HunterX it’s a title released on April 29, 2022; quite recently and at the modest price of € 12.49. The content it offers is very linear, nothing transcendental, and all very oriental in style. In fact, the game was developed by the South Korean start-up ORANGE POPCORN and they landed HunterX on Steam immediately receiving a flood of reviews from users. The curiosity on our part was great, especially mine, as we are not talking only about a video game with graphics worthy of an anime, but also of a metroidvania.
The gameplay offers a lot of ideas that can be traced back to different genres, but mostly it is a side scrolling action, where you can not only face different enemies, but also build yourself and research Karma points to be able to level up. Reminds you of something, right? I really believe that the assonance with Dark Souls and its souls is inevitable. All in single player and, personally, I found the choice not to put a multiplayer mode a winner. Obviously it is not a title without flaws and slowly we will get there, starting with the game controls.
Are you ready to impersonate Tsuki inside HunterX?
HunterX shows you a teenage girl fighting the evil beings of the world
Like so many souls around, the protagonist is none other than a girl still of school age who fights some strange creatures with weapons of all calibers. The age is quite intuitive from the uniform she wears, easily attributable to the typical clothing of oriental schools in Japan, in China or even in Korea, and his name appears to be Tsuki. She is first introduced to us on a building and how she got there doesn’t really matter; with feline leap he finds himself on the main road, where a red demon explains our mission: investigate and find out where these creatures come from. There is something strange in the air and our task seems as easy as drinking a glass of water.
Like this, holding the long katana tightly, we venture into HunterX where we soon find the first enemies. Sewers, streets, buildings: everything seems to be besieged by these beasts; fortunately, the first tutorials come to our rescue, which explain the actions to be done and basic gameplay functions. The first chapter is just an introduction to the game itself, which starts from the moment in which we find the portals that make us move from one level to another. The duration of each one varies according to the difficulty chosen at the beginning, but also by the method of play and by many small details that do not create the forecast of a perfect playing time.
There are two levels of difficulty: easy and normal; trying them both, you feel the difference in height between the two and certainly the level is not the same as that declared. Nothing transcendental and all absolutely feasible, but HunterX wants to take back the player’s punishment factor a lot. If you are good, you can move on, otherwise you will die and have to start over from the save point. Don’t rely on the chosen difficulty, but on your skills.
Optimized for controller play
Once HunterX is finished for the first time, you have access to the NewGame + mode that creates a game while keeping the equipment accumulated over time; obviously you will arrive at that point well aware of the skills of the character and the statistics adopted to defeat all opponents. To grow Tsuki you will need Karma Points, the classic souls of Dark Souls, which you can lose as soon as the protagonist dies at the hands of any enemy. You will always be able to retrieve them and that makes HunterX accessible to anyone who would like to take on a game of the souls genre without too many pretensions. Despite what has been said about the difficulty of the game, it is always less than the more classic Demon’s Soulsfor instance.
Although the mechanics of the statics and the skill compartment are very nice, it doesn’t actually create real personalization. Sure, maybe you will start your journey with one stat higher than the other, but for better or worse you will go to raise all the points in the list and the mechanics decay. From a certain point of view it maintains the line of oriental thought on anime, where the protagonist of the work can come to be powerful in all its forms. All this will be enjoyablehowever, only if you play HunterX with a controller.
We actually talk about a title that can also be concluded with the simple keyboard, but the controls are not comfortable at all. For example, to move Tsuki back and forth you will need to use the directional arrows; very uncomfortable, if we think that in 2022 almost all games have the WASD system. In HunterX, however, the controls are reversed and everything is extremely tiring. With a controller, however, everything becomes intuitive and almost mechanical, so much so that you will get to use commands well before seeing the tutorial.
HunterX doesn’t appear to be a 2022 game
It has been released recently, it is true, but HunterX does not seem at all to be a game released in the current current year; the graphics bring a lot back to 2016 (if not before her) and this is very visible during the run of the protagonist, where she seems to constantly punch herself in the face rather than moving her arms rhythmically. In reverse, enemies are well made and we see enough of it in the game. I was pleased to see some boss similarities with some external game characters, like the second boss who blatantly looks like Soraka from League of Legends. Despite this similarity, each enemy has its own identity.
The only problem with them was because of their attacks, sometimes far too close to each other. I give an example: a being that I will call Fire Shooter Wizard. There are these creatures that they throw small fireballs, two to be exact, and for better or worse have a good pace. When they are higher than Tsuki, for example on an upper floor, they do not give the time to jump and crouch; you have to use the jump together with the small shot, it is true, but we are equally affected.
A real shame, because it breaks the rhythm of the game a bit; To defeat enemies, you not only need increased stats or abilities, but also gods good reflexes and excellent muscle memory. Each opponent presents rhythmic attacks, repeated indefinitely, and it’s up to the player to understand what movements he makes to act accordingly. This mechanic can be seen in many metroidvania or even, trivially, in Cuphead.
Balanced to be a sufficient game
The concept of is also very nice find some items along the way to recover life, for example, or mechanisms capable of opening shortcuts or small closed rooms capable of giving us some more weapons. The game offers a lot and can be a great stepping stone for everyone those players who want something hectic without too many thoughts.
Rightly there is the counterpart balances and Karma points, but as already said: they are an almost mandatory path. The only problem is that HunterX is not a title that everyone can use, as it is completely in English (along with many other languages available) and the Italian language is not present. No fancy language is used, actually, and with a little extra effort it can be played even by a player new to the language. But it could still be a small obstacle for many. The game is available on the Steam platform and you will need to meet these minimum requirements:
- Operating system: Windows 7;
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4400;
- Memory: 2 GB of RAM;
- Video card: 1GB of RAM;
- Dedicated memory: 3 GB of available space.