‘Valfaris’ Is the Badass Baby of Iron Maiden and Contra. It Rules.

My immediate reaction to yesterday’s announcement that DOOM Eternal was being delayed until March 2020? Relief, honestly. We live in an era where it’s increasingly impossible to keep up with the pace game releases, no matter how much time you dedicate. You have to make peace with the idea that lots of games, many excellent, are destined to pass you by.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/zmjw7a/valfaris-is-the-badass-baby-of-iron-maiden-and-contra-it-rules

I played the demo on PC and can confirm: Valfaris feels real nice to play. I’m glad this studio seems to have developed their design chops to match their pixel art.

About the Contra aside… The recent loot-focused Contra: Rogue Corps reinforced my working theory about why some beloved old series have been left in limbo. Contra is a household name, so a new Contra game should reach a broad audience. But the Contra games people love follow a traditional arcade model that has niche appeal now: under 2 hours long and kicking your ass the whole time. It would be unfeasible to make a ~8-hour game with the pace of a good run-and-gun, and the end result would be exhausting to play. So they pad Rogue Corps out with slower play and a loot grind, and now no one’s happy. It’s the same problem Sonic and Star Fox have been struggling with for decades. Indies don’t have the pressure of following up a legacy, which frees them up to do a better job continuing that legacy, like Valfaris, Freedom Planet, and… I’m not sure anyone’s made an indie Star Fox yet.


It’s not 1-to-1 by any means, but Sky Rogue is kinda Star Fox-y, just arenas as opposed to rails.

Your closing statement about you playing the Switch, and the version playing just fine, made me laugh in a good way. Thanks for being so open and honest.