3000th Duel 'LINK'
3000th Duel is a highly enjoyable Metroidvania that some would argue borrows a bit too much from Dark Souls. With engaging combat bolstered by lots of unlockable weapons, a decent progression system, and some truly memorable boss fights, it can stand proud amongst the many examples of the genre currently available on Switch, even if it doesn't quite do enough to feel truly unique. Still, if you loved From Software's Souls series and fancy some more of the same, you could do a lot worse.
3000th Duel is an amazing action-adventure game that pulls out all the stops to give us the experience of nostalgic gameplay with current videogame nuances. With a rich world to explore, visuals and audio hints that make you believe that the world is constantly evolving, and boss battles that shake you to the core, this is a must on the Switch.
Visually, 3000th Duel impressed me. It has really sharp, clean graphics with a slightly cartoony look. The art style fits this game well and even lends a certain charm to some of the enemies. I was also surprised by its solid 60 fps framerate. This game runs buttery smooth which is a blessing when fighting bosses or groups of enemies. My only complaint is that some of the areas, especially the backgrounds, can be a bit too simplistic and underwhelming. There is a noticeable difference between the main sections of the game, the boss arenas, and Save locations, which usually have a more impactful set design.
Truly, the gameplay is superb in 3000th Duel and there is no reason to just gush on and on about each feature. Some areas and bosses can be on the harder side and throwing in the stamina bar, it could be said there are even some Dark Souls vibes in this title too.
3000th Duel released in late 2019 for PC and the Nintendo Switch. In August of 2020, NEOPOPCORN released the free title update The Wise Ones with various improvements and tweaks. According to the developer, The Wise Ones DLC expands the story, adds new areas and items, increases the level cap from 99 to 199, includes a monster and item archive, and brings a New Game+ mode. Improvements have also been made to loading times, Japanese to English translation, and a few other quality of life features.
Lastly, the main protagonist will obtain Occults, which is another tool for attacking. One of my tried and true Occult powers throughout the game was a giant fist that came in punching enemies. It was fast and did a decent amount of damage. If I triggered the Occult fist while in the air, it would keep my character airborne, giving me time to do another string of air attacks or dash out of the way. When it comes to magic and Occults, both can be replenished with items at any given time. 3000th Duel does a good job of giving the player options to approach battles how they want.
Like most Metroidvania games, backtracking is a must, but doing so is always rewarded with loot or new magic abilities. Platforming at times can be a bit difficult when attempting to dodge an enemy when trying to make a jump. Luckily 3000th Duel allows for some traps to be deactivated without compromising the integrity of the game.
Karma is collected when you defeat an enemy, and it can be later traded for upgrading your character. The traits that you can exchange karma for are vitality, strength, mind, and activity. As I have previously mentioned, 3000th Duel can be a bit difficult if you die, as you lose your karma. It can be reclaimed by making it back to the area you previously died. While it might seem like kind of a pain going back through the areas you already have been, you still get to earn the karma from defeating the enemies along the way. So when you reclaim the karma you previously lost, it can be quite rewarding. As those are upgraded, you will also receive seal breaker stones; which can be used to unlock skills from the skills tree. Skills unlocked here range from things such as charged attacks useful during a battle to skills more for exploration like air dashing or double jumping.
3000th Duel is a great play through and truly a hidden gem on the Switch. The more time I put into it, the more I enjoyed it. Despite my one small complaint, I enjoyed seeing what I would discover next. Metroidvania fans should certainly give this game a playthrough.
I didn't quite know what to expect before playing 3000th Duel. Its blend of 3D visuals and 2D gameplay definitely intrigued me, though. After playing it for a while and besting a few of its bosses, I must say that I'm very impressed. The way the character moves and attacks is very deliberate and it reminded me a lot of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. However, this is much more difficult, especially the boss fights. Speaking of which, they are reminiscent of Mega Man seeing as memorizing their patterns is the key to success. You can also grind to level up and acquire stronger gear if you'd like to have more of an upper-hand. Some areas can be a little tedious and the fact that there are only a few weapon types is a bit disappointing but it's still a fantastic and challenging Metroidvania that I highly recommend.
A.J. Maciejewski (crazyaejay): Thanks for checking out my reviews of 3000th Duel, Kunai, Brief Battles, Vitamin Connection, Ubermosh:Omega, Ego Protocol: Remastered, and MouseCraft. If you have any questions about a featured game or feedback in general then leave a comment and I'll reply as soon as possible.
According to indie developer Neo Popcorn, 3000th Duel: The Wise Ones contains over 150 additional regions to explore and 60 kinds of monsters to finish with. It also has new equipment, occults, and a harder game mode.
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Finally, the game itself is somewhat of a bare-bones package. I was able to 100% clear the game on my one and only playthrough, and there are no additional features whatsoever. 3000th Duel is a one-and-done game, unless you really want to play through the game again with a different build.
I'm going to sound awfully hypocritical here. You see, I recently reviewed Aggelos, a Metroid-style action-adventure trip that played like your average fantasy-based pathfinder, but more to its credit than detriment. Its dev knew what kind of game they were making, and played mostly to its genre's strongest tropes. Of course, that approach meant Aggelos would struggle to stand out in a world where scores of strong offerings in the same category already exist. At the same time, I can that at least its individual campaign beats didn't bleed together so badly that the whole experience felt samey from start to finish...I think you know what I'm about to say regarding 3000th Duel... No, I don't dislike Duel; quite the contrary. It offers most qualities you would expect from a mash-up of Metroid and Dark Souls: challenging segments, menacing bosses, detailed customization, engaging combat that emphasizes timing and observation, rich lore, a refillable healing item (called "Violet Scripture" instead of Estus Flask), and mountains of weapons to collect. Unlike your typical Souls wannabe, though, this one doesn't toss you into the deep end and tell you to sink or swim. It eases you into its madness, providing ample spaces early on to grind quickly and get your stats up before you fight the first couple of bosses. As with any piece of this nature, you eventually run afoul of obstacles you can't cross. Mainly, they take the form of exits or treasure chests your standard jump can't reach. In other places, locked doors and defunct portals await event items before they allow you to cross into new domains. Even with those impasses, though, you find plenty of side avenues and detours to check out. Duel nails map structure, providing you with whole levels you can explore before advancing with the quest, allowing you to fight some of the game's bosses in a variety of orders. Much like the Souls series, annihilating foes earns you glowing orbs (called "karma"), which you can spend to boost one statistic per level. Here, you only choose from four attributes to bolster, including vitality, strength, mind, and activity (in other words, stamina). Unfortunately, your choices remain mostly limited to three types of weapons or a fair helping of spells you wish to use, which don't vary much at all. You don't really enter this affair looking for a blade or spear in particular around which to build your warrior. Rather, you end up going after the most powerful weapon or spell and using karma to upgrade it as much as possible. Sadly, though you can create a small number of differing builds here, the game's leveling system isn't as detailed as it could be. The pacing slackens a bit after the early phases, mainly because the game holds off on giving you the obligatory double-jump ability. You blast full several regions at this point that come across as padding. Once you finally secure the mythical technique, though, the campaign picks up in earnest, sending you to the loftiest parts of the battlefield to find items that advance the storyline quickly. This is the point in which the campaign hooks you in, beckoning you to come back and climb higher or delve deeper into its dankest chambers to see what semi-adorable horrors lie in the muck and dust there.Semi-adorable? Yeah, creature designs represent a softened departure from the game's inspirations. Duel doesn't completely lift FromSoft's trademark aesthetic or Metroid's sci-fi/horror trappings, instead pitting you against handfuls of beasts that would look at home in Luigi's Mansion. But then you have other beings that look kind of badass, such as the grim reaper-like Karma Hunter or the spindly Cursed Shelop--an obvious nod to Shelob from "Lord of the Rings."While all I've described sounds swell, you have to remember what I implied earlier: enjoyable or not, the content is all so samey...You see, nearly every stretch of hallway, nearly every pathway, nearly all enemies and bosses looks and feels the same. You begin your quest in a forest, then enter a cave where every corridor looks indistinguishable from the previous one, only to enter another part of the cave system that looks identical to its predecessor. You exit the cave to enter another forest may as well be the first area all over again. From there, you venture into a castle comprised of multiple portions that only appear slightly different from one to the next. All along the way, you lock horns with one of the most uninteresting lineups of rogues I've seen in a fantasy game for a while. At one point, you take on a huge knight. After that, it's onto a big golem. And whom do we bump into from here except a huger knight, a bigger golem, then a knight on a horse, then a golem without legs. Oh, but you also fight some undead wizards every now and then for added diversity...The thing is Duel's campaign isn't very memorable, even if it's entertaining. I couldn't tell you what occurred in any given portion of the campaign, but I do remember fighting a knight wielding a spear while a dragon rained fire on me; or scotching a couple of chubby, smelly zombies covered in fungi; or desperately hopping through a hallway with crumbling platforms, brambles all over the place, and tight spaces that required me to air-dash at just the right time. At least a few segments stand out, but the rest of the title's material proves fairly forgettable.I'll admit it: I appreciate 3000th Duel, but it's quite likely I'll forget most of its content by next week. As a whole, the game at least stands out by fusing Nintendo's sci-fi adventure with From Software's unforgiving action-RPG. This offering remains solid enough that I'd be down for a sequel--or perhaps a different product from its developer, Neopopcorn. Sadly, it's not so great that it'll live rent-free in my head for more than a couple of days... 041b061a72