In the last few years we have seen a resurgence in metroidvania style platformers. In fact, some may say we have seen too many and the gaming market is almost flooded with them. With this saturation, any game joining the scene must do something to stand out from the crowd. With 3000th Duel, while a very competent metroidvania, does not unfortunately, stand out from the rest. That is not say it is bad, but it is lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. That being said, if you are a fan of Metroidvania’s, 3000th Duel is one you may want to check out.
3000th Duel has a good combination of platforming elements and combat. I didn’t find the platforming to be too challenging. While some parts do require precise timing of jumps, nothing I encountered proved to be difficult. For me, part of the draw of games such as this, is the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a difficult platforming sequence. I didn’t get that from 3000th Duel. The feeling of accomplishment wasn’t there.
The combat was equally unfulfilling. You can have two weapons equipped at anytime. The only thing worth noting on the weapons is that they are all massive. Fortunately, they is really for aesthetics since the weapon size doesn’t mean that swinging them is slow. It reminds of when games have a “Big Head Mode”. It doesn’t really effect gameplay, but looks huge. As you progress, you will unlock new attacks such as “Mortal Blow” a powerful single attack, and “Charged Blow” which varies based on your equipped weapon. As with the platforming, this is really nothing new or unique. Fighting bosses can be slightly challenging at first, but once you learn their patterns they are easy to defeat. It also features a mechanic where when you die, your experience points are lost and you have to retrieve similar to the Souls style games.
The map is somewhat extensive though, so there is a lot to explore. I did find myself checking my map quite often. I want to be clear, the gameplay loop and controls are not bad, but they aren’t very innovative. It was very run of the mill. Good but not great.
Graphics, Music, and Sound:
I really enjoyed the artistic side of 3000th Duel. The stylized graphics look really cool and the world is unique. The scenery in particular, is one of my favorite parts of 3000th Duel. I really enjoy backgrounds that move with respect to the character. Having scenery appear or disappear as you move about is something that I enjoy and take notice of. The save points in particular are something I liked. They are robed statues that rise from the ground as you approach them and descend back into the ground as you leave. The creatures look cool and you do encounter some anthropomorphic friendly NPCs as you progress through the game. It does feel like a unique world, so that is a positive.
3000th Duel has an amazing soundtrack. If that is the type of thing you appreciate in a game, you will not be let down here. The sound effects seem somewhat generic though. This makes for a strange combination of extremes. Amazing music and boring gameplay sounds. That being said, the artistic aspects of 3000th Duel are it’s best features.
The story in 3000th Duel is something you discover as your progress through the areas. This is another aspect that is similar to the Souls style games. You only really get the story by reading items you pick up. If you avoid reading them, you miss the story more or less. These notes are forgotten memories of the masked, nameless protagonist. Overall, the character and story didn’t do a whole lot for me. Nothing about the story made me want to piece it together. Like so much else in 3000th Duel, it was just OK. It wasn’t remarkable, it was just there but didn’t give me any reason to care about it.
3000th Duel is a game that is extremely OK. Apart from the music being amazing, and a cool art style, it isn’t special. It draws heavily from other genres but does very little to make anything it’s own. In short, it’s very reductive. It is neither great nor terrible; very middle of the road. If you enjoy games in this genre and aren’t looking for anything special, 3000th Duel may be one you want to check out. However, this is not game that you will be missing much from if you decide to not play it. I recommend this if you really like Metroidvanias, but it doesn’t have a major hook if you don’t. You can find it on Steam and Nintendo Switch. I played it on the Switch. 3000th Duel is a very OK game.
The review code was provided by SuperIndie.Games on the Nintendo Switch