Cookie Cutter Review: A Vivid, Visceral Metroidvania Masterpiece

 

“Cookie Cutter” is a standout in the Metroidvania genre, delivering a blood-soaked adventure with a captivating protagonist, Cherry. This game differentiates itself through its intense action and a uniquely vibrant presentation, setting a new standard for what a Metroidvania can be in 2023.

 

From the onset, Cherry’s resilience and fierce determination set the tone. Dragging her damaged android body in pursuit of vengeance, she embodies strength and sass. This characterization not only establishes her as one of the year’s most memorable video game heroes but also perfectly encapsulates what “Cookie Cutter” is about: unabashed, graphic violence.

 

Gameplay Experience

“Cookie Cutter” harks back to classic Metroidvania roots, eschewing the trend of genre-blending seen in games like “Hollow Knight.” It offers a sprawling world to explore, richly detailed biomes, and a plethora of unique enemies. The combat system balances light and heavy attacks, encouraging players to master varied combos to navigate through The Megastructure with Cherry.

 

Cherry’s journey is accompanied by Regina, a witty robotic sidekick whose design adds an element of humor to the narrative. The game excels in its over-the-top action and vibrant aesthetics, a refreshing contrast to the typically grim and gothic style of most Metroidvanias.

Progression and Challenges

As Cherry progresses, the game introduces new abilities and customization options, allowing players to tailor her skills to their playstyle. However, the sheer number of enemies and the intensity of the boss fights can be overwhelming, especially in the game’s first half. The nonlinear approach is somewhat hampered by occasional bottlenecks in progression, yet these challenges also add to the game’s appeal by encouraging exploration and strategy.

 

Exploration and Secrets

True to Metroidvania form, “Cookie Cutter” is replete with hidden materials, weapons, and abilities, rewarding the inquisitive player. The joy of uncovering a secret room or a breakable wall never fades, adding depth and replayability to the game. The game continually reinvents itself with new weapons and abilities, like a guitar for smashing enemies or a grappling hook for accessing new areas. Environmental interactions add a layer of strategy, turning obstacles into advantages against foes.

 

Visuals and Playability

“Cookie Cutter” captivates players with its vibrant and whimsical art style, which brings the game’s world and characters to life with vivid colors and imaginative designs. The visuals not only enchant but also play a crucial role in the gameplay, as environmental cues and character animations signal player actions and enemy threats. While the game’s fluid mechanics and responsive controls ensure an engaging play experience, the occasionally erratic camera movements can disrupt the flow, making it difficult to follow the protagonist, Cherry, during intense combat scenes. However, the game balances this by strategically placing save points, allowing players to progress without excessive frustration. Overall, “Cookie Cutter” offers a visually stunning and mechanically satisfying experience, despite some navigational challenges during battle.

 

 

Verdict

“Cookie Cutter” is a compelling blend of classic Metroidvania elements and bold, new ideas. Its vibrant presentation, engaging protagonist, and exhilarating combat make it a standout title. While it may not revolutionize the genre or appeal to those outside its fanbase, it offers a thrilling experience for those seeking a robust, action-packed adventure. Cherry’s journey is not just about navigating a world; it’s about embracing the raw intensity and spirit of the Metroidvania genre.

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The Review

Cookie Cutter

PROS

  • Engaging Gameplay: "Cookie Cutter" offers fast-paced and dynamic action, keeping players consistently engaged.
  • Responsive Controls: Players enjoy fluid and responsive control over Cherry, making for a satisfying gameplay experience.
  • Unique Visual Style: The game features a distinctive art design that is both vibrant and imaginative, setting it apart from other titles.
  • Strong Character Development: Cherry, as the protagonist, has a well-developed backstory that adds depth to the game.
  • Replayability: With multiple endings and hidden secrets, "Cookie Cutter" has high replay value.
  • Community Support: Regular updates and a responsive game community provide continued support and enhancement of the game experience.

CONS

  • Camera Issues: Erratic camera movements during combat can lead to player disorientation and frustration.
  • Limited Save Points: The distribution of save points is not always optimal, which can result in having to replay large sections after failing.
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