[Nintendo Switch] Souldiers Review
Souldiers from Retro Forge and Dear Villagers is a challenging 2D action RPG Metroidvania on Nintendo Switch. Check out our Souldiers review!
Souldiers from Retro Forge and Dear Villagers is a challenging 2D action RPG Metroidvania on Nintendo Switch. Your journey begins in Zarga, one of the three nations that rule the continent of Ascil. War looms on the horizon. After following the latest combat strategy, your group finds itself trapped. It is then that the Valkyrie appears before you. You must go with her and travel to Terragaya, a realm that exists between life and death, where you might be able to find a solution to your situation.
There are three different classes for you to choose from: Scout, Archer, and Caster. Each one will have different stats for health, mana, attack, and stamina for you to consider. Scouts have balanced attack and defense abilities, making them the best option for those who are just getting started. The Archer can attack from a safer distance and moves at a faster pace. The Caster uses powerful magic to deal considerable damage but is physically weaker than the others, which can make it a challenging class to use for a first run.
On top of the three classes to choose from, there are three difficulty settings to select for your adventure in Souldiers: Explorer, Soldier, and Warrior. Explorer is what you’d call the Easy difficulty setting since it won’t be too challenging. Soldier offers the standard experience, just as the dev team intended. Warrior is reserved for experienced gamers who are ready to take on a considerable challenge with stronger enemies that are ready to destroy you at any given time.
You’ll move your character with the left analog stick as you jump with the B button and dodge with the A button. For the Soldier, the Y button is for quick attacks, while the X button is for strong attacks. For the Archer, they will be for shooting arrows and throwing your bow. For the Caster, they will unleash a magic projectile and a burst. You can block with the L button to protect your character from damage. The R button is for using skills. You can have a subweapon mapped to the ZL button, and magic is used by pressing the ZR button.
The – button is for opening the map – at least once you get one. This will allow you to see which areas you’ve already explored, where any treasure chests are located, and where you can return to in order to activate a save statue. You can also find fragments of the map as you explore so that you can get a feel for what lies ahead of you. The + button allows you to review your inventory as needed. You’ll have to check which consumable items you set to the D-Pad so that you can use them to aid you on your quest. Having a healing potion ready to go is always a good idea!
As you defeat enemies, your character will gain experience points. Once you’ve obtained enough, you’ll level up. Along with receiving a boost to your character’s hit points, stamina, mana, and attack power, you’ll also get mastery relics. There are skills that you can unlock as you wish to boost your character by using the mastery relics you collect to distribute points on the masteries sub-menu. For example, I went for the Scout for my first run. Once I got a mastery relic, I used it to unlock the counterattack ability. This allowed me to block an attack just right to then unleash a powerful counterattack for a critical hit, which consumed some of my character’s stamina bar. Once I had the counterattack ability, the masteries sub-menu allowed me to select between the spinning splice attack or precision block.
You can find some amulets as you take on each area of Souldiers. Amulets can be managed in your inventory so that you can equip them to gain boosts. You can’t equip all of them, so find one that works for your current situation, and make the most of it! As a heads-up, you should try to jump into all walls and into any section that seems a bit off. This will allow you to find some hidden rooms where you can locate some additional amulets or boxes to destroy to collect healing energy spheres.
And like any good Metroidvania out there, you’ll also need to keep an eye out for the special items that can help to boost your overall health points! Lacrima fragments, which are green, need to be collected to increase your HP. Find four, and you’ll be rewarded. On top of this, when you collect a fragment, you’ll be fully healed. There are also magical orbs to collect, which will imbue your attacks with elemental powers. The first one you’ll get will grant you a fire attack that can be used to burn obstacles, such as giant spiderwebs.
The coins you collect can be used to purchase items. You can buy ammo shards to replenish your explosives or combat weapons. There are also healing potions, restoration potions to restore your mana and stamina, or a potion to make it so that all of your attacks land critical hits for a short period of time. These items can be bought from the dispensers that merchant Balof – who you rescue early in the game – will install in the different areas you’ll explore. Sure, you saved his life, hit he’s in constant danger from installing these boxes… not to mention having to restock them!
Souldiers features an in-game achievements system for you to work on. The goals you can complete include destroying 3,000 and 10,000 environmental objects, defeating 1,000 and 5,000 enemies, defeating 50 enemies using secondary weapons, upgrading your weapons to the highest level, collecting a ton of orbs, discovering many hidden rooms, using 100 potions, defeating the many bosses that the game will throw at you, completing the game as each of the three classes, and completing the game as all three classes, to name some examples.
Souldiers is a fun 2D Metroidvania with a good challenge that will keep you on your toes at all times. The Soul in Souldiers is certainly a nod at the Soulslike genre since the game will punish you for your mistakes. At least you’ll learn from them and can give it another go and retry from the last checkpoint you reached, or load a save if you want to. The loading times are a bit on the long side on Nintendo Switch, but that would be the one complaint I’d have about this one. Souldiers is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price.
This Souldiers review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Dear Villagers.