Emphasizing the Metroid in MetroidVania, Axiom Verge is a treasure trove of exploration, clever mechanics, & big guns.
Axiom Verge | Review & Speedrunning Guide Intro
This article is separated into two sections. The first, which you are reading now, is a spoiler free review of Axiom Verge. What lies under the spoiler warning is a resource guide I’ve written for people looking to speedrun Axiom Verge. Plot points will not be revealed in this article.
Axiom Verge | Is it me or is this game just like…?
There is no doubt about it, Axiom Verge took a lot of notes from Metroid and Super Metroid. So if you liked jamming those games, this is comfortably in the same wheelhouse. From the ultra high platforms that require the inevitable double jump enhancement to the small crevices you can’t readily fit into, this isn’t your (or your dad’s) Metroid. When you first start exploring Axiom Verge, you get the distinct impression of specific power-ups you will need to progress through the game if you played this style of game before. But you’d probably be wrong about what you eventually get. This is the biggest spoiler I am willing to diverge in this review: you will not be turning into a little ball in this game. Or even getting a double jump, per say.
In this game, you will get a lot of abilities and tech that will allow you to reach new areas, and access to power ups that were hiding in plain sight. Backtracking is a bit of a thing–not so much on successive runs of the game, however. While Verge does take cues from Nintendo’s flagship space adventure series, there is enough ingenuity and tech to spice up the exploration. By the time you reach full completion of the game, you will be rapidly accessing areas of the map with enhanced mobility and have gained knowledge of some unique shortcuts. You’ll also likely have two or three favorite guns from the plethora available.
Axiom Verge | Production Value
Yes, it looks, feels, and controls like a NES game until you progress a bit. The facts that the game has different routes, various ways to conquer an enemy, and contains an overall feeling of freedom to beat the game anyway I like–I felt like a kid staying up late on summer nights hoping my situation would turn up in my Nintendo Power or strategy guide so I wouldn’t feel so lost. The game is pretty big. The mapping/exploration system is insanely well executed. The music is addictive and varied. The controls feel extremely polished. The story is creepy yet surprising at times. Unless the visual style attacks your sensibilities, nothing in this game will seem subpar. And just as an anecdote, this game was created and developed entirely by one gentleman named Tom Happ.
Axiom Verge | Rating
I’ve spent roughly 47 hours with the game. I have completed one 100% run and a few speedruns. My fastest so far is 1 hour and 55 minutes. From start to finish every time, I was fully engaged in playing better, searching harder, and discovering even more. Axiom Verge has addictive gameplay and is truly a trip down memory lane. This is the Burger King of Metroidvania games because you can have it your way. Enemies don’t require a specific weapon to be killed, and you can finish the game in a completely different way than someone else. If you are a retrogaming fan, this belongs in your collection.
5 out of 5
by Garry Gordon
Axiom Verge | Recommendations
If you enjoyed Axiom Verge, I would also recommend the following games. And inversely, if you like these games, you’ll probably like Axiom Verge.
AXIOM VERGE SPEEDRUNNING SPOILER SECTION. LOOK AWAY!
Axiom Verge Speedrunning Tips | Easy Boss Beats
Axiom Verge Speedrunning Tips | Drone Jumping
This is how you achieve impossible heights during speedruns. To perform this, you need the drone, drone teleport, and the glitch gun. Start by jumping then follow these steps.
Step 1: Shoot your Drone in the desired direction. This is the Triangle button by default.
Step 2: After the drone has traveled nearly as far as it can be thrown, click the same button again to activate it.
Step 3: Teleport to your drone by pressing the same button again.
Step 4: Tap the glitch gun button (R1 by default). This allows you continue shooting drones.
Step 5: If you haven’t jumped as far as you were aiming for, quickly go back to step 1.
Axiom Verge Speedrunning Tips | Speedrunning Route
The video contained below is my latest speedrunning route. I’ve watched a lot of different people on YouTube give tips and strategies for speedrunning Axiom Verge. The fact is some of the runs from the middle of May 2015 and earlier will take advantage of glitches that have since been removed from the game via patches. You can’t shoot a drone through a one brick wall anymore and then drone teleport through it. The run below is from after those glitches being removed from the game. There are many different ways to speedrun this game, this is just my current method. It’s far from optimized as I was grabbing the data bomb to ensure a no death run.
Axiom Verge Speedrunning Tips | Map w/ All Items
Use this map to help plot out your 100% run or to see if you are speeding by something you might want. Click to pop open a new window. The website this image is from is a very good resource for Axiom Verge.