Infernax (review)

Feb 26, 2022

Published by: Berzerk Studio

Developed by: The Arcade CrewDotEmu

Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch

If you woke up one morning and wished you had an old school platformer in the spirit of some of the originals, then you should head straight to the (virtual) store and pick up Infernax. Infernax at its core is a game that throws itself back into the 1980’s and attempts to recreate the simple bliss that those games had, albeit with a lot more gore and blood than I may have guessed.

WHAT DO WE GOT?

The baseline story of Infernax has you playing as a crusader who has returned to his homeland, but he isn’t quite ready to hang it up yet. Fortunately for him, there is no lack of trouble in his homeland. When you first start, this game is about as basic as it comes. It starts with the most simple of controls and abilities. This was to me, by far the hardest point of the game to get through. That being said, over time, you unlock more abilities and weapons that make the game easier to enjoy. The base concept is a simple one, in which your objective is to take out multiple different bosses around the map in a platformer style.

Infernax

THe Looks and Sounds

The music of Infernax is an absolute joy. It is a fun soundtrack to listen to and is very reminiscent of different older games of its genre, like Castlevania 2. The graphics are clearly styled from the same older genre, and while they look intentionally pixelated; they look crisp and run at a smooth framerate. The game very clearly goes for an extremely gory style. It works, it does seem a little over the top at moments, especially some of the literal skull crushing moments. To say that I wouldn’t play Infernax with small children near would be an understatement.

The gameplay

As I mentioned before, Infernax is a game that at its core wants is inspired by the 1980’s. My biggest gripe with it is the fact that it feels like it is from then. The gameplay can be extremely touchy at times, and there are very little guides and tips in the way of gameplay. Video games have evolved since the 1980’s. Infernax doesn’t feel like it, even going so far as to having no autosave system, and despite having many different weapons, having no real discernable difference in how you play besides between the base types. There are new moves that are unlocked, and potions that allow you to get new abilities that improve the gameplay, the grind you have to go through for gold and xp make getting to this point a challenge.

The big win the gameplay has are its boss battles. Without spoiling too much, the boss battles are some of the most varied combat sections and are really fun. If the game does get a sequel, it needs this variance to translate into other fighting sections. I noticed that combat does change with a creative day/night cycle, but it needs to be fleshed out more.

Infernax: a little more polish would go a long way

Infernax is a really great concept, that could be a great game, but comes up just short of this. Choppy gameplay segments without much guidance become a slog. As a result, getting to the “fun part” of the game is almost too high for the price of admission. The games saving grace is the “almost” in that previous sentence. There are very fun moments once you get deep enough into the game. The sights and sounds are also another big win. Overall, I sincerely hope this game gets a much more polished sequel that mix’s this old style with new, more modern gameplay.

score 6.7

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