Blasphemous Review | The Best Pixel Art Ever?


Hey guys, this is Eric with Pixel Rookie and
we’re gonna be looking at the game, Blasphemous developed by The Game Kitchen. Blasphemous is a game that first showed up
on Kickstarter almost two and a half years ago and at the very first moment I saw this
game, I had a feeling that it was going to be really good based on what they were showing. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one other game
on Kickstarter that gave me the same feeling. Yeah, and Rimworld’s done pretty well for
itself. And when I had the opportunity to get my hands
on Blasphemous, my expectations were really high – and boy were my expectations met. So what exactly is Blasphemous? Looking at the game from a high level, it’s
a non-linear action platforming game set in an extremely dark religious world with gritty
combat, solid platforming, and amazing pixel art. For real though, this is the best looking
pixel art game I have EVER played, and I don’t say that lightly – I am the Pixel Rookie,
after all. But good pixel art can only be as good as
their animations and Blasphemous is buttery smooth – it really is a visual treat. They did a great job with the overall presentation
of the game and the effort that was put into it really shows. So the story of Blasphemous goes something
like this: A terrible curse has fallen upon the land
and all of its inhabitants – very little’s known about this curse but it is referred
to as The Miracle. The Miracle’s transformed most people into
horrific monsters for their blasphemous ways and now they roam the surrounding lands. I’m sure you can already tell but this game
has twisted religious themes all throughout it. It’s kind of like if Berserk’s Inquisition
Arc had a love child with Dante’s Inferno and Dark Souls. I’m kidding about the Dark Souls part…
not every 2d game that has challenging combat automatically makes it a souls-like. Anyways, you play as the main character, The
Penitent One, who is the only survivor of a massacre called the Silent Sorrow. The Penitent One is trapped in an endless
cycle of death and rebirth and it’s up to him to find out the origin of his anguish
and break the curse of The Miracle. This guy is such a ruthless and cool character. Never speaking, he wields a sword born from
guilt itself called Mea Culpa and goes forth into the land vanquishing anything that stands
in his path. Oh and he also has a cool helmet. The story starts off vague and mysterious
as you are tasked with an initial quest of acquiring three items but the further you
go, the more you learn about the land that was twisted by The Miracle. Now that we know a little bit about the game’s
story, let’s talk about what you probably came to this video for: the gameplay. You see, I’m a sucker for 2d action games
like Dead Cells and Death’s Gambit, but I think Blasphemous controls better than all
of them. The Penitent One has great mobility and you
can animation cancel attacks into his slide dodge and it is so smooth and satisfying to
play. Between your standard attacks, a solid parrying
mechanic, and dodging through enemy attacks, combat felt really smooth and it feels satisfying
going head to head with a bunch of enemies and destroying them all with style. The standard enemies aren’t too much of
a challenge when you learn their attack patterns but it was always enjoyable to dispatch them,
especially with the random queues to trigger an execution which is overly brutal and really
enjoyable to pull off. Not to say that the game’s easy – I would
say the game is more challenging than most, but it didn’t feel too hard either. When you die, your only penalty is that you
lose part of your fervor until you find where you died and obtain it back – it’s not overly
punishing like in some games and when you die as many times as I did in the game, you
can certainly appreciate that. And you can always pay a small price to cleanse
your guilt and regain all of your fervor back too so you’re never in danger of being stuck
in a bad position. The boss battles proved to be quite difficult
but like most action games, once you learn their attack patterns and animations, even
the most challenging foe can be bested. And while you only wield Mea Culpa as your
only weapon, there’s a lot of customization options to help provide variety to your gameplay. You can upgrade your sword to unlock more
powerful combos, ranged attacks, and more. You obtain prayers that are powerful special
abilities that use fervor. You find a variety of rosary beads that can
be fitted onto your necklace that will slightly empower The Penitent One in many different
ways. The combat never felt stale as I played through
all the different areas in the game and found new upgrades like a breadcrumb trail pushing
me further into the twisted land. Blasphemous has your standard metroidvania
elements which opens up a lot of exploration paths early on in the game and you slowly
connect the world together as you advance to different areas that lead back to existing
locations with shortcuts to where you traversed earlier on. There’re also NPCs that will give you side
quests that can be completed to help empower the Penitent One on his journey with rewards
and even a shopkeeper that sells key items. Some of the quests are quite simple like bringing
healing items to a townsman looking after the wounded and some of them…. Well not so much. Bring you some oil huh? That should be easy enough. Oh man, here’s your stupid oil. What?! The level design is clever and some areas
were really fun to explore – and you’re rewarded for exploration too. You can find hidden rooms that often provide
upgrades to your weapon, health or fervor. While the combat is very satisfying and still
provides a challenge, I honestly felt like the platforming elements gave me the hardest
time and was the biggest cause of my deaths outside of the harder boss fights. I honestly can’t get over how amazing this
game looks. The different settings and attention to detail
was just so good – anyone that appreciates good pixel art will definitely enjoy playing
through this game. Is Blasphemous perfect? Well, not quite. While I really enjoyed the game, I did encounter
a few little bugs here and there. Oh no – wait a second… haha okay then that
makes this a little easier. Did I just hit the boss before the cutscene? Did that hurt him? Hahaha it sure did – nice! All of these encounters were minor and I’m
sure they will be patched in future updates so it didn’t really take away from my experience. And while the bosses are extremely cool to
fight against and all of them look really good, the difficulty felt balanced and gradually
got more challenging as I progressed further in the game. Except for this lightning move – this move
filled me with the nerd rage of a thousand suns as it stunlocked me into oblivion a couple
of times. If you get hit by this move, well, I hope
your health wasn’t low… There were also a few platforming areas that
were a little frustrating to get through but I can only blame myself for being impatient
and dying a lot to get past them. And I think my one final gripe was that while
there is fast travel and shortcuts in the game, certain areas were still a long trip
to get to, even after unlocking all of the travel options, but now I’m really nitpicking. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough
of the game, which took about 9 hours to beat. But that was just for the standard ending,
and trust me, you’re gonna want to unlock the true ending which took me closer to 13
hours to play through. It’s a little vague on how to do it but
all I’ll say is when you get a specific key from the vendor, make sure to go back
to the beginning of the game because I missed this until way later and I was a little disappointed
to realize my mistake and miss out on an important ability. Even after beating the game with the true
ending, I really want to go back and finish this game with a 100% completion rate, which
is extremely rare for me to want to do, and I think that is a testament to how good this
game is. So after all of this, should you buy Blasphemous? Most certainly! If you enjoy pixel art or 2d action platformers,
this game is top quality in both of those areas and it also carries an indie game price
tag. I couldn’t recommend it enough. And while I normally don’t assign an arbitrary
number score to a game, I would most certainly give Blasphemous a nine out of ten and consider
it as a contender for my game of the year. Go buy it. Enjoy it, and you can thank me later. Thank you guys so much for watching this video,
if you enjoyed it and want to see more content like this, consider subscribing to my channel
and maybe check out my narrative game series or other game reviews I also want to shout out my newest patrons,
Christopher Payette and karlomka. Thank you both so much for your support, I
really appreciate it. And a big big thanks to all of my patrons,
who are helping support this channel so I can make more reviews and narrative game series
more often and eventually do this full time. I am extremely grateful for your support. And as always guys, thanks for watching and
until next time, have a good one!

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