Let me tell you something, reader. I browse a lot of demos and, sometimes, I hit a nice groove with it, and then I post it and sometimes I play a few demos. That is what happened this week. I played a really really really bad horror game that tried to be a coop, multiplayer rogue-lite, but it just didn’t work out. This week I play Metroidvania which reminds me a lot of Shadow Complex. This week is Reina & Jericho
The game opens up with Reina being escorted to see the big bad boss person until something happens and the fortress locks up and you need to find an assassin that gives you an artifact that apparently lets the wearer defy death.
The gameplay is everything you would expect from a Metroidvania. Reina can jump, and do the combat thing, and littered throughout the demo area are upgrades that allow Reina to get to the next accessible area. Within the demo are a higher jump, a wall jump, and a dash. The controls on the PC make the upgrades really difficult to initiate.
The combat makes up a chunk of Reina & Jericho, and I have to say, it is pretty clunky. The current PC keybinds are completely unusable. My fucking fingers hurt so early on that I had to dig up my Steam controller. Reina can dodge and swing her sword to dispatch enemies. There are some robots and human enemies, some armed with batons and some with ranged weapons. Enemies that are hurt enough glow red and retaliate for massive damage so paying attention is key.
The combat does the bare minimum. It can be fun at times but right now it does just enough to pass.
To note, there is a lot of platforming. Nothing bad, and I don’t know what I was expecting with a Metroidvania, but there is a significant amount of traversal and the game feels really good to play.
Puzzles are where Reina & Jericho shine. Reina has an amulet that allows her to not die, but essentially re-do the room that she “died” in. This means that levers and switches that are pressed during her previous lifetime remain pressed. It is an interesting mechanic because, during the demo, the puzzles were incredibly straightforward. Press the door button, die, respawn and go through the now-open door.
Reina & Jericho have 3D characters in a 2D space. The game is a really clean game. The bad guy’s fortress is filled with expensive-looking sculptures and famous paintings and it’s even packed with lasers. Really sells the big bad guy comic book-inspired fortress.
There is a nice little piano melody that goes along with the game which adds a nice tone to the already elegant atmosphere of the demo.
Reina & Jericho reminds me a lot of Shadow Complex from the style alone. The 3D character in a 2D space really makes for a good-looking game. The game’s dialogue has a decent mix of serious and light-hearted humor. Sometimes the characters can say something that really screws with the seriousness of the moment, but I’m okay with it.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Reina & Jericho. Wishlisted and waiting for release.