cookie-cutter-review-–-saturday-morning-metroidania

Cookie Cutter is a violent 2D Metroidvania with fun combat and beautiful art. With Metroidvania games all the rage, can Cookie Cutter be a cut above the rest? Subcult Joint LTD created one of the most beautiful-looking 2D games to be released in the past few years. It looks like a 90s cartoon in the best ways. Most of your time is spent platforming, juggling enemies, exploring, and backtracking.

Get ready for massive amounts of violence and self-aware charm. The game does enough to stand out and not be a cookie-cutter in the Metroidvania landscape. Challenging enemies and difficult bosses might have you cursing through your teeth, but the good placement of checkpoints means you will be right back in the fight in no time. Cookie Cutter ditches the somber tone of most modern Metroidvanias and isn’t afraid to not take itself too seriously. Let’s backtrack and talk about some of the aspects of the game.

Image Credit: Rogue Games, Inc.

The story has a bit of everything you love about Sci-fi and the future. It begins by showing the Mega Structure, which is a bit like the Death Star. Victor Garbanzo is the only person to enter and return from the Mega Structure; everyone else was never heard from again. Victor claimed people could live forever by putting their minds inside a metal skeleton. This sounds like the next thing Elon Musk will be trying to push.

These robots with which people body-swap are called Denzels. Cherry was a special Denzel built by Shinji, who used to work for the Garbanzos company. Cherry was built for Shinji to take down the Garbanzos family’s company. The unexpected happens when Shinji and Cherry end up falling in love. Vengeance seems to be forgotten until Salem Garbanzos shows up and shoots Cherry in the head while his underlings mangle her body.

Cherry looks like something out of a nightmare as her mangled body crawls after Salem to get Shinji back. Cherry gets beat into a bloody metallic pulp that seems to be beyond repair. She wakes up from this nightmare and can’t seem to remember her primary function, but she is finally back on her feet. She has recovered enough to try and find Shinji. Cherry sets out to get upgrades and make her way to find her love. 

Cookie Cutter Is An Incredibly Stylish Game

The presentation of Cookie Cutter is flawless. It has some of the best art and animations to grace the genre. It oozes style and has some of the most fluid animations I have ever seen in a 2D game. One big gripe I have is that sometimes enemies can stack, and because the sprites look exactly the same, you can’t see the second enemy behind the first. Other than that, this game is a beauty to look at.

Enemy designs vary enough, so you won’t see the same few enemies the whole game. The game has a lot of unique environments that look incredible. The good thing is that crowded rooms don’t look like a spasm of lights zipping everywhere. You won’t lose your character when a lot is happening on screen. The map works well and will ease frustration when traveling through the world.

You combine the look with a fantastic soundtrack. The soundtrack has nu-metal flavors with some electronic elements here and there. The music fits the aesthetic perfectly. Enjoy slugging enemies while you rock out to awesome, heavy riffs. The game has some voice acting but is spread out and serviceable. 

Image Credit: Rogue Games, Inc.

The second strong point of Cookie Cutter is the gameplay. The combat is fun and satisfying. By the end of the game, you can gather all your enemies up and juggle them, but don’t let this statement fool you. One wrong step, and you will be dead and revived before you know it. If you want a comparison, I’d say it might feel familiar if you took a little bit of Streets of Rage 4 and River City Girls.

You can combo up enemies until you get a button prompt that pops over the enemy’s head. Pressing the button lets you do an execution that will make the enemy drop money, known as bits orbs, to return some of your HP and help fill your void meter. The void meter lets you do your heavy attack with your big metal fist and other secondary weapons you find. You can also use your void to heal yourself. You have a parry and a snappy dodge roll. All attacks look amazing, and you can feel the weight with each hit. The movement feels tight, and the platforming feels right. 

Wrapping Up

Cookie Cutter is one of the best-looking games in the past few years. With fun combat and snappy controls, I feel this will have people trying to speed run or make combo videos. The difficulty can be tough at times, but with revives, you can get back in the fray with minimal consequences. Revives help mitigate the difficulty by being able to learn enemy movements and have a nearby checkpoint. Cookie Cutter does something different with its tone and writing, which is welcome.

We don’t need every Metroidvania to be somber and dark. We get it; you love Souls and Castlevania games. The game has its flaws, but the strengths outweigh them by a mile. Boss fights can be a bit too difficult at times, and similar enemies can stack on top of each other, causing you to be hit when taking the appropriate actions because you can’t see one of the enemies. The soundtrack will have you fighting off the urge to headband while you bash enemies to bits. It has value in its price for the content and fun packed into this game. Cookie Cutter is a game that shouldn’t be skipped if you love the genre or just beautiful indie games.

Cookie Cutter Review – Saturday Morning Metroidania

Summary

Despite some hiccups with difficulty spikes and picking out enemies in a crowd, Cookie Cutter is a stylish Metroidvania that has the gameplay to back it up.

Pros

Beautiful hand drawn graphics.

Different tone than most Metroidvanias.

Great Combat.

Good checkpoint system.

Cons

Boss Fights can be overly difficult.

Similar enemies can stack on top of each other without you knowing.