It’s still only March, but I doubt there is going to be a publisher that is going to pass Ratalaika in terms of how many Vita titles they put out. Daggerhood is their latest, and it’s also out for Nintendo’s Switch, Xbox One and Playstation 4 – both Sony versions come bundled as a cross-buy purchase. Here’s our look at the Vita version.
In Daggerhood, you assume the role of Vincent S. Daggerhood, a master thief. Despite his skills, he’s been captured and gets thrown into a system of caverns by the king’s guard, from which none have escaped. Unwilling to give up, he vows to return, and promises to steal the king’s gold in the process.
Daggerhood is fairly standard retro-inspired platformer, but comes with a twist. Vincent is not only able to throw daggers, he can also teleport to where his dagger is – even mid-air. This is a crucial skill in overcoming the game’s platforming challenges, as you quickly find out. The game starts off with a tutorial, and after a few steps you get your first attempt at dagger-teleportation. In a twist that’s a tad unusual for a tutorial, it took me a few times to get this right – setting the tone for a challenging adventure ahead.
The game is spread out across 5 different environments that make up 100 levels in total and each end with a boss fight. Individually, the levels aren’t that long, making this a great game to play on a handheld – though some levels have optional objectives that provide an extra challenge. Adding more replayability is the option to try for treasure, pick up fairies, or finish a level quickly to earn more stars. Plenty for the completionists among you, although (in Ratalaika style) you won’t need to go all out to collect every single trophy in the game.
One source of inspiration for Daggerhood seems to be Super Meat Boy, with very challenging levels and sections that push players to the point of frustration. On the Vita especially, some jumps need to be executed so precisely that they feel unfair, especially when they need to be combined with dagger-teleportation. There are sections where Daggerhood gets that fine line between challenge and frustration wrong, but it didn’t stop me from going back to the game later.
If you enjoy challenging platformers, then you could do a lot worse than Daggerhood. The use of the dagger is a nice and original touch, and there is plenty of content to last you a while even after you reach that platinum trophy. What’s also good news is that Daggerhood has been released at a great price point, and you get the PS4 version with that purchase as well.