Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Title: Tyr: Chains of Valhalla
Genre: 2.5D, Action, Adventure, Indie
Developer: Ennui Studio
Publisher: Ennui Studio
Platform(s): Switch (reviewed), PS4, PC
Release: February 22th, 2019
When Tyr: Chains of Valhalla was first announced, it was set to be a Kickstarter game in the vein of Mega Man. Tyr, a 2.5D platformer featuring a modern-day take on Norse Mythology, was supposed to buck the trend of sub-par Mega Man homage games. While it does do a good job, the punishing difficulty pushes this title right on the edge of frustration. The story is pretty original. O.Din (aka Professor Oswald Din) has created you (Tyr) to stop L.Oki (Lemuz Oki). L.Oki is set to destroy the world order and create chaos to seize the biggest technology company, and control the entire world. Your job is to stop L.Oki's plans, defeat his group of Robots, and take the summit of Valhalla. A pretty noble and original concept, and the story definitely jives with the neo-punk art style.
The Tip and The Top
I love me some 2.5D platformer action, and this game did not disappoint. The mixture of the polygonal background and the animated, almost cartoon-like character sprites makes for a cool experiance. It's as if you were playing the game using cartoon animation cells. Yes, I'm showing my age here, but it reminds me of the animation style of the classic rock-ballad movie Heavy Metal. Right from the get-go, the game's music sets the mood, and as any platformer, it changes as you progress through the game. The tutorial in the beginning of the game teaches you how to control Tyr. This control scheme mirrors other Mega Man games, and that gives you an advantage if you have played those games in the past. 2D sidescrolling staples like the double jump, jump-dash, and wall jump also make appearances, but there's no new territory being tread. The controls, coupled with the smooth graphics and the moody music, kept me from putting the controller down. Well, at first.
The Flip and The Flop
This game is really hard. And I mean really hard. So hard that I lost track of how many times I died. Now, although the game is a challange to play, I'm not sure if I should make that a downfall, as I believe that was the intention of the developer. With that being said, there were some things that I did find extremely annoying, and made the game tough to enjoy. Added to the difficulty were the spaces between the save points. It was very upsetting to get so far, only to fail and have to start all over again from so far back. I also really wish the developers included the ability to make the controls fully customizeable. For me, it is much more comfortable to have my jump and fire buttons swapped. Going through the menus, I was able to change to three different control schemes, but none of them had the configuration that worked best to me.
Final Grade: B-
Tyr: Chains of Valhalla is, at its heart, a love letter to Mega Man games of old. It looks really cool, and even though it's extremely difficult, still enjoyable. I would have given the game a higher rank if it wasn't for the 2 simple changes of being able to customize your contrtols, and having such sporadic save points, but overall the game is fun to play. I hope in the future there are updates that could really take this game to the next level. Until then, I would really just recommend this title to any die-hard “mega” gamers.