Metroidvania is a term used to describe a type of exploratory 2D platformer . It comes from the original games in the Metroid series and some of the Middle Age Castlevania games , most notably “Symphony of the Night”, which is what primarily gave rise to the term. A very popular element of these games, especially in the Metroid franchise , is the concept of a ” breakout sequence .” Through the use of different special tricks or mastering the usefulness of basic skills, you can sometimes access items and areas much earlier than the game expects. The game has levelingThat can be through the player level, or by collecting certain items to make it permanently stronger. It has a 2D platform with a strong focus on combat and exploration.

What is Metroidvania?

It is a game that consists of an expansive map , with hidden power-ups and areas that the player does not have immediate access to which can only be accessed after receiving powers later in the game.

  • History of the Metroidvania
  • Characteristics of the Metroidvania
  • Name’s origin
  • Featured games of the Metroidvania genre

History of the Metroidvania

The origin of the Metroidvania subgenre  goes back to the most important sagas that video games have given us:  Metroid and Castlevania . From this it also derives its name as it is a fusion of both. This mix of names comes from the first two franchises that dove into the adventure game approach . Metroid , created in 1986, is considered the first title to show off these mechanics and type of game. A year later, Castlevania II : Simon’s Questit would be introduced a little more to this field. It could be said that it followed the line of its predecessor, which was more focused on direct action. This is how Metroidvania originated. The adventures of Samus Aran with Super Metroid and Konami , were two games that were also created and were another true shining jewel of the genre: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.


Characteristics of the Metroidvania

The most defining characteristic is usually the world. Instead of setting stages or a world map, the entire game takes place within a giant map , which must be traversed. This map is not just any map, but on the contrary it is a very complex map full of all kinds of secrets . The map is typically divided into different sectors , mostly based on an aesthetic way to indicate to the inhabitants the dangers, which will be different at all times. Sometimes you have teleports to help you travel from one place to another, but other times you just have to remember where to go on the map. There are several elements within the game related to theexploration . Usually there are a series of fragments hidden in different places, or some puzzles that must be solved when the right equipment is found. The exploration does not happen in a linear way either: its limits of progression through the map are obtained by means of various tools or improvements that the player must acquire, but the order in which they must acquire some of these tools is not established . And in many choices that are made while playing, there are many ways to obtain those tools, or even overcome obstacles.without those tools. The defining characteristic is that the game world is made up of interconnected tunnels , passageways , rooms , etc., with some sections initially inaccessible due to some kind of barrier . As the game progresses, you will acquire new abilities that will allow you to overcome those barriers, opening up access to new areas. Games of this style usually involve quite a bit of backtracking each time a new ability is acquired, as you go back and find all the locations where this new ability allows you to progress beyond what you previously could.

Name’s origin

Its origin dates back to 1986 after Nintendo released the first Metroid title , in which a bounty hunter named Samus was controlled . The term Metroidvania arises from the union of the titles Metroid and Castlevania , titles that were great franchises and that are considered the pioneers and creators of this genre of video games. To be more specific, the genre originally emerged as a subgenre of the Action / Adventure genre , which was very famous and played in the late 80’s and early 90’s. However, due to the resounding success of many of the titles of theMetroidvania sagas , which gave rise to this subgenre, it has become a genre in its own right .

Featured games of the Metroidvania genre

  • Zero Mission from Game Boy Advance
  • Symphony of the Night
  • Aria of sorrow
  • Dawn of Sorrow
  • Shantae
  • Guacamelee

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