Bushiden is a beautiful, action-heavy Metroidvania

Bushiden Metroidvania Kickstarter

Super Metroid is easily one of my favorite games ever, and I would even argue it’s one of the greatest games ever made. That being said, there sure are a lot of indie Metroidvania games these days, huh? Even I can’t find the time to keep up with them all, let alone play them. That means a title in this genre has to really have a unique “edge” in order to catch my attention, and Pixel Arc Studios’ Bushiden on Kickstarter has offered me that in the literal sense with its beautiful ninja action.

Bushiden has the ninjas I’m looking for

The Kickstarter page describes Bushiden as an action platformer divided into eight distinct, non-linear levels that can be revisited to uncover more secrets. That sounds pretty good to me, but there are a couple extra things about the game that really pique my interest. One is what the developer describes as a “crowd control” combat system, which seems to emphasize giving players the ability to strategically destroy large groups of enemies all at once. I noticed a couple examples of that in the game trailer, with the fire dragon summon and a big, charged-up sword slash.

The other thing that really catches my eye about Bushiden is the art. Oh lawdie, I do love great pixel art, and this game is hemorrhaging it! This 32-bit style would have fit perfectly alongside Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on PlayStation 1. Likewise, Bushiden‘s protagonist’s animations are incredibly fluid and detailed–it’s the nicest animation I can remember seeing in the last few years. The backgrounds are delightfully varied and enticing too.

So, yeah, it’s fair to say I’m inordinately excited for this game. Unlike my Nintendo Enthuasiast colleagues, I didn’t actually enjoy The Messenger at all, so I’m still waiting to play a ninja action game that I can really sink my teeth into on the Switch.

Bushiden is currently planned to release for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC, with an estimated August 2020 release window. It will receive a digital release and a limited edition Kickstarter physical release. However, the game only has a few days left to go and is currently sitting at 76% funding for the $70,000 it needs, so it’s a nail-biter right now.

[Full Disclosure: The author of this article is a backer of Bushiden on Kickstarter. Nintendo Enthusiast and its staff have received no compensation from Pixel Art Studios for covering this story.]

John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!