I have to admit while in general I think that games have gotten better over time, less frustrating, better looking, in general just better designed, occasionally I do like to play games that use that Retro design. It turns out I have a collection of seven in my library I suspect from one of the humble game making bundles. I think it will be fun to dip into them and give them a try. My understanding is that these are all from a single Ludum dare.
Super Clew Land is what I think of when someone mentions a metroidvania game. It is a 2D platformer where you gain powers over the course of the game that unlock new areas and allow you to return to older areas to gather secrets. The way you gain power is by eating grubs, fish and butterflies and then somehow digesting the bits in the right ways. It was an interesting collection method, though not one I really enjoyed too much. It basically meant I had to stop and focus on the bottom right hand corner whenever I collected something and when I forgot or otherwise had to focus on the whole staying alive thing I would generally end up wasting most or all of the pick up. Of course if you die you are reset to the last save point and lose the pick up anyway, extra frustrating.
I can’t say I was sorry when I got the last power and then the whole map opened up, but then I realised that in that latter part you need to collect gems, and a number of those gems are in areas that reminded me very heavily of some of the really challenging/frustrating VVVVV, not something I was really in the mood for even if I ended up giving it a go.