it took me the first three or four vertical slices of hollow knight before i appreciated it at all. but i’m glad that i gave it as much time as i did.
i can sympathize with anyone that didn’t want to play, or immediately disliked, hollow knight because the player movement felt clunky or the aesthetic just wasn’t for them. that was me until i fell into enjoying the semi-awkwardness and sluggishness of the control scheme (that i would now describe as “contemplative”). the art style still surface-level rubs me the wrong way… though, i’m now simultaneously impressed by how thoughtful every character design is, how of-one-world every environment feels, and how precious and stupid every line of dialogue is. and the music and sound design sometimes excellent.
in the episode, tim touches on some of the gentle game designy things that make the early game pretty compelling to me after sitting with it for a long time. the having to buy new features (like the map and map markers) once you have the cash—encouraging you to explore more, sans map, kill some bugs, and find your way back to the shop—subtly shows you that, while you’re in the dark now, there is a lot more information to be had as soon as you earn it. that cycle repeats itself over and over throughout the game, on many levels.
while i don’t personally have complaints about having to re-traverse completed areas, or the other things people find chore-ish, i mostly like the hang outy-ness of all that.
but i totally get it. i can totally understand hating this game. and, i still don’t like stuff about it. i even sigh in disgust sometimes. all that said: it’s still capital G good in my books. happy to see it on the list.
~ peace on earth ~*