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Valfaris

Set in a far corner of space, Valfaris is a heavy metal infused 2D action-platformer and the next game from the team behind Unity Awards finalist, Slain: Back From Hell. Brutal combat. Deadly enemies. Stunning pixel art. Savage soundtrack. Get ready to rip the galaxy a new wormhole. After mysteriously vanishing from galactic charts, the fortress of Valfaris has suddenly reappeared in the orbit of a dying sun. Once a self-contained paradise, the grandiose citadel now plays host to an ever-growing darkness. Therion, a fearless and proud son of Valfaris, returns to his home to uncover the truth of its doomed fate and to challenge the arcane evil at its very heart.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Shut up about Doom in these reviews.
What makes this game ANYTHING like Doom besides having a metal soundtrack?

Review from Steam

Heavy Metal Contra.
If you like Contra, Metal, or run n' gun in general.
Try this game.

Review from Steam

Solid game with beautiful art and music, the game is good but honestly could've been a lot better.
The main problem I had with this game is the controls, they aren't very responsive and often have a small delay on them which causes you to mess up all the time, whether it be aiming or you falling off a rope in a cliff and immediately dying, speaking of falling, this game has a lot of parkour, it's good but honestly with these controls they can be very painful if not downright frustrating at times.
The checkpoint system in this game is quite interesting but I honestly don't know what to think about it, this is the way it works: you can find respawn tokens (I forgot their names) randomly on the map, usually you can find one before every checkpoint and occasionally one or two per level in secret areas, you gotta manually activate every checkpoint, thing is, you lose your respawn tokens then, if you decide to keep them you get more health and energy but obviously you have to skip a checkpoint then, which wouldn't be too bad of a system normally, thing is that this game is extremely punishing and you die all the time (especially with the controls this game has), and on top of that checkpoints can be quite far apart at times.
So basically it's not worth to ever skip checkpoints unless you already have played the game (multiple times) before and want to challenge yourself or if you know what is already up ahead.
All in all, amazing art, great music but the level design and controls are quite often very frustrating, it is still a good game but man it could've been so much better.

Review from Steam

Valfaris is an amazing game with a wonderful gritty aesthetic, intense game play, and a chaotic-catchy Doom/Groove/Industrial Metal Kick-ass soundtrack! You will probably die more to headbanging too much instead of the enemies (lmao). This is the sequel to Slain!; a game I wasn't very fond of. When I first saw this game get released, I was like "Oh no, not again" but when I beat the first level, I was hooked.
Now, I technically have over 100+ hours in this game, as I played it on GOG ever since it first released in 2019.
Let me quickly tell you what you are getting yourself into when you choose to play this game:
- 9 Long, Action-Packed levels
- Intense Boss Fights, Mini Boss fights, and epic enemies
- Slow, but Contra-Like run n' gun action
- You will die a lot
- A New Game Plus "Hard Mode" that carries over all of your equipment and upgrades for a brand-new experience.
So, this game is clearly not that long, and seemingly doesn't have much going for it. So why have I clocked in 100+ hours? Let me explain how it works:
The Weapons
The weapons in this game go as follows: A gun, a sword, and a "Destroyer" weapon. You hold one of each. The guns and swords will be your primary way of damaging enemies. But your Destroyer Weapon can deal tons of damage to enemies at the cost of your energy meter.
The energy meter refills from destroying boxes and other objects via melee with your sword. You also refill your energy by hitting and killing enemies within the game. Destroyer Weapons and Blocking/Parrying consumes the energy meter.
The weapons you unlock are epic, and useful. The descriptions for the weapons are plain and simple; they don't tell you much about it functions, and that's okay because they expect you to just pick up the damn gun and figure it out yourself.
There are a few weapons that I personally dislike and found quite useless. Like the "Leg Of Arach": A spider leg that steals health from enemies and gives it to you. Sounds good on the surface, but the amount of health it gives you isn't worth the low damage the weapon deals. "Bishop's Reach" also is another useless weapon. It launches out tentacles that, once again, steals health from enemies and gives it to you. The only difference, is that if you aren't hurting the enemy it drains your own health. Adding a nice risk=reward system. But honestly the risk is too high for the little damage this weapon actually deals. See my point? Some weapons are useless, but can be kinda fun if you upgrade them right.
Upgrades
Every weapon can be upgraded, yes. Every. Single. Weapon.
Across the game you will destroy boxes, kill enemies, and discover secrets that will give you items called "Blood Metals". Blood Metals can be spent at checkpoints in every level to upgrade your equipment. Each weapon has 4 levels (there are a few exceptions); to upgrade a weapon to the next level you must spend a certain amount of Blood Metals that increases as you upgrade. Upgrading your weapons increases their stats, like the standard pistol becomes a spread shot, the range on certain melees becomes bigger, and some weapons gain special alternate modes!
If you are a bit short on Blood Metals, you don't have to worry, because at the end of a level, you can spend "Resurrection Idols" to give yourself up to 3 extra Blood Metals.
The System
This game plays like an old-school platformer game. You beat one level -> Move on to the next. But what makes this game so different is the risk involved with checkpoints. Across the stages you will find "Resurrection Idols" that allow you to activate checkpoints. Every time you grab an Idol, your health bar increases in size; allowing you to take more hits. The risk is either, spending the Idol to activate a checkpoint - thus allowing you to upgrade weapons, or skipping the checkpoints and collecting idols to increase your health bar and survive longer. It's your choice.
The best part (and my favorite part in the whole game) is that if you reach max idols (There is a cap to how many idols you can hold, and the cap raises every time you beat a mini boss/level boss) all future idols picked up will convert into health and energy.
Overall
Valfaris is an amazing game with a unique flow, clean combat, a simple-yet effective system, and balanced difficulty (you'll die a lot haha). Even with it's flaws, It is my favorite action-platformer of all time. A near perfect experience that you'll be sure to enjoy.
My Final Rating:
- Gameplay: 9/10
- Soundtrack: 10/10
- Difficulty: 8/10
- Weapons: 8/10
- Story: 7/10
- Overall: 8/10 - An amazing game that challenges the player's patience and skill. A big step up from it's predecessor; I recommend checking the game out, as it's worth the price, and it has extensive replayability as you will always try to find new ways to approach enemies and bosses with different weapon combinations.

Review from Steam

Valfaris heavily reminds me of a long time ago when I played Contra III: The Alien Wars.
Just like back in the day and dying repeatedly and raging on the Contra series, I died repeatedly and raged on Valfaris.
Good times. Fully recommend for nastalgia raging.

Review from Steam

Got this on my humblebundle
Just so you know Valfaris is a one-way journey, its divided in levels and IT IS NOT a metroidvania. Shoot, shoot, slash, slash and kill through whatever the hell that triggered Valfaris infernal infestation of monsters and soldiers.
Pros
+Variety of weapons
+Great background and character design
+Some great challenging bosses , eventually you're able to beat them.
Cons
-Can't respec weapons.
-Story felt really weak, especially the ending --- the whole journey felt kinda pointless. Valfaris 2 I guess?
- The final boss felt mediocre at best in comparison to the other bosses. Or maybe I just had the right maxed weapons or something.
Took me about 7hrs to beat the first run.

Review from Steam

This is a really cool 2D side-scroller. IMO it has some visual clarity problems, and I occasionally had issues with giving multiple inputs simultaneously with my keyboard (e.g. there's a mech you can control - if you are moving, you cannot aim down, but you CAN aim up, which feels like it must be an error rather than an intentional design decision), but it is so fucking cool man. Damn. I wish we could find out more about the world, though.
As for difficulty, it's not too tough. Certainly easier than something like Dark Souls or Dead Cells, for example. I think an experienced gamer will be able to knock this out in 5-8 hours.