[Nintendo Switch] Infernax Review
Infernax from The Arcade Crew and Berzerk Studio is a pixeltastic 2D action game that pays homage to classics of the NES era with a 21st-century twist. Check our Infernax review!
Infernax from The Arcade Crew and Berzerk Studio is a pixeltastic 2D action game that pays homage to classics of the NES era with a 21st-century twist. It brings to mind two NES sequels in particular: Castlevania II and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. You’ll be taking on a grim adventure with elements that change depending on if you’re exploring an area during the day or at night – enemies will change, and some quests might only be available during a specific time of the day – giving you an incentive to search each spot more than once.
You’ll take on a dark adventure in which you play as Lord Alcedor, a hero who returns home after taking part in the violent crusades. After finally getting there, he finds everything is falling to pieces due to the dark, unholy forces that have invaded. You must, therefore, search high and low to find the source of all this corruption, to once again bring peace to the land. You’ll meet enemies big and small, and as long as you pay attention to their movement and attack patterns and learn from your mistakes – mistakes that will usually lead to your death – you’ll be having a good time.
The game sets things up with an interesting premise for a 2D action game: your actions will have consequences. Will you slay or help someone who is in need? You might think you’re doing the right thing at one point when you’re actually sealing the fate of someone else down the road. Some changes will be subtle, while others will change how the story develops. This increases the replay value since you won’t be able to make all choices during a single run, nor will you be able to see all of the potential combinations. You can see this right at the start of the game when one character asks that you kill him. Do this, and you’ll notice that another character has witnessed your actions, running away in fear. And if you don’t kill him right away? He’ll turn into a huge monster that you’ll have to defeat before carrying on with your quest!
You’ll move with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the B button and attacking with the Y button. This button can also be used for interacting. Your magic can be used with the A button, and you can switch around between the spells under your command by using the ZL and ZR buttons. Potions are mapped to the X button, and you can change which potion you’re going to use by pressing the L and R buttons. You can also set up skill shortcuts to the right analog stick as needed.
Infernax can be played either in Classic Mode and Casual Mode. Classic Mode is the standard experience that the team presents to players, and it offers a higher overall challenge, closer the what we used to call “Nintendo hard” way back in the day. You could also go with Casual Mode, which adds extra save points for some key areas, allows you to keep some of your gold and XP when you die, and gives you an extra life right from the start so that you can have a better shot of seeing the credits roll.
Every enemy that you defeat will reward you with XP – that is, experience points –and some might also reward you with some gold. Gold can also be found in treasure chests during your adventure. XP can be spent at save points – where you should definitely save your game while also healing your wounds. You can use XP to boost your character’s power, health, or mana so that you can deal more damage against enemies, take more hits before dying, or have more mana to use magic spells. Every upgrade you obtain will increase the cost of the next upgrade of the same type, so choose wisely!
Gold can be used with merchants to, for example, buy a potion flask to gain an extra slot for potions – something that is very useful since you start with just the one slot. Or you can get yourself some chain mail to slightly boosting your defense, which is still a huge upgrade from your starting rusted mail, which has certainly seen better days. You could also permanently increase your max life counter by one, meaning that when you die, you’ll be able to carry on with another health bar at your disposal. Gold is also used to purchase spells, which are a must if you want to survive in the night when demons and monsters roam free.
There are several quests for you to take on, split between the main story objectives that must be completed to continue with your quest and the side-quests that can be taken on to help some NPCs. These side-quests can include, for example, helping a wife recover her husband, who has seemingly gone mad after the demons and monsters arrived, ending up possessed! You could also decide to help Josephine, the innkeeper at Darsov, who mentions that a giant skeleton is currently haunting her husband’s grave. As you play through each area in Infernax, you’ll also be working on filling up your Demonology journal. You can check this under the Library segment. The Demonology journal will mark any of the lesser demons, demons, greater demons, elder demons, humans, and monsters.
Infernax is a pixeltastic 2D action game that pays homage to classics from the NES era, with Castlevania II and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link being two of its main inspirations. There’s plenty of content to enjoy in this one, and since the choices you make along the way will impact how the story develops, what items you have access to, and how your journey will end. Add a most-excellent soundtrack, and you have a game that is a must-play on Nintendo Switch. Infernax is out today on Nintendo’s console with a $19.99 price. Oh, and if you enter the Konami code on the main menu, good things will happen!
This Infernax review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by The Arcade Crew.