Cathedral from Elden Pixels and Decemberborn is a pixeltastic 2D Metroidvania that you should check out on Nintendo Switch. Learn why in our Cathedral review!
In Cathedral from Elden Pixels and Decemberborn, you’ll be taking on a pixeltastic 2D Metroidvania with an old-school charm on Nintendo Switch. Elden Pixels is acting as publisher, which makes sense given how much the team likes their Metroidvanias, having released not one but two games in the genre: the very fun Alwa’s Awakening and the excellent sequel Alwa’s Legacy. Cathedral from Decemberborn leans closer to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) aesthetic from Alwa’s Awakening. It also has some elements that will remind you a bit of classic NES games such as Mega Man, Duck Tales, and Castlevania.
You wake up in an unknown world with no recollection of how you got there. To go along with your amnesia, your knight also has no name. Before you will be a vast world full of secrets for you to find, in a 2D Metroidvania in which you’ll team up with the entity known only as Soul. Your goal for this adventure? To defeat the demi-god Ardur. This is an NES-hard 2D game, so don’t expect Cathedral to hold your hand at any time! The good news is that you’ll at least have a map that will help you find your way around each section so that you can know where you’ve been and where you should be heading to.
You’ll move your nameless knight with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping and double jumping with the B button. You’ll attack with the Y button, and if you jump and press down as you attack, you’ll do a downwards attack that can make you bounce a bit. Blocking with your shield is done with the A button. Dashing will be mapped to the ZL button, and you can use the ZR button to call upon Soul. You can switch between weapons with the L and R buttons and can use your equipped subweapon by pressing the X button. You have a healing potion on you that can be used by pressing in on the right analog stick.
As you play through Cathedral, new quests will be added to the list of objectives you’ll have to complete, which you can check by pressing the + button. From this menu, you can also check how much of each area you have explored, what items and equipment you have, as well as review the map for each location you visit. The map will autofill as you move from room to room, and you can quickly review it by pressing the – button. If you press down on the left analog stick, you can activate a mini-map as you play.
You can collect armor augmentations that will provide bonuses as they stack. These include starting with extra hearts after you die, having a small chance to avoid damage, having a small chance to resist freeze, lowering the cooldown period for using a healing potion, being able to attract loot towards you, or reducing the knockback time. You can also find extra heart containers to boost your overall health or upgrades to increase the total number of arrows you can carry, which is very important since the initial five you get will barely get the job done.
As you defeat enemies, destroy boxes, open up chests, you collect gold coins and gold bars. There will also be hidden gems for you to find! All of these will be added to your loot total. You can use said loot to refill your arrows, upgrade the healing power of your potions, boost your armor, buy a mysterious gargoyle key, buy an old bronze amulet that lowers how much loot you lose upon death, or grab a magical compass that will allow you to return to the last checkpoint you visited. You can also deposit some of your money in the bank so that you don’t end up losing it when you die.
After you reach the town and meet Conan the Librarian, you’ll be able to search for the missing 100 books during your time with Cathedral, and you’ll need to search high and low for them, jumping and double jumping, dashing, using your downwards attack to bounce off stuff, or all of the above! As long as you keep your eyes open, you should be able to find at least half of them as you move from area to area. You will also be searching for the different body parts of a Necromancer that you can bring back from the dead,
Cathedral is an old-school infused, pixeltastic 2D Metroidvania that is a lot of fun to play on Nintendo Switch. There’s a ton of content to enjoy in this one, with dozens of enemies to battle and plenty of bosses to test your skills, new abilities to unlock that will allow you to progress further in the game, and a set of charms that you can equip at shrines to unlock your knight’s full potential. Cathedral is out today for $14.99, and it’s a great Metroidvania to take on Nintendo’s console.
This Cathedral review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Elden Pixels.