1.5 out of 5 - Addresses some of the major issues with the first game, while taking a couple of steps backwards in interesting level design. Retains the same fun aesthetic, but hard to recommend.
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How Metroidvania is it? High Fit. The map is more useful than the first game, and similar to the first game it fits the Metroidvania mold almost perfectly.
Primary Challenge: Ranged Combat
Time to beat: ~3 hours
Review Info: Legends of the Universe - Cosmic Bounty was played on Steam.

More Info

Developer: LunarCore Games
Publisher: LunarCore Games
Sub-genre: Metroid-Like
Features: Map System, 2D Platformer, Ranged Combat
Difficulty: Low
Linearity/Openness: High Gating - No Handholding
Platforms: Windows, Steam
Release Date: 2018/01/06
Available Languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese

Store Links

    Steam    

Buy Legends of the Universe - Cosmic Bounty if you like…

  • Campy Robot Hero Stories
  • Music beats like a 90s Sega Genesis game
  • Backtracking
  • Overpowered weapons that trivialize encounters
  • Random Schmup sections

▼ Review continues below ▼

For the first time since I started reviewing Metroidvania Games, I am reviewing this game before I have finished it. The reason for this is because of a game-breaking glitch that has prevented me from facing the final boss. I have played everything up to that point, and I do not think that my opinion will change by playing through the game a second time to avoid this glitch. But, I cannot comment on the game’s ending for judging its story.

I expect that the programming oversight will be addressed in a future patch, so my opinion in this review does not reflect this technical issue.

Legends of the Universe – Cosmic Bounty (which I’m just going to call Cosmic Bounty from here on) trades LoU – Starcore’s broken level design for boring level design.

Cosmic Bounty doesn’t have any dead-end traps, and has a functional and helpful map system, but it excludes the time saving teleporters, and overall the map is smaller and less interesting. I say the map is smaller, but each individual room is stretched out to two or three times the size of what it really needs to be. A lot of rooms are also empty resulting in a lot of simple walking from place to place. To make matters worse, the objectives tend to pendulum back and forth from one side of the world to the next as you unlock new powers. It feels padded, even though it only took me 2 hours or less to get to the final boss door.

But then, empty rooms are almost a blessing, because when there are enemies they tend to be more of a nuisence obstacle as you’re heading somewhere else rather than an interesting challenge. While I like some of the combat changes from the first game – like infinite regenerating missiles – the enemies still provide little variety. And once you get the Beam weapon, you’re so overpowered that every encounter outside of bosses is solved in exactly the same way. Bosses have improved a bit, though the strategy of mashing the fire button and taking advantage of no post-hit incibility frames still persists. Plus, you have to fight one boss 4 times.

I don’t really want to spend this entire review saying negative things about this game. The things I enjoyed about the first game still apply. I like the aesthetic, and the funky music beats. I actually enjoy the campy story and the general feel of the game.

But besides that it’s really hard to recommend this series so far. There’s a lot of potential, but even though some progress has been made on the technical side, I generally prefer Starcore over Cosmic Bounty.


Final Score

1.5/5

Scoring system overview


Metroidvania Breakdown

Combat
– 1.5

Has a bit of a bell curve where enemies are painfully slow to kill, to super fast to kill, and back to slow again. The focus isn't on a strong challenge but rather an RPG style progression

Platforming
– 1.5

Movement is painfully slow without the speed upgrade, which can lead to hand cramps from holding that button down

Exploration
– 1

A downgrade from the previous game. The map system is much better, but level design is boring and full of backtracking

Puzzle
– 1

There's not even a puzzle boss to give this game Puzzle Variety like in the first game.

Story
– 3

Overarching story is passable for this kind of game

Graphics
– 3

Mega Man style aesthetic does its job well enough

Music
– 3

Funky beats and record scratches bring me back to the 90s

Replayability
– 1

Nothing to bring you back


Want a second opinion? See what other reviews say:

Steam Reviews
All Time: Mostly Positive
(75% of 16 Reviews)


TBD Metacritic
Read critic reviews