Coming off the back of its previous game, Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, Bombservice’s Minoria feels like a natural evolution in many ways. It’s a fast-paced Metroidvania with a sharp focus on aggressive combat, but also contains many staple tropes of the genre, including collectable items, hidden passageways, and unlockable abilities. Fans of the studio’s previous games, and indeed Metroidvanias in general, will definitely get a kick out of this one.
You play as Sister Semilla, a badass, sword-wielding nun who, alongside her companion, Sister Fran, must travel the ruins of the Kingdom of Ramezia to free the kidnapped Princesses from the heretic witches. It’s a pretty cool setup, and the game ultimately weaves flavours of religion and faith into its narrative, but never goes too far into these aspects to risk alienation. It’s a rather bleak game overall, and the dark tone is a stark contrast to the more vibrant Reverie Under the Moonlight.
The gameplay is rather typical of a Metroidvania, though it’s definitely a step up from titles like Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night in terms of its combat. You start off with rather basic attacks, but the fluidity of the combat is really impressive. You feel incredibly powerful right from the start, and this is bolstered by an effective parry manoeuvre that, if utilised correctly, allows you to counter-attack with fearsome speed and aggression, taking down most regular enemies in one swoop.
Boss battles are particularly impressive, and while you will come across huge, intimidating beasts, we found the simple, one-on-one showdowns with the game’s witches to be the most fun and rewarding. These are tough fights, and you’ll need to call upon all of your abilities to triumph, including the dodge roll, parry ability, and limited doses of healing incense to recover from damage. As you progress, you will gain additional combat abilities, and even some magic attacks to assist you, but the game never allows you to become complacent, and we love it for that.
Graphically, we’re a bit torn on the overall art design. Stepping away from the pixelated graphics of the Momodora series, the game takes on a more 2.5D approach, and although it runs smoothly enough for the most part, we did notice a few dips in frame rate here and there. Additionally, there’s a distinct lack of variety in the environment design and enemy design, and if you don’t refer to the game’s map system frequently enough, you’ll easily get lost within the rather samey corridors and chambers.
Minoria is a great Metroidvania that we’d hate to see slip under the radar amongst the more well-known titles like Bloodstained and Hollow Knight. It’s not quite as feature-rich as some of the other titles in the genre and will only last roughly 5 hours or so, but the combat is so impressive, that we’d urge you to check it out.