MindSeize Nintendo Switch
Developed By: Kamina Dimension
Published By: First Press Games
Category: Adventure, Platformer, Action, Metroidvania
Release Date: 09.29.20
Composers: Adam Al-Sawad
The word “Metroidvania” gets thrown around a lot these days, but often the term is used loosely to describe a game with maybe just a few similarities to the namesake’s inspirations. In the case of MindSeize, however, the resemblance is strong—at least to Super Metroid anyway!
He Has a Very Special Set of Skills…
Mindseize takes you (M.C.) on a quest to rescue your daughter—or rather, her mind—from a race of robotic mech suits with living minds who stole her consciousness from her. During that fateful seizing of the mind, you were crippled by the machines, rendering you unable to ever walk again. How does a guy in a wheelchair go on a rescue mission against powerful robots, you may ask? Easy: he puts his own mind into a mech suit and tracks them down that way! Think Avatar, but with robots instead of giant blue people with questionably-inappropriate dreadlocks.
After the initial story setup, it’s time to play some Super Metr – – er, MindSeize—basically, this game is not shy about its inspirations. The gameplay is very much leaning more toward the Metroid than it is the vania; you even start the first level by lowering down to the stage in a single-person spacecraft while facing straight ahead in your best Samus pose.
You’ve Gotta Earn It
Each area has spots you can immediately tell are not going to be accessible until you have acquired a few new skills, and these skills are awarded in much the same fashion, through thorough exploration and boss fights. While the game does eventually warm up quite nicely, I found that I had to do quite a bit of grinding through the first accessible area before I was able to acquire enough spare parts and upgrades to be able to make it through the first boss battle and actually get into the true meat and potatoes of the game.
While it was a bit of a rough start, it was 100% worth it once I got past the initial grind. The mechanics are very similar to Super Metroid in many ways, though there are many unique quirks to the gameplay that are quite fun, like the melee dive attack and the power slide—also, you can pet the dog!
Easy on the Eyes, and Polite to the Ears
Visually, MindSeize nails the “modern retro” look and feel that is ever-present in today’s vast indie games, and while it looks very much like it’s SNES inspiration, the quality-of-life improvements are noted and appreciated. This game is beautifully designed and very easy on the eyes, with a great user interface and some great graphic-novel-style cutscenes right from the start.
The audio is nothing to write home about, but it’s also nothing to scoff at, either. It definitely gets the job done well, and doesn’t get obnoxious as you retrace your steps for the 562nd time while trying to find that thing you missed before. The enemies, however—especially the flying type—do get rather obnoxious after a while. They look really cool though!
As far as controls, for the most part, they are good. There are, however, a few things that got to me a bit, mainly the fact that you cannot shoot diagonally downward, and the slightly obnoxious way your character takes it upon himself to hop up onto platforms where you just grabbed the ledge, causing you often times to jump off of the narrow platform rather than land on top of it. Overall, though, the controls are very responsive and tight. I particularly like the wall-jumping controls in this game, as they are much more responsive and much less rage-inducing than it was in the past.
MindSeize was a bit of a slow start for me, but once I got the hang of it and upgraded enough skills to get into the heart of the game, I fell in love with it. This is the most Super Metroid Metroidvania game I have ever played—except maybe A Robot Named Fight, but the procedurally-generated aspect of that one makes it feel less like the OG to me—and I would highly recommend MindSeize to anyone who loves a good love letter to Super Metroid. And remember to pet the dog!
Digital – $23.99
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The Switch Effect was graciously supplied a code for review purposes.