I am going to use a dirty word, a phrase that many are none to fond of but begrudgingly use it out of a lack of a proper moniker: Metroidvania. Although the term seems antiquated and derogatory to games that fit the mold, I use it in only the most adoring of senses. It’s usage evokes fond memories of platforming perfection being molded into a perfect symbiosis of the two similar genres. Being likened to Castlevania’s tough-as-nails gameplay with Metroid’s story driven deluge into the alien unknown is nothing short of a compliment. Chasm is a title that immediately forced the term to pop into my mind as I watched the beautiful pixel art flow across the screen with sweeping sword strikes met with a satisfying explosion of pixellated destruction. Seeing much dedication to the nuances of pixel art always gives me reassurance the developer is worried with the finer details of their game.
Although the developer likens his game to Symphony Of The Night, one of the greatest platformers ever created, everything from the menu system to exploration looks much more navigable. But the most exciting bit is a feature I had always wished for games like SoTN is present in Chasm: procedurally-generated dungeons. Technology in the 16-bit era did not allow for proper dungeon generation, so Discord Games has taken the pleasure of blending nostalgia-inducing visuals with modern animation technology to produce quite a promising title. Features such as Hardcore permadeath and Diablo-esque loot generation only sweeten the deal for fans of rougelikes and those looking for a genuine challenge.
I personally have a soft spot for old-school games, so when something like Cave Story blips on my indie radar, I am quick to the punch to get behind it. While development for Chasm has only recently begun, what Discord has created in 4 short months is impressive to say the least. It is up for voting on Steam Greenlight right now, and genuinely needs a push to get it out of the 90″s of the Top 100. Vote for it, even if only to compliment the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack that reminds me a bit of the post-rock group Maserati; quality stuff.