is very satisfying and the game rarely leaves you to just stumble around hoping for some obtuse way forward

    at the same time, it can offer some really tight precision platforming and combat and optional challenges

    it's also just... really pretty, they did an amazing job with blending sprites and 3D objects into a unified look
    and the soundtrack is lovely, the ori leitmotif that comes in dynamically based on gameplay really works well

    it's also available on gamepass! so check it out if you haven't already!

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    The GeekThe Geek Oh-Two Crew, Omeganaut Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Brolo wrote: »
    also to recommend a metroidvania

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY8VgB4leOA

    ori and the will of the wisps is my favorite sidescroller of all time, and certainly in my top 10 games of all time

    it's also really accessible as a metroidvania - progression is very satisfying and the game rarely leaves you to just stumble around hoping for some obtuse way forward

    at the same time, it can offer some really tight precision platforming and combat and optional challenges

    it's also just... really pretty, they did an amazing job with blending sprites and 3D objects into a unified look
    and the soundtrack is lovely, the ori leitmotif that comes in dynamically based on gameplay really works well

    it's also available on gamepass! so check it out if you haven't already!

    Just finished that one a week or two ago. That Mora battle and the whole area leading up to her were fantastic and very creepily, atmospherically immersive.

    BLM - ACAB
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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Ender Lilies is definitely a Metroidvania

    I keep getting lost

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    InvisibleInkInvisibleInk Po,OrRegistered User regular
    Prohass wrote: »
    I believe this Genre is actually called SEARCH ACTION!!! According to a muscled Matt

    Also I enjoyed Carrion recently

    Second for Carrion. It's gruesome but I loved it. It's just long enough, it's only a shame that certain power ups don't get used more often.

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    MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    All metroidvanias should have map indicators for "story-critical obstacles you can now surpass with your current powers but haven't yet", change my mind

    I love them but I have never played one where I didn't eventually burn out partway through because I didn't know where to go next and I got sick of just backtracking over the same several dozen locations over and over never remembering precisely which door five miles back needed to be kicked in now that I have the Boots of Door Kicking.

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    shoeboxjeddyshoeboxjeddy Registered User regular
    The Messenger had a really good option where you could get a hint of what to do next at the save points and then pay currency to turn the hint into a direct map marker instead.

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    astrobstrdastrobstrd So full of mercy... Registered User regular
    On the 3D front, I sunk a lot of time in those first 2 Arkham games.

    Selling the Scream Podcast: https://anchor.fm/jeremy-donaldson
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    the first arkham felt very much like a metroidvania, I'm not sure if the second one felt that way as much even if it was still essentially the same formula, just with a big open hub map instead of an interconnected series of rooms.

    BahamutZERO.gif
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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    I should play more Blasphemous. I fell off of it really quickly

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    see317see317 Registered User regular
    Would BlasterMaster count as a metroidvania?

    You can recognize a Metroidvania by its:
    side scrolling nonlinear platforming gameplay: Check with an asterisk, 3/4 isometric dungeons?
    it’s large connected map: Check
    multiple weapons: Check
    leveling and power up system: Half check? you don't really level up, but you've got a bunch of weapons and mobility improvement for the tank, and a bunch of weapon power up while on foot.

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    Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    see317 wrote: »
    Would BlasterMaster count as a metroidvania?

    You can recognize a Metroidvania by its:
    side scrolling nonlinear platforming gameplay: Check with an asterisk, 3/4 isometric dungeons?
    it’s large connected map: Check
    multiple weapons: Check
    leveling and power up system: Half check? you don't really level up, but you've got a bunch of weapons and mobility improvement for the tank, and a bunch of weapon power up while on foot.

    It definitely COULD fit into the genre

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    NaphtaliNaphtali Hazy + Flow SeaRegistered User regular
    blastermaster (including the zero games) counts more than dead cells as a metroidvania by my count

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    it is a procedural run-based game?

    BahamutZERO.gif
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    see317see317 Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    Would BlasterMaster count as a metroidvania?

    You can recognize a Metroidvania by its:
    side scrolling nonlinear platforming gameplay: Check with an asterisk, 3/4 isometric dungeons?
    it’s large connected map: Check
    multiple weapons: Check
    leveling and power up system: Half check? you don't really level up, but you've got a bunch of weapons and mobility improvement for the tank, and a bunch of weapon power up while on foot.

    It definitely COULD fit into the genre

    I think it's kind of funny that the first Castlevania probably checks the least number of these boxes.
    Sure, it's side scrolling, but non-linear? It's got levels, and every level is point a to point b.
    It's got a large map, but it's a map the same way Wily's Castle in any MegaMan game is. You can't go backwards to redo an earlier bit or to reclaim a weapon. It's not interconnected, it's just a way to display progress.
    Multiple weapons? Okay, it checks one box, even though you can only have one secondary weapon at a time.
    Not really any leveling up in the first game, power ups though, lots of different flavors of whip.

    What makes a Metroidvania game seems pretty hard to pin down in any concrete fashion.
    I'd think that equipment gated progress is a big one. Saying you can't get to place X without equipping Y item (or being really good at movement tech) seems like a big gameplay mechanic to encourage exploration and experimentation by enabling further exploration.

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    the pre-SOTN castlevanias are indeed basically a different genre from SOTN and its spawn
    nobody tries to lump them into the metroidvania umbrella just because they share a franchise with SOTN

    BahamutZERO on
    BahamutZERO.gif
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    rhylithrhylith Death Rabbits HoustonRegistered User regular
    simon’s quest is definitely one of these.

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    SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    rhylith wrote: »
    rhylith wrote: »
    rhylith wrote: »
    I don’t know that I would recommend a metroidvania to someone new to gaming until they feel comfortable with platformers in general. They tend to be difficult and often obtuse.

    We suffered through as kids because ALL games were bullshit when a lot of us were kids.

    I think this is kind of bad? If someone isn't interested in the game, yeah those things might turn them away. If they find it intriguing, those will end up being net positives that hook them. It's a really weird assumption that 80s and 90s kids could figure games out by playing them a bunch, but it's impossible for modern audiences to do the same.

    Zonugal’s question was specifically what metroidvanias to recommend to someone who is relatively new to gaming.

    I would not recommend someone relatively new to gaming Hollow Knight, for example, even though I think it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. There’s a certain amount of fundamentals we take for granted as people who have played these games their whole lives. There are far better avenues to recommend to someone new to gaming (see Zonugal’s JRPG posts, as JRPGs are generally not as mechanically demanding and tell interesting stories that tend to work well for people new to the hobby).

    Basically just saying i’d ease someone into metroidvanias through platformers rather than have them dive head first into a more complicated genre. If you don’t like platforming you’re probably not gonna like platforming but also way more complicated.

    My point is, a lot of us DID play these games as one of our first games and it didn't chase us off. You don't need to try to force someone to play the path of pain in Hollow Knight on their first day, but if they think the game looks fun, they should just play it. Not do a bunch of homework first.

    You’re changing the framing of the question though, which is “which 10 metroidvanias would you recommend to someone new to gaming?” not “someone comes to you and asks about metroidvanias, which ones do you recommend?”

    I would recommend literally zero games to someone without consideration of their tastes though. For some people, their ideal first game would be Apex or Call of Duty. For others, Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing. For my parents, their ideal first game would be to never try one and presume that everyone playing them in the entire world is kind of a loser for doing so.

    The reason I'm pushing back is that there's a sort of trend of... well meaning gate keeping that goes on in gaming spaces. "Oh, it'd be mean to try to get someone to play Super Metroid as their first game, that one is hard!" A huge part of the fanbase for that series played that game when they were like 6 years old and it blew their minds, PLEASE give people more credit.

    I think trying to think of and recommend games with general appeal for the purpose of drawing people into the hobby/genre more effectively is kind of the opposite of gatekeeping. We're not intentionally excluding people, we're trying to think of how to put the best foot forward to bring people in.
    Javen wrote: »
    I don't think that there's anything inherently opaque about the metroidvania genre that would make them rough on people who aren't well-versed in video game tropes. The building-blocks are very basic and are easily swalloed, which is a lot of the reason for their popularity.

    ......they aren't that popular though. They are a solid strong niche, but they are not big sellers. They are big among gamers who enjoy self directed styles of play, but that is not necessarily everyone. And there's virtually no knowledge of them outside of gaming circles. People who don't game have probably heard of a Mario, or of Fortnite, things like that. I doubt a single one of these games has any penetration like that. There's no Fall Guys or Among Us here.

    My point here not being to drag their sales, but just to say that I don't think the evidence is in your favor for those statements. There's probably a reason why it's still a niche, and thinking about how to bring people in is probably worthwhile.

    sig.gif
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    Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    I mean, the best metric for whether a game is good to introduce someone to a genre or gaming in general is “how much fun is it” and difficulty or whatever is just one part of many that goes into that

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    SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    I mean, the best metric for whether a game is good to introduce someone to a genre or gaming in general is “how much fun is it” and difficulty or whatever is just one part of many that goes into that

    I had a ton of fun with F-Zero GX, it's one of my favorite games of all time. But if I were introducing someone to racing you bet I'm not starting them off with that.

    I mean, I'm also working with the assumption here that if someone is motivated enough to try out one of these games, they don't need recommendations anyway. They are for a more tentative crowd.

    sig.gif
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    ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    What about this as a rough draft?
    -- Super Metroid (1994 -- SNES, Wii, 3DS, WiiU, SNES Classic, Switch)
    -- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997 -- PSX, Sega Saturn, X360, PS3, PSPortable, PSVita, PS4)
    -- Shadow Complex (2009 -- PC, X360, PS4, XOne)
    -- Guacamelee! (2013 -- PC, PS3, PS4, WiiU, X360, XOne, Switch)
    -- Ori and the Blind Forest (2015 -- PC, XOne, Switch)
    -- Hollow Knight (2017 -- PC, PS4, XOne, Switch)
    -- Steamworld Dig 2 (2017 - PC, Switch, PS4, Vita, 3DS, XOne)
    -- Dead Cells (2018 -- PC, PS4, XOne, Switch)
    -- Yoku’s Island Express (2018 -- PC, PS4, XOne, Switch)
    -- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (2019 -- PC, PS4, XOne, Switch)

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