I'm fairly mixed on this. There's a lot to like, but also a lot to hate. The artwork is nice, movement is nice a lot of the time, and there's plenty of cute stuff to feel good about. But then there are some segments that are a chore to move through just to get to where you're going, so many of the enemies are sponges that you just hit in the face with no style or complexity, and a handful of the bosses I've fought so far have been so frustratingly terrible that I can't fathom how they got through testing. I'm not even just talking about difficult bosses, either. There are some bosses who can't touch you once you know their pattern, but just take so many goddamn hits to kill that you end up making mistakes from boredom. I also don't like that charms can only be changed at a bench. Benches are just far enough apart that it becomes a hassle to change up your load out, unless you do it after death. It feels like a sloppy system, one that is useful but is too tedious to engage with to get that use out of it.
I've explored a large amount of the game, and I'm sure there's still a lot more left, but I've decided to stop playing. I really feel like I'm on a hamster wheel, going around and around with no destination. I enter a new area, explore, fight some enemies, maybe a boss or two, buy a map, open a stag station, then either hook back to a previous area or end up in a new one and rinse, repeat. I get that my ultimate goal is to... something with the Black Egg Temple, but I have so little investment in the world and whatever lore there is that I don't feel in any way motivated. I don't care, basically. There doesn't seem to be any apparent consequence of me not doing whatever it is I'm there to do, and I still don't even know why I'm actually there to begin with. The only thing compelling me to keep playing is the gameplay, and that swings so violently from casual and relaxing to inspiring me to commit acts of terrorism against myself and everyone around me so often that by the end of each play session I feel like my day has gotten worse to some degree. I don't like that about Hollow Knight. I don't like that my overall feeling after playing it is negative, even if there were lots of positives while playing it.
Nothing specific has prompted this abandonment, it wasn't a boss I couldn't beat or an area I couldn't traverse or anything like that. I just stopped while walking somewhere in the Kingdom's Edge and thought "What am I even doing here? Where am I going? Why?" and then turned the game off when I didn't have an answer to any of those questions. I may pick it back up at some stage in the future. Maybe. I doubt I'll ever care enough to revisit it, to be honest.
Despite all that, I would recommend Hollow Knight. I generally do like Metroidvanias, and Hollow Knight is a well made one, my frustrations with it notwithstanding. A lot of people on the site here certainly love it and it's likely anyone who enjoys the genre, or even just 2D action/platformers, will like it a lot, too. It's well worth giving a go. I'm glad I did, ultimately, it's just a shame I couldn't find something about it to hook me in.
I love pie. My mum baked a lovely steak pie for me before going away for the weekend. I was looking forward to this pie all day. I put it in the oven to warm up and figured I'd play a bit of Velocity 2X in the meantime. Maybe do a mission or two, see what @Spirit was so hyped up about, you know?
I nearly burnt my lovely pie because I got sucked into playing this game. I only stopped after nearly an hour when the smell of pastry became entirely overwhelming. Thankfully, my pie was fine (delicious, thanks for asking, there's plenty left for tomorrow, too). My fingers are stiff from being curled around my controller for so long. This is a good game. It's so fast-paced and satisfying. I love how easy it is to keep going whenever you die or mess up or restart because you missed something. There's so much flow in every aspect of the game. I also really enjoy how much they squeeze from a relatively small set of simple mechanics. The game starts off simple and keeps adding and layering more and more on. There's a constant increase in challenge, but nothing ever feels unfair or out of your understanding, although the double ship thing in the final couple of missions warped my brain more than a little.
I highly doubt I'll ever get perfect on all missions, though. Hot damn you've got to be fast and precise.
@Cfrock I'm sorry to hear your experience with HK fell apart. It's like a mandatory first playthrough experience that literally everything hands you your ass on a platter for no particular reason, so I can understand why it's discouraging. I found myself invested in the world (as in finding new stuff, enjoying scenery, and just the worldbuilding in general) which was my driving force despite sucking at the game, though it's really difficult to really piece together the story until late game. From both a gameplay and story standpoint, it's a game that likes to go from 0 to 100 when it's already on 100, which is just all sorts of levels of mind****ery. If you ever feel like giving it a chance again sometime in the future, those story moments might redeem it for you.
—I first played Velocity right after beating some evil platforming section in Hollow Knight called the Path of Pain and man was it such a different experience. Just like stress release, full force. Glad you're enjoying it. uwu The visuals are so goddamn responsive and satisfying to the gameplay.
@Satan I can see myself going back to Hollow Knight at some stage. I think part of it all is having a bunch of games in my "To Play" folder on Steam that have been looking at me every day for months while I play Rainbow Six or Thief 2 yet again. I want to actually play them, and that sense of guilt/urgency clashed with the slow pace and more intrinsic nature of Hollow Knight. I put about twenty hours into it and I do think I would have continued if I didn't have that nag in my mind of "You've got the rest to play". Seeing as how the only new game I am interested in comes out one year from now, I have a lot of time to box off my backlog, and when I don't have any imagined pressure to play other things, I will likely pick Hollow Knight back up (or maybe start again, depending on how long its been). It is good, I just don't think I'm in the right moment for it.
Also, Velocity was such a welcome gear shift. When a boss killed me in that one it was less "Oh no, now I have to re-evaluate my charm choices and carefully navigate this thorn maze, hopefully I won't be too wounded when I get back there," and a lot more "Kill me? Kill me?! Get back here you bastard, we'll see who kills who in a minute!"
While Hollow Knight is a game that is technically designed for speedrunning (hence being a metroidvania), yeah, it just... it's a game that just it feels necessary to savor. Everything just beckons you to investigate, and it's not a game where getting distracted isn't an option. I was 60 hours in before I got the first ending, and then 70 hours in when I got the true ending.