CGR Undertow – KNYTT UNDERGROUND review for PlayStation 3
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CGR Undertow – KNYTT UNDERGROUND review for PlayStation 3

August 9, 2019

Remember the first time you played Metroid?
You were dropped inside this massive planet with no direction, no information, no idea
what to do. You had no choice but to explore…the tunnels, the caverns, the twisted maze of
stone and soil. And the whole thing had this genuine sense of adventure. Well, this is like 1986 all over again. Get
out the grid paper. Now, I’m not sure exactly sure how it’s
pronounced, but we’re going to go with Knytt Underground. Anyway, the pronunciation’s
not important. What’s a lot more relevant is how awesome it is. Just released to the
PlayStation Network, Knytt Underground is a flashback to the times when playing games
was about more than headshots. It was about a very real sense of discovery. You can go 15, 20, even 30 minutes between
seeing what you might call “enemies,” and it’s precisely that time in the interim
that makes Knytt Underground such an absolute joy. You play as a girl named Mi Sprocket. Actually,
she’s a kind of sprite, and she spends most of her time exploring the dark and perilous
depths that surround her…much to her mother’s dismay. But her adventurous spirit is driven
by much more than just a love for spelunking. See, the sprites live deep inside a post-human
Earth, and to learn more about their own origin…learning more about those extinct humans is a key. Maybe it’s just my perspective as a human,
but…Knytt Underground has this dark atmosphere that pervades the experience. It’s the story,
of course, but it’s also the setting. The underworld is beautiful, even serene at times,
but just a few caverns over…things can seem a lot darker. There’s almost a sense of
foreboding. And that’s what makes the exploration so
enjoyable. Of course, the gameplay also has something
to do with that. And controlling her is a delightful experience. The core platforming
mechanics are rock solid, and her weight and physics are just right…in fact, they’re
not that dissimilar from the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES, which is obviously
a very good thing. In all you do, from platforming to climbing walls, she always controls well. Which is very important for a game like this. And so is size, for that matter. And that’s
another area in which Knytt Underground delivers. There are 1,800 individual screens to explore.
That’s insane. And thankfully, you don’t actually need grid paper. You can bring up
a map any time that only displays what you’ve discovered…so there’s no spoilers or getting
lost, and that’s awesome. There’s so much more you could praise in
this game. Its art, which is fantastic. Its gameplay, which eventually throws in fairies
with transformative powers. That’s the thing, in fact…there’s so much here. And if you
grew up adoring that Metroidvania experience, you’re going to love every square inch of
it in Knytt Underground. A game with no shortage of square inches.

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  1. Looks like my type of game. The art style is pretty strong, perhaps not what I'd enjoy, but I'm glad to see that there are still developers who enjoy programming and designing platformers with interesting level design.

  2. you do know that there is an entire section of steam with games like that… its called the indie section…. it kinda sounds like you dont know about it

  3. This reminds me of Outland – same Metroid vide, similar artwork, except Outland has an Ikaruga-like mechanic. And that's awesome.

  4. I was wondering what this game was about. The preview videos I've seen did no justice to the game. I wonder how the Vita version compares. You'd figure they'd be the same thing, but according to some reviewers, Infinite sky has some issues when compared to the console version.

  5. Why aren't games like these released in retail? Can't add this to my collection on my shelf .
    CGR could you please put the title as " for PSN" not PS3.If you want hits, put PS3 in tags!!!!

  6. The Knytt-series first debuted years ago. They are a series of freeware games with the exact same gameplay and look.

    Google Niffla's Games. He's been doing these types of games for a decade now.

    Also; both Outland and the Knytt-series are considered "Metroidvania"-type adventure games. The name comes from Castlevania: Symphony of The Night which combined Metroid 1-3 (NES & SNES) -style 2D-exploration in which you collect items to get into another area of a huge map. There's a TON of these.

  7. This game doesn't deserve to be compared to Super Metroid. It comes nowhere near the level of atmospheric awesomeness of Super Metroid, and it's overall a boring game that tries too hard to be cool (and funny…)

  8. there's some REALLY bad language in this game believe it or not. at 1 point there's even a anal sex joke.
    i shit u not

  9. This game is boring sad to,say even for a free,game I'll stick to my final fantasy 3,4, and 5 on my iPad

  10. while i admit i should changed it (i tried to change it ages ago but youtube wouldn't accept widescreen icons & just crop them), that doesn't really justify u bitching about it like that

  11. I dunno, I'm not a fan of the fact that this game has a story. I know it's severe knyttpicking but I honestly loved the silence and loneliness of the original, I might have to be a bit cautious with this…

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