[Beyond PlayStation] Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials Review
Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials from DANGEN Entertainment is a huge 2D Metroidvania that is a lot of fun on Nintendo Switch. Find out why in our Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials review!
In Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials from DANGEN Entertainment, you’ll be taking control of a hero that is joined by Pip, a bat which emits a light aura, which can somehow trigger peculiar mechanisms in the dungeon. Why are you in this dungeon? It seems you did a bad thing and were thrown down into the dungeon as punishment for your behavior. You’ll get to gain new abilities to open up new paths that can hopefully bring you closer to finding the exit… but do you have what it takes to survive the traps and monsters on your path?
You’ll control your character with the left analog stick, jumping with the B button, and slashing with the Y button. When you have a companion with you, you can activate its attack with the X button, as long as it has enough SP left! If it doesn’t have enough SP for an attack, just defeat enemies on your own, and its SP bar will fill up a bit. You’ll get to interact with other characters, with lost journals from other adventurers who ventured through the dungeon before you or read some of the ancient messages on the dungeon’s walls by pressing the X button.
There will be a mini-map in the upper-right corner to help you find your way in this 2D Metroidvania. If you press the – button, you can check a bigger version of the map, which will even be color-coded to mark each of the different areas you can visit. As you explore each location, you could end up finding a map piece in a treasure chest – or two! – which will help you on this journey by adding a chunk of an area to your map, showing rooms you are yet to visit!
You’ll gain some items that will help you take on the different puzzles you’ll find during your time with Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials. Found a switch that is out of reach and which you can’t just activate with a melee hit? Then perhaps you could use, say, a rock to hit it! Just select the rock by pressing left or right on the D-Pad, use the right analog stick to aim, and decide how hard of a throw you’ll do, release the stick, and out the rock will go! But wait, there’s more! You’ll also be able to use an unlimited supply of fruit that you can launch to make Pip fly and grab it, sending your bat companion to fly exactly where you want it to be. But what if you need it to remain at one particular spot for a couple of seconds? Then you can use the unlocked sticky fruit to keep Pip where the fruit lands, which will give you just enough time to solve a platforming puzzle.
As you defeat each of the different monsters you’ll battle, they will be added to the Bestiary section of the menu. When you check a monster’s entry, you’ll get to learn a bit more about them, as well as check out how many of said enemy you’ve already defeated. Defeating monsters is also a great way of gaining experience points, as will be finding new areas of the map or locating a hidden room. Once you gain enough experience points to level up, you’ll be able to play a mini-game in which different icons circle around in a slot machine of sorts. Press the A button to stop the slot, and you’ll be rewarded with a boost to your defense, attack, or awareness.
Along with the boosts to your stats from the level up mini-game, you can also locate items that will reward you with permanent increases to those three stats. An Awareness Elixir will boost your vision, recovery time, and loot chances. An Iron Skin Potion will give you better resistance to damage. On top of this, there will also be items that can increase how many stones or sticky berries you can carry or items that will grant you new abilities, as is the case for the Boots of Speed, which make it possible to run faster so that you can clear longer gaps.
While exploring the dungeon, you should keep your eyes open for any campfires you can find. While there, you can rest, healing your wounds and saving your game, so that in case you die, you can select to respawn at the last campfire on which you saved your progress. Once you unlock a magical, broken rune, you’ll also be able to use the campfires as quick travel spots, which will make it a lot easier to move around the dungeon so that you can put your new abilities to good use.
After beating a couple of bosses, you’ll end up running into Triffle, a giant mushroom who, at first, will try to fight you. Luckily, he realizes you’re carrying a lot of money, which he just loves! It’s here that you’ll be able to use your hard-earned coins to purchase items such as a power bracelet that will allow you to unleash a charge attack, which can be used to destroy some rather large rocks or to deal more damage to enemies.
Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials features an in-game Achievements system, with plenty of objectives for you to complete as you try to 100% the game. There are a bunch of Achievements for defeating each of the game’s bosses, for gaining the trust of a companion, for gaining access to the items that grant you new abilities, for gaining new auras for Pip, for finding all of the heart upgrades for your health bar, for locating all of the map pieces, and even a crazy one for beating the game without dying a single time!
Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials is a very fun 2D Metroidvania on Nintendo Switch with a good challenge. The game’s look and feel, as well as its soundtrack, reminded me at times of the excellent La-Mulana and its sequel, but without the extreme difficulty. If you’re a fan of the genre, Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials is a great option on Nintendo Switch, given its $19.99 asking price.
This Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by DANGEN Entertainment.