HomeReviewsGame ReviewsHunt The Night Review: halfway between Bloodborne and Zelda, 16-bit style

Hunt The Night Review: halfway between Bloodborne and Zelda, 16-bit style

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We ventured into the dark world of hunt The Night, an action-adventure that draws from both the old Zelda games and the more recent Bloodborne.

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While some independent development teams try to achieve photorealism, let’s think of the recent case of Unrecord in Unreal Engine 5, there are other small studios that look back nostalgically and try to make productions that blend modern game mechanics with a technical sector that we could define “old school”. This is exactly the case with Hunt the Night, a delicious pixel art action adventure that represents a sort of love letter to the old chapters of The Legend of Zelda and to Bloodborne. Attracted by the premises, we decided to immerse ourselves in this particular adventure and we are ready to tell you about it in detail.

Let the hunt begin

In Hunt The Night the player takes on the role of Vespersa skilled warrior belonging to the Stalkersa group of elite soldiers who somehow manage to master powers related to darkness to curb the advance of the monstrous creatures that are slowly dooming humanity to extinction.

In that of Medhram, which quite clearly mentions Bloodborne’s Yharnam, we must therefore battle with bloodthirsty creatures, to give one last hope to the few citizens left alive. The narrative plot at the base of Hunt the Night looks precisely to that of the acclaimed title of From Software but in reality the influence of Miyazaki’s work is perceptible both in the dark fantasy atmospheres that permeate the production, both in terms of combat system . This action RPG with 16-bit graphics and isometric view it’s all about the combination of bladed weapons and mouths from

fire, whose projectiles regenerate by landing combos with melee attacks. It is a system as simple as it is functional, given that the instruments of death vary in range and speed d but all offer a single and unique combination. This simplification is not to be understood in a negative way and, on the contrary, makes learning the combat mechanics more immediate. In fact, it only takes a few minutes to start alternating agile dodging, lightning slashing and pistol/crossbow shots to slaughter the monsters that roam the scenarios. The game lacks a dedicated map screen, so it’s not easy to navigate and you have to keep track of the numerous areas, secondary rooms and inaccessible places. Metroidvania style, we will have to return to the latter when we have obtained special powers or keys that will allow us to visit them. Not being able to consult a map proved to be problematic at times, for example prompting us to wander left and right to try to reach the next objective. That said, Medhram’s captivating environments boast inspiring level design and a strong aesthetic personality.

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One of the elements we most appreciated about Hunt the Night is the presence of perfectly balanced puzzles: finding a solution is almost never immediate, yet none of the puzzles has generated frustration in us. Even “activating” shortcuts and accessing secondary areas requires some attention but we have never felt any moments of heaviness in the course of progression.

A little Bloodorne, a little Zelda

To make Hunt the Night a ‘soulborne’ are not only the combat system and the shortcuts, but also and above all the presence of bonfire, which allow in the most classic way to recharge the health indicator (made up of drops of blood, quoting Zelda’s hearts) and to activate fast travel (at the price of the return of the enemies we had defeated). Compared to the works of From Software, in game over the game does not involve the loss of the resources accumulated by eliminating the opponents.

It is also true that it is not possible to engage in extreme farming in Hunt the Night, where the role-playing component is limited to personalizing the protagonist by modifying the equipment, without there being any way to increase attack or defense parameters. The souls torn from the fallen can be invested to improve the healing flasks or to buy new items to wear, so a possible loss of “credits” at the time of death would have made the gaming experience unnecessarily frustrating.

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Increasing Vesper’s stamina however is possible, because her maximum health is related to another Hunt the Night mechanic, this time inspired by Monster Hunter. At some point in the adventure, we will indeed be able to accept a series of hunting contracts that will guide us towards special targets whose elimination will reward us generously (let’s think of objects that increase the HP bar permanently). Obviously the toughest enemies will not be those encountered in the middle of the assignment, but those who will present themselves in front of you at the time of the boss fights. In this sense, the adventure hits the target and offers clashes with large opponents, also characterized by unique mechanics. Unfortunately, however, the number of these battles is a bit small in the approximately 9 hours it takes to complete the adventure.

It should be noted that this figure is purely indicative, since the amount of time required to finish these titles depends on the player’s skill and his dedication to secondary activities. In any case, there are many reasons to remain in the world of Medhram even after the credits have reached. Aside from the presence of alternate endings, Hunt the Night also includes the New Game Plus and the Nightmare Modefor those who really want to test themselves.

Beautiful, but with some flaws

Turning to the technical sector, we must highlight some small criticisms which have been alleviated with the succession of corrective patches but which, about a month after their debut, have not yet found a definitive solution. The title has no graphic defects, but suffers from some problems in terms of command responsiveness and somewhat unjustified stuttering phenomena, if we consider that we are dealing with a production with a 16-bit graphic style. Not having benefited from significant improvements is also the mouse and keyboard support, a control solution that has not yet been refined and certainly not at the level of the pad experience in hand.

Instead, we reiterate theexcellent work done on the artistic side, with beautiful backdrops and well-designed enemies. Too bad only for the protagonist, who lacks personality from an aesthetic point of view and does not differ much from a generic NPC. Finally, we must point out that the game is entirely in English and, at least for the moment, it is not possible to activate the subtitles in Italian.

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