The Let's Play Archive

Environmental Station Alpha

by Smite

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Original Thread: Metroid? What's that? Let's Play Environmental Station Alpha!



Environmental Station Alpha -- Released April 22, 2015, by Hempuli Oy

This indie title is an exploration and action platformer that has a lot in common with the older Metroid games. We play as a robot sent in to an abandoned space station to find out what went wrong. We start extremely bare-bones, but in the standard Metroidvania style, will locate new powerups to solve our problems.

The pixel art aesthetic is really common in indie games these days, but once in a while it's done in a really eye-catching way and ESA hits that standard for me. In addition, the sound design and music are excellent and tie it together really well. The gameplay controls very tightly and it has to, because the difficulty gets rather high later on.

There is a large, optional post-game section that I will avoid speaking about until we get there. But I will say that it morphs the game from being an action platformer to being more similar to La Mulana; riddles, puzzles and confusion rather than combat. I originally streamed this live, trying to solve the game with the help of 100-150 people in my audience. We collectively failed to do the puzzle section without a bit of hand-holding from the developer. There were no guides at that point in time to aid us. The zones were eventually patched to be a bit less cryptic.

This is a 100% LP, but I have intentionally avoided playing it for over 8 months so that I can better represent the exploration attitude that this game was shooting for. I remember bits and pieces but the majority of the content won't be very fresh for me. In addition, Hempuli (dev) added new bosses and things that I haven't researched at all. Madithen will be guesting with me, and he is also in the dark on the new content. The developer and a few other folks join us along the way for some bonus discussion! Let's get started.

#1: Into the Station

#2: Fastest way to Travel

#3: Power-up Central

#4: All Systems Online

#5: Temple Excavation

#6: Unlocking the Temple Gates

#7: The Derelict Ship

#8: A Collection of Upgrades

#9: Overriding Security

#10: Antivirus

#11: The Missing Pieces

#12: The Surface

#13: The Outpost [with dev. commentary from this point on to episode 18]

#14: The Restless Spirit

#15: Secrets Round-up

#16: The Keys & the Password

#17: The Clock and the Signs

#18: The Maze and the Ghost

#19: Speedrunning Mechanics [with commentary from WR-Holder Jazzy]

#20: For Completion's Sake

#21: The Boss Rush [with commentary from Smash Daisaku, the one who cleared it!]

Fan art by Fenfel
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