Blasphemous

From Before I Play
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  • The pace of the game is slower than you might be used to from most off-brand metroidvanias, it's more like the actual classic Metroid and Castlevania games. Timing and deliberate movement are more important than spamming attacks.
  • When you die, you will not lose Tears, the souls-equivalent currency of the game. Instead, your mana bar will become capped more and more with each death. You also receive a penalty to gained Tears. This can be undone by returning to each bloodstain or by visiting a special location. Be aware that bloodstain placement is a bit glitchy and some may be impossible to actually collect, due to things like being placed in an insta-death pit of spikes.
  • New abilities for your sword become available based on how many sword shrines you have unlocked, not based on how many abilities you have unlocked.
  • Pits and spikes are a full return-to-bonfire instant death, so aim your jumps well. Enemy attacks can't ever knock you off of ledges, though - there's an invisible wall specifically to prevent this. If you're hit while you're in mid-air, you can be knocked back, though.
  • The game world is very open and you can go in a lot of directions that you are not currently equipped to handle, so if something seems unreasonably hard, you might want to come back later.
  • From the beginning, you can press and hold the B button to cut yourself and regain mana at a moderate cost in health and a small cost in tears. It's not really all that useful, the spells in this game are sparse and mostly not very powerful. You lose all your mana when you die, but you can use this technique to immediately recover it, and then visit the shrine again to get your health back, if you do find the spells useful.
  • Countering happens automatically on a successful block, but you can upgrade the attack to a power attack by pressing the attack button as your counter hits the enemy, not (as the game's phrasing implies) the moment the enemy strikes you.
  • Power counters have a high chance to stun the enemy, which can be recognized by the red outline that surrounds them. Stunned enemies can be executed, which gives you some additional mana and Tears on top of what a normal kill would give you.