GIZORAMA - It’s safe to say that if your system is remembered for introducing or perfecting a genre during its lifespan, you’ve clearly made a huge impact on games. Much like how the PC is recalled for inventing the first-person genre and setting the template for much of its life, or how many RPGs nowadays intentionally harken back to the 16-bit era, the Nintendo Entertainment System can be arguably best given credit for perfecting the action platformer. Untold numbers of titles took the formula Super Mario Bros created and ran with it, adding their own tweaks here and there and (generally) being looked upon fondly. It is perhaps this era that informs the recent indie-game explosion more than most, and standing tall amongst these homages is Oniken.
Oniken is the newest title from Brazilian developer Joymasher, creator of the similarly retro-tastic Castlevania tribute Odallus. Like its predecessor, Oniken is a throwback to a very specific era in video games, designed specifically around the limitations of the average NES game. The control scheme is intentionally limited to simulate the interface of the NES’ Control Pad, the graphics are done using the same color palette and sprite limits, and it’s also surprisingly difficult. For gamers of a certain age, all of that sounds pretty rad, right?