Today GameCritics is happy to present a video from guest contributor Arlyeon. For more from them, you can check out their YouTube channel or their Discord.


TRANSCRIPT:

Hey Folks, If you’re looking for an In-depth Review, You’re in the right place! That said, today’s a bit of a special treat- since we’re actually -returning- to an earlier title. Specifically, Clover Bites grotesque Metroidvania, Grime- due to their recently released Colors Of Rot DLC. So join me as I talk shop about the changes, and whether they breathed new life into the mix, or if the experience found itself spoiled. I’m your host Arlyeon, Let’s find out together.

Also, if you’re curious about the base game, you can check out my video on Grime as a whole, which I’ve helpfully linked in the description. Mostly, Because my focus is on all the new changes they incorporated. Though, forewarning, it -really- is in your best interest to start a file from scratch- considering that the scope of these tweaks range across the entirety of the gameplay experience.

That said, it’ll likely be some time until you notice the narrative tweaks. That’s not to say you won’t, as there are a few odd encounters you can stumble across, such as the Vases- or an entirely new sidequest of sorts involving the secret misbegotten amalgam boss in the base game. That said- the biggest adjustment to the game’s overarching story is the extension of the Garden’s narrative thread into the brand new area, the Childbed- which essentially serves as the cradle for the mysterious entity known as the child. Whilst it’s influence had been felt in the base game, in tandem with the appearance of eyes, and flowering enemies- this recent DLC provides it a spotlight.

More importantly, between the new quest line that cropped up in its area, and the accompanying enemy and item lore- you can get a bit closer to understanding its place within the crux of things.
Whilst the relative scope of this adjustment is fairly narrow in the greater scheme of things- it’s a worthy addition all the same.

Which brings us to the shifts to the gameplay- and perhaps the first one you’ll encounter- is the shifts to the world at large. Grime is a bit more porous than it used to be, with the addition of a few new shortcuts to existing areas, as well as a fair number leading to the new optional area.

More importantly, there’s more nerve passes, which somewhat mitigates some of the travel time that was baked into the original version, so early backtracking isn’t quite as brutal. Something which is further mitigated by the improvised to the movement abilities as a whole- which was one of my central gripes about Grime, since moment was fairly slow paced, to the point that the most efficient means of fast traveling (warping between checkpoints), was barred until -after- you’ve essentially beaten the game.

The way Colors Of Rot Chooses to address this, is by instead tying the fast travel ability to one of the bosses in the new region, the Childbed. While this still makes it a somewhat late game inclusion- it’s still attainable at a point where you might be able to appreciate it for a couple hours- especially if you’re the sort inclined towards exploration. There’s also a dash ability you can acquire. I…have some mixed feelings on this one, because if you jump it gets canceled, and there’s a bit of start up on it- which can make it a bit awkward to use given a lot of uneven surfaces in certain areas- but it’s helpful all the same.

That said, there was also a slow fall ability added- and this one is just- It makes so many of the earlier falling puzzles a -lot- more accessible, and generally mitigates the amount of ‘death by gravity’ that you’ll have to deal with.

Admittedly these changes can make a number of the pre-existing platforming puzzles a fair bit more manageable, but that’s offset by the simple fact that there’s a number of secrets and obstacle courses which now require a firm grasp of the new abilities in order to make your way through.

It’s honestly pretty satisfying as a whole, especially since there’s a lot of new weapons and armours to toy around with- some of which provide some fairly distinct abilities- like healing on hit. Though- speaking of healing. In the base game- one of your primary means of doing so was by filling up charges of your breath gauge- which meant getting adept at the parry system. While this is unchanged in and of itself, there’s now another way to heal, vis a vis the crystal runners. These little critters have been scattered about the world, and when you manage to hunt down and kill 3, you get a healing item that replenishes whenever you use a checkpoint, which definitely helps to pad your survivability. There’s also a spare you can get from a quest -alongside- an infinite-use recall item, for getting back to checkpoints, which sticks with the mobility theme in the DLC.

I literally shaved off -5- hours from my first playthrough on this one, including doing all the bonus content, so- these tweaks -definitely- add up.

And that’s despite the fact that the new area is -massive-. Actually exploring that place is a pretty time consuming endeavor, to the point that the only other region that took me a similar amount was the carven palace. And the simple fact of the matter is? I got beaten up so badly, I found myself taking a break until I could get a double jump to come back, simply to provide myself more options to navigate the place. It’s genuinely labyrinthine.

Also a bit tricky at times, due to the new biome hazards and enemies- though, the traits you can pick up off them this time around are fairly interesting. There’s actually some viable options for making health oriented builds now- such as a Trait that causes you to fire off attacks whenever you regain breath while capped- …Which scales with your health. There’s even an item that scales up with your stamina. More or less, there’s a -lot- more options insofar as how to build your character- and a few new hunt points to find, so you can experiment with the new skills.

And- you’ll need to. Because while I generally got through the various bosses this run through in a fairly efficient manner, the DLC bosses are -no- joke, with a special mention to one of the two Childbed challengers- The Surrogate Vulture. This is just -such- a great encounter, with a lot of mechanics that help to make it memorable as can be- including a rather nasty surprise that caught me off guard midway through the fight.

And, I suppose that’s something that extends to the new enemy and level design at large. Graphically, all the new critters look -great-, and also, pretty darn uncomfortable. That said, the real highlight here- beyond new armours allowing for further fashion souls options- Was the soundtrack. I enjoyed the soundtrack in the base game. Even the super creepy ambience that plays as you navigate the Seedbed- though the music that truly stuck with me, was the various tracks that accompanied the new bosses. They’re absolutely gorgeous.

Anyways- I may as well boil things down, and the simple fact of the matter is- this DLC was, on the whole, a net positive for me. It provided me with a legitimately good reason to return to the grim world of Grime- and gave me the tools necessary to not only make that journey a bit more accessible, it also provided enough new content, and changed around once familiar elements- that I found myself continually surprised. Plus, it was a lot of fun innovating a brand new trait tree, once I found enough skills that suitably synergized with each other.

Oh, and there’s the incorporation of the Prey Gauntlet- which was added as the new prize for when you beat the game- and essentially just lets you have rematches against the games various bosses. System wise, it was interesting enough- but it’s mostly there for if you want to revisit a memorable fight, since there’s no rewards. …That said- probably saves time for people like Gellot, who make perfect boss battle videos.

In any case- I’d say that as an addition, and one you get for free? It’s definitely a solid HIT- and offers a bit of something to everyone, including the lorehounds in the audience.

Anywho, Thanks for tuning in. If you agree, disagree or just have something ta’ say to me, feel free to comment. And if you enjoy my efforts to create new indie reviews, interviews, and gaming content, hit the subscribe button (and the bell). For the Discord-Savvy folks,There’s a link to my community- The Crit Hit Cauldron, in the video description. And to my Patreon- so you can support me, and the other members of Crit Hit.

Also, to my twitch, if you want to see me get dunked on in indie games live. That said, I’ll catch you on the next episode of Crit Hit. Take Care till then, Folks.

— Arlyeon

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