Originally impressed by my time with it when I played the demo for it from Steam Next Fest, Souldiers is a Metroidvania I’ve had my eye on without a doubt. Upon release on the Switch, while I’m still a fan, I won’t lie and say that it isn’t without some concerns and issues. Starting with the good, this is absolutely a solid, attractive, and mostly well-made title, featuring a variety of options to cater the difficulty and play style to your liking. I’ve found that the genre-standard slashing feel of the Scout is the easiest to find success with, followed by the capable Caster whose homing shots can be a big help when dealing with more pesky enemies like the small spiders that come at you all at once. The archer I found to be the trickiest to master, as I didn’t feel like the trouble to accurately aim was rewarded with quite enough damage. That tricky aiming leads to my first concerns, which concern the controls which just feel a bit flaky/touchy somehow, triggering diagonally up or down very easily in a way that could be annoying. Thinking that going to use the D-pad instead would help, I was then disappointed to realize that the joystick is the only option. Hopefully both of these issues can be remedied. A second concern is that a few times it felt like I was able to essentially trap myself into a dead end I couldn’t get out of. Whether because I somehow made a beeline to a place I didn’t yet belong or it involved some sort of action puzzle I didn’t understand, needing to decide to go back to a save point wasn’t a great feeling. Last, particularly when you save but at other random times as well the tendency of the action to stutter periodically was also a bummer. The thing is, even with those concerns (which I’m banking on being remedied), this is still an engaging and solid Metroidvania that provides a challenge, it just feels like it’s stumbling a bit out of the gate.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.5]