I’m just approaching 50 hours now. Did you ever venture into the outer regions? Beyond the initial desert/plains/tundra/jungle areas? There’s a lot of big nasties and big rewards out there (including the meta-progression discoverables).
I initially stopped around the 15 hour mark too once I’d beat year one and realising that each subsequent year would be the same, but harder. Like Risk of Rain, a lot of the game’s variety and excitement for me comes from the different synergies you can discover and seeing how far you can get with them. That’s why the bumrush enemies are disappointing because they feel cheap after everything else!
How aggressive is the metaprogression in Hades? I’m one of those people who are philosophically opposed to the idea, but secretly I don’t really mind, as long as the gameplay is very good, like in Dead Cells. Should I be okay here?
I figured I’d post my question in this thread to avoid stinking up the game thread.
Firstly, there are the weapons. You need to unlock most of them. I have favorites - I am sure everyone does - but they are really about play styles. There’s an additional system where you can unlock stuff for each weapon but I haven’t gotten to it yet (I have a bit of the currency). I think this is more about modifying move sets and such.
Then there’s the mirror in the bedroom. This has a decent amount of stuff (with many upgrades gated by the same currency you use to unlock weapons). But a lot of it has a low maximum. I just hit the max health upgrade, which I believe doubles your starting health (50 to 100). There’s interesting stuff here, like getting an additional dash you can chain or a small amount of healing each time you finish a room. So it’s not all just “here’s more damage/defense/etc”. In fact more of it is not that than is. And the scaling tends to be quickly capped, as I said. It’s enough that you feel it, but not crazy overwhelming.
Then there’s the palace itself. You can change the decor and add rooms. Some of these confer permanent bonuses, but they’re all pretty modest and I haven’t seen anything stacking so far. And opening up stuff in the palace is important for other reasons. The plot here is terrific.
There is some sort of. . . I can’t remember the term. Let’s call it relics. As you curry favor with various characters in the game, you;ll unlock more of them. you can equip one (there’s a mirror upgrade that allows you to swap relics each time you finish a region).
There may be more systems I haven’t gotten to yet. The game’s design philosophy is clearly not “we’re going to let you upgrade damage 100 times and then scale enemies accordingly”. This is true of the in-run upgrades as well. There’s some of that, but there’s a lot more “this thing changes the way one of your abilities works”.
Retrunal for PS5 is supposed to be a roguelike, probably one of the bigger budget ones on the horizon. This is Housemarque studios taking a crack at a more AAA game (previous games include Nex Machina, Resogun, Outland, Super Stardust)
So here’s the thing: Spelunky 2 includes many of the areas from the first game, but they’re redone in a very different way. Personally, I would say play it – even though the areas are there in the new game, they’re different enough that 1 gives you a different experience, and Spelunky 1 is a lot of fun. I don’t think anyone can make the case that 2 is ‘better’. It’s bigger, it has some different design decisions, but Spelunky 1 stands on its own as well.
However, getting good at these games requires a lot of time and effort. I personally really enjoy playing some rounds of Spelunky 2, dying (as I learn from my mistakes), then going back to Spelunky 1 and easily beating it since I know it so well. But if you don’t know both games, I think you’re better off focusing on one of them. Plot-wise… Spelunky 1 has no plot really, and 2 has a little bit of lore, so you’re not missing out on anything there. But 1 is still awesome.