Inexistence Rebirth – Review
Follow Genre: Metroidvania action-platformer
Developer: Jonathan Brassaud
Publisher: Jonathan Brassaud
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Inexistence Rebirth – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Great retro look, Plenty of content
Bad: Hitboxes don't always make sense
User Score
7.0
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Only four years ago, Jonathan Brassaud brought us Inexistence, a Metroidvania action-platformer released on steam about a brave boy undertaking the dangerous journey to save his sister from being locked into artificial slumber. The game got mixed reactions and apparently Brassaud took these reactions to heart, reworking the game from scratch in an entirely new engine and adding tons of content to make it bigger and better than ever before, rereleasing it this year under the title Inexistence Rebirth. It’s time to start the adventure anew and see if Hald can save the world again.

Story

In Inexistence Rebirth, Hald and his sister Hania live a reclusive life on a strange island, being appointed as ‘keepers’ by the gods. Keepers are people with magical powers that keep balance and peace in the world, but not everybody is on board with the idea of civilization without war. An evil being known as Claos has quite different plans and attacks the siblings in their home to confine Hania to a coma so her powers can not be used to protect others. Hald has to set off on the quest to save her and probably the rest of humanity. As far as storylines go, it’s a pretty cliché set-up recounted in the opening cutscene and then rarely expanded upon, but it works as a context for the rest of the gameplay.

Graphics

Inexistence Rebirth looks really good, especially now that the graphics have been redesigned for an even sleeker look. The pixelated side-scroller art has a nostalgic feel to it, and with plenty of new monsters inhabiting the world, there are some really cool designs in the mix. The different locations you visit also look distinct, ranging from typical dungeon-like castles to lava-filled mountains or snowy peaks. One of the major adjustments was to the menus and inventory, making them less confusing and easier to scroll through.

Sound

In terms of music, Inexistence Rebirth gives us about what you’d expect from this genre. It is classic in a good way, with nothing standing out as especially noteworthy or leaving a lasting impression. Just a lot of nice, action-y 8-bit tracks all throughout, reminiscent of the titles this game is trying to emulate. Plenty of hacking and slashing sounds accompany you through the levels as you chop enemies up left and right, as well as nice magic sound effects and ghoulish growls from the monsters you encounter.

Gameplay

Inexistence Rebirth is a Metroidvania action-platformer clearly inspired be early NES games. Playing as Hald, you will have to make your way through increasingly dangerous areas full of gnarly monsters, usually encountering a boss at the end. Both a sword and magic are at your disposal when doing this, and killing monsters also earns you exp, which are converted to points you can spend on increasing your stats and unlocking new abilities when you level up. Likewise, any money you find along the way can be used in shops to buy better equipment or mana and health potions.

The fighting in this game is pretty standard stuff. You start off with a simple sword and one ranged magic attack. Repeatedly using your melee attacks will automatically chain them into a combo, and you have a simple dodge roll you can use to get away from danger. Hald can also jump and hang from ledges to get to higher places, with the ability to double jump being unlockable later on to get to the myriad of secret chests hidden around the maps. Also found around the map are fountains, where you can save the game and restore your health. These fountains can be a tad too far apart at times, especially since the maps are surprisingly big, and every time you die you lose all your progress and have to restart from the last fountain you saved at. On the other hand, the fountains can also be used to fast travel across the map.

Aside from the normal mode, there is also a hard difficulty for people who want to get challenged (though the finicky hitboxes mean normal might be plenty even for veteran players) and ‘sister mode’, where you play the game as Hania instead of Hald. Combine this with the surprisingly large amount of achievements, secrets, and some side quests and Existence Rebirth has a lot more content to offer then you might perceive at first glance.

Conclusion

Existence Rebirth delivers what it intents to: a heartfelt callback to the classic Metroidvania genre that can keep people occupied for a good while. Sadly, it does not bring anything unique to the table that allows it to set itself apart from the many other games on the market in a positive way, but for the cheap price this is being sold at, you get a good-looking game that is decently fun. And sometimes, you don’t need much more than that!

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Rating: 7.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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Inexistence Rebirth - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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