I wanna be the Overlord
Not only are the stages configured non-linearly, but at various points in the game it gives the player the freedom to explore and fight some bosses in the order they decide to as well. Combine this with the fact that there are also extra hidden areas, and you are looking at a roughly 10 hour long adventure or more on your first playthrough.
From a gameplay perspective, the platforming is fairly mild in terms of difficulty, which not only makes the game accessible to non-fangame players, but shifts the focus more towards exploration. Each of the games various areas each has their own theme as well as platforming gimmicks which adds a nice variety as you visit the stages. Mixed into things are some puzzles, none of which seem overbearing, and some of the more cryptic ones have hints to be found in the game at certain spots. The bosses throughout the game are pretty reasonable, and if you get hung up for some reason, you can explore elsewhere for upgrades or grind out a few damage-ups off the monsters.
Overall the game is one of the few fangames that is of a quality level that you could charge money for, and one that everyone who loves adventure games or metroidvanias should play.
Long and really well-made adventure. It's designed as a Metroidvania, which basically means that the game is non-linear, but the access to many areas requires the player to have specific items. With lots of different obstacles, enemies to kill, nicely implemented gimmicks and creative puzzles, there's a lot to like in this game. The bosses are quite well-made as well. Interesting attacks, some cool mechanics, and all the fights are fair. The visuals are superb, and combined with the right music choices create a wide range of environments, not only making the stages very different from each other, but also making certain sections of the stages different from each other (For example, the Moonlight Forest area has a temple inside of it).
Furthermore, there are also some nice additional features. There's a leveling system, although the only thing you can level up is your attack, and a fast travel system with strategically positioned teleporters that leave you close to the key sections. There's an inventory system, where you can choose between different guns and different kinds of ammunition, as well as manage your key items (Special items that allow you to access specific sections). There are even some optional sections (Including mini-games) that offer you collectibles and upgrades. And finally, there's something that I greatly missed on I dun wanna be Anything 2 (Another game that uses the Metroidvania structure): A map system. It's heavily glitchy, but it exists, and it's very helpful, as it even allows you to see where can you find teleporters, saves, key sections and boss rooms, as long as you've visited these sections before.
As much as they don't seem like it, most key items' functions are sorta of properly explained. For example, once you get the Moonlight Orb, whose name is anything but self-explanatory, you have to backtrack through a section filled with water, and then you should be able to notice that you don't have an oxygen meter anymore. However, there's a little issue called "Ocarina", a neat item that allows you to go back to the main hub whenever you want. If the player has the Ocarina, and then decides to use it to go back instead of using the intended way (Which sounds like a very plausible idea, actually), discovering the Orb's function would be much trickier. Giving the items text descriptions would be a much more reliable way of explaining their functions to the player.
The only major complaint I have about this game, however, is that there's not much effort to guide the player towards the main objective. Just like in I dun wanna be Anything 2, there's a bunch of places you can go to, and no one to tell you "Denri has the key to overcome the Moonlight Maze. He resides on the very top of this building. But he's not gonna let go of it, and you'll never be able to face him head-on. You need to find an alternative path", or something like that, until halfway through the game, where you can find a couple hints of the stuff you're supposed to do (Most of which from NPCs at the Training Grounds). As a result of that, it's hard to tell what are you supposed to do in order to progress through each area, and more often than not you'll be surrounded by annoying dead-ends, finding a lot of optional items but without making any real progress. A major share of my enjoyment went away really quickly due to this.
Even so, I still liked this game a lot. Most of it is really well done, and its positives heavily outweigh the few negatives. Would definitely recommend.
On a side note, I would certainly appreciate if this kind of fangame was our standard for "generic", instead of what we actually have. Can you imagine, everyone making fangames like this, to the point where it's even considered overdone? That'd probably be great.
I heard about this game a lot, being the first fangame of the maker that is really great. So I gave it a shot, eventually finishing this game. Overall it's a great fangame, but I had a decent amount of frustration during this game.
The main reason of my frustration was the fact that there are WAY too much pathfinding imo. Every key items you get gives you literally no description except the Ocarina. I can't remember these items' effect even when I beat the whole game. I think the maker tried to give a hint since there's usually a way to use these items right away, but the problem still remains. You have to find where to go to use the item you just obtained and for me, it almost took more than fighting bosses/doing platforming. I guess it's a necessary thing for a metroidvania game, but I just thought it was too much.
There were more things which I disliked like some of the stages' gimmick and some puzzles, but I think that's based from my anti-puzzling nature so I'll skip it.
Still, I had a pretty good experience from the game. The bosses were good and musics are great. I liked the rings that can change your shot style(pretty sad that guns just increase your damage though). Leveling only increases your attack, but what else you need in a fangame?
Overall a great game, but some flaws keeps me from giving it 8~9/10.
My main complaints when I first started (lack of attack range, not being able to teleport to hub at will) ended up being resolved via hidden items/rewards. That said there are still some minor issues that I had with the game, less having to do with the game world itself and more having to do with the lack of polish on the metroidvania elements. First off it isn't very clear what certain items do, they have no in-game description and most just end up taking an inventory slot and are used once and never again (does the secret bosses' reward give you more souls? Why would people want this when it's probably the last thing people do in the game?). Finding certain items can prove to be very difficult, so perhaps more "hint npcs" would be helpful to point you in the right direction (ie. a cryptoria npc hinting at needing the nattgard torch would be useful). Likewise, the customization of weapons is fairly lacking. You can find guns which only provide a base damage upgrade (so if you find worse guns there is no real point in using them) and the only variety in the actual shooting you do involves the few rings in the game (and there is an obvious optimal ring which makes all the others obsolete). Similarly, leveling up just increases attack power by 1 which is pretty boring, though I don't really know how to solve this since something like a "guts" mechanic would be worse. The biggest disappointment was probably the ending, as after having a seemingly story-driven opening at the beginning of the game you beat the final boss, credits role, and that's it. Some sort of cutscene at the end resolving the story itself would go a long way in making the ending seem complete.
Although there were some minor elements that could have been done better, overall this is one of the few "must play" fangames and is recommended for players of all skill ranges.