I finished my annual obsession with a new handheld castlevania game. Me and the other 200k people since these games barely sell. Sadness.
While a lot of people see it as one of the best 'metroidvanias, I'm not sure if I would call it that. I had a lot of fun for sure but something is definitely missing. For me it was the lack of exploring and backtracking. They decided to have a lot of smaller maps like how Portrait Of Ruin was - but some of the maps I ran through once and never went back.
Anyways, that's not what I wanted to talk about today. They have a couple of interesting mechanics, specifically for the more hardcore players. All of the bosses are really hard this time around. What makes them hard is simply how much damage they do to the player. They are all really pattern based - having 3 or 4 attacks at the most usually. With the limited number of attacks, the bosses become pretty easy to 'read' but one mistake and you are losing 1/4 of your health.
So the interesting thing is they built a mechanic where if you beat the boss without taking any damage then you get a 'medal' which is just a reward, does nothing but says you beat the boss without losing health. Sort of like an achievement. On top of this though, they give the player a ring called, 'The Death Ring' which boosts all of your stats (maybe even doubles them). The 'gimmick' of the ring is that if you are hit once, you die instantly.
After you beat the game, you are allowed to start the game over and keep all of your stuff (including this Death Ring). So you are able to achieve all the medals that you didn't obtain the first time through. So the game gives you this awesome ring - but one hit from the boss and you die. But you are trying to make it through the whole battle without being hit so it all works out.
There are a few other interesting things in the game (such as the character you play after you beat it) but I'm out of time this morning.