Bite Sized Thoughts: Blasphemous 2
A better title for today’s article would be something like — “How I Completely Fail at Blasphemous 2: And Other Animals”.
It’s been an odd couple of weeks. We’ve just finished being on the receiving end of a nasty heatwave here in the UK. Recently we had 27 degrees Celsius here in the merry North-East, with up to 80 per cent humidity. Not fun! But man, what a great couple of months it has been for gaming. I will talk about that all day, but it’s stunning the amount of quality games. Sure, Starfield is one of the biggest, most controversial releases of the year, with people left and right either praising it to high heaven or hating on it. I’m about 10 hours into Starfield as of writing this article on a hazy Sunday morning. I’m enjoying the hell out of it so far, even if it has some baffling design choices. Paleo Pines and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty are still to come.
So, this isn’t a ‘review’ article like my others. I’m not far enough into Blasphemous 2 to judge it properly like that. Besides, there are plenty of better reviewers out there who have reviewed this already, and who know the game better than I do right now. Nor will I stop playing Blasphemous 2. So I guess we can call this a ‘very early impression?’ Or ‘What a complete idiot at the game thinks about it?’ Something like that.
Sometimes, we just get a game we are terrible at. It’s not even the game’s fault we suck at it, but once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, we get one of those games. For me, that is Blasphemous 2. I cannot remember the last time I played a game I was this bad at. Not even Elden Ring made me feel this stupid. It’s not the game’s fault I’m so bad at it. For instance, it took me two hours just to beat the very first fight in the game. Two freaking hours! Flexing my ‘gamer skills’ there, Michael. Fantastic work. So, to those new to the game, Blasphemous 2 is a sequel to the original version back in 2019 — both games combine the difficult combat of the soul-like genre with the Metroidvania games of old. This fleshy sequel has expanded greatly over the first, employing greater nonlinear gameplay. As someone who barely played the first title, I am new to this series. Oh boy, has my inexperience shown?
Okay, maybe a little confession. I’m not that good at video games. In stuff like strategy and RPGs, I have some skills. But put me up against a roguelike, or anything that requires good timing, and all those skills jump off a cliff, becoming a bloodied pile of body parts while I wonder what the hell happened. It’s been a long time since a game I played made me feel like this. It’s not even that it’s that difficult.
I’m frustrated because I love how Blasphemous 2 looks and feels. It’s one of the most vivid pixel art games I’ve played this year — even matching Sea of Stars in visual quality. The environment is beautiful and I feel right at home controlling my character. It’s a delight to play, although I recommend playing this on a controller. I started Blasphemous 2 on my PC, but the standard keyboard controls are less than ideal, requiring K to attack. It was a bit awkward. Fortunately, you can remap keys however you like, so I got it more to my preference. However, I quickly switched to a controller, which I found the better option.
Fortunately, Blasphemous 2 plays beautifully on the Steam Deck. While there are no real graphics options to tweak, it plays out of the box with no issues I could find, even on a low TDP setting. Whoever made the environmental design deserves a medal, and even in the very early tutorial portions of the game (which sadly, is where I still am!), I feel how much love went into the game’s world. The character feels like an extension of my arm with how they control, the world brimming with excellent sounds of horror. When I screw up, it’s my fault.
So, this isn’t going to be a review. I can’t judge something I haven’t played much, so I can only apologize for my sparse coverage. With my packed gaming schedule, it will be a while before I can make more time. Perhaps this will help those who are on the fence. Despite the copious amount of swear words I have unleashed while throwing my poor character to his death, over and over again, I just picked myself up and tried again.
I might suck at the game, but at least it’s a damn nice-looking game to die in!