Metroidvania can be distracting for a few moments, but that’s incapable of keeping us invested in this post-apocalyptic world.
No matter how many flaws metroidvania may have, whether in the combat system or the freedom of customization offered to us, I dare say the success of the genre depends on its world-building. Metroidvania lives between progression through the discovery of abilities and inevitable decline, as each path will grant access to others who remain inaccessible without us having the means to open a locked door or overcome a previously impossible obstacle. It’s hard to balance exactly the “two steps forward, one step back” experience because we have to make what’s usually boring fun, as stepping back and revisiting areas has to be more exciting than its combat system or more.
Kandria fails to keep me invested precisely because her world design is uninteresting. This Metroidvania takes us to a post-apocalyptic future, full of harsh deserts, ruined cities and huge underground structures/buildings among the new world reborn from the ashes of the previous one. Like any other Metroidvania, Kandria begins by introducing us to its android protagonist, who wakes up with no memories or special abilities. We manage to jump, crawl, dash, and use the sword to defend ourselves – a weapon that can be improved throughout the campaign if we have the necessary resources – while leveling up, collecting items, and participating in various main and secondary quests.
Between missions, we then have the post-apocalyptic world of Candrea, a wasteland of debris and ruins that form passages, large vertical scenarios and a huge maze that becomes annoying due to a poor map system. With areas that are too wide and made up of platforms that don’t always facilitate movement, Kandria quickly tires the player and turns a simple journey from point A to point B into a tedious task. The artistic direction itself is recurring, even more so in the first areas – underground office and factory complexes that visually blend along our walkways through their passages – with location on the map jumping between indoor and outdoor areas to the point of finding moments where we don’t know which direction to turn. to walk in it.
Perhaps it’s not just a level design issue and something more fundamental to Kandria, as secondary missions don’t serve the purpose of offering us a different look at areas we’ve already visited or provide new methods for finding shortcuts and other perks in their wreckage. The combat system also becomes more cumbersome and less exciting as the annoyance of exploration settles in on us, and we begin to see sluggish character movements, an absence of satisfying combos and a strange delay between each hit.
All it takes is exploration for Metroidvania to fail and this is where Kandria fails. A boring world, with nothing that distinguishes it favorably from superior video games, at a time when other solid options are available. Shirakumo Games may learn from Kandria’s mistakes and bring us a more satisfying metroidvania.
Version for analysis (PC version) provided by Marchsreiter.
“Coffee trailblazer. Social media ninja. Unapologetic web guru. Friendly music fan. Alcohol fanatic.”