Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials
Top Critic Average
Ultimately, while Batbarian may not blow your mind, it'll offer the odd chuckle, and mechanics just robust enough to keep you coming back.
A wonderfully crafted Metroidvania that should have genre fans plenty excited. It's blending of combat, platforming, and puzzling keeps the gameplay fresh and varied throughout its entire 20-hour story. It may not be the most revolutionary game ever made, but it does what it set out to do very well.
The art and music style bring the jams of the retro age as well as its storytelling and humor bring a modern sensibility. Despite the occasional difficulty spike (which can be adjusted with assists), Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials is a game worth trying out. If only to see what's really going on in that cave.
The level of challenge won’t be to everyone’s liking, but for those who do like this sort of thing, then Batbarian is a game that will give the player a run for their money. It’s hard, but never unfair, and it lures the player onward with an interesting plot and retro graphics. This one stands as an example of what a good indie developer can do with a classic game genre, breathing life into it and making it their own.
Minor control and performance quibbles aside, you don’t need a keen sense of echolocation to see that Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials is an exceptional addition to the Switch library. With killer presentation, an exciting world to explore, and a unique approach to its puzzle-solving mechanics, it’s a must-have for any fan of the Metroidvania genre.
I found much of the gameplay to be frustrating in a bad way, with plenty of cheap shots and unclear mechanics making the questionable momentum even harder to deal with, and yet I kept playing after unlocking the bad ending. I even kept playing after obtaining the normal ending, spending several hours slashing at random walls in search of the secret switches that have to be activated to get the best ending. Why? The easiest explanation is that the characters—most of whom start out as joke-and-sarcasm dispensers—had grown on me to the point that I wanted everyone to have a good ending. Despite all of my gameplay complaints, Batbarian has a surprising talent for growing on you.