Demo Days – Mira and the Legend of the Djinns

I thought I had a demo ready to talk about beforehand but that’s really not me. I did my rounds of navigating the Steam demo section and I got some hits. I haven’t played Metroidvania games in a long time because I have been preoccupied with rhythm games and Cult of the Lamb. I juggle bad guys this week until they cease to breathe; this week is Mira and the Legend of the Djinns.

Mira and the Legend of the Djinns is a Metroidvania from littleknightgames and will be published under Assemble Entertainment. The game will be released (currently) on Steam sometime in 2023.

Lord knows what the game is about from the demo. The game starts with the player jumping head first in a sort of necropolis. The only real semblance of lore was on the Kickstarter page:

“During a routine job, Yuba discovers an ancient Necropolis. Deep within, he encounters Mira, the first Djinn anyone’s seen in generations. To regain her lost memories, Yuba agrees to form a spiritual Bond, something no human has done outside of half-remembered legends.

Together, Mira and Yuba embark on an epic quest to rediscover Mira’s lost memories and the secret history of Fallen Amazgesh, a world of ruins and devastation and the only home Yuba has ever known.”

Mira is your typical Metroidvania. This time around combat sits in the limelight. Yuba, the main character wields a sword, uses magic, and can dash during combat. Enemies look like robots, so as far as I am concerned they are robots. Anyway, the map takes a lot from Metroid games: traversal, level design, and even room/map layout remind me plenty of Metroid games. It looks like there are rooms that are only accessible through getting a certain ability, which means that there is a lot of backtracking, a classic of Metroidvania games.

Rooms are laid out like blocks and when the player continues to another room the game scrolls right on over. The map shows which rooms you have entered, and explored, and even which exits the player has yet to use. Rooms have a lot of verticalities, with multiple platforms to jump on, to them requiring the player to learn Yuba’s movement to be able to escape each room.

Combat is the most unique aspect of Mira because Yuba’s main form of dealing damage is melee. Yuba has a few combos up their sleeve as they can swing the sword, knock enemies up into the air and effectively slam back down to the ground. The combat is tight when it works. The game features a lot of smaller enemies to teach the ropes of combat and a few bigger boys to test your skills. There are moments when Yuba cannot fight the enemy because they are so close to them. Another kind of issue is that smaller enemies can be infinitely juggled by knocking them up until the air and when they hit the ground, smash the ground and shoot them back into the sky.

Enemies hit hard and Yuba only has so much health, so Yuba has the ability to use orbs dropped by enemies to perform an action to heal. It feels balanced because it requires such a large amount of mana to use.

The game has a very nice soundtrack even though it is loud enough to make you go deaf and if you do not fix it when you load up the game, you are stuck with it.

Mira is a beautiful game. The section where the demo takes place is absolutely stunning. I like some pixel art games.

Mira is a really interesting game. I don’t even remember the last time I played a Metroidvania-style game and it has gotten me hyped. I’ve read up on the game and the demo really doesn’t do it justice. The combat can have some work done on it, and the intermittent slowdowns during combat is annoying but overall I had a lot of fun playing the game. This is a special game, and I am really excited to get to play it sometime in the future.

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