Crespirit’s TEVI is described as an action-packed bullet hell platformer with Metroidvania elements, and this description proves to be resoundingly true after experiencing the game’s opening hours. The new TEVI demo provides a bountiful portion of the full game, which improves upon the foundation laid by the previous work, Rabi-Ribi. TEVI is shaping up to be an unforgettable platformer with a stellar combat system, an interesting story, and an incredible soundtrack seemingly inspired by great action RPGs.
Gameplay appears to be rather simple and straightforward at the start of TEVI. However, the titular protagonist quickly gains a plethora of abilities, combos, and power-ups that increase skill ceiling. In short, TEVI is easy to play but hard to master as the amount of combos and abilities grows over the course of the opening hours. Tevi is able to backflip, air dash, initiate a rising combo, and much more as she improves her own fighting prowess. The combat system of TEVI is a main highlight, and the game’s story and soundtrack offer another exciting taste of what’s to come in the full game soon.
The Intriguing World of TEVI
TEVI starts off with the protagonist and her companion, Vena, needing to jump onto a high ledge and get to Merose, a sprawling city with a delightful waffle restaurant. Unfortunately, Tevi seems to have misplaced her Rabi boots, a key item that allows her to jump higher. Vena appears to hint to the player that Tevi was getting rusty with her combat, so she must sharpen up her skills while looking for the boots. After clearing out nearby areas, acquiring useful power-ups, and learning the ropes in the tutorial section, Tevi is ready to finally go to Merose Wafflehouse. This tutorial section establishes the gameplay loop of TEVI while introducing several key features in the first hour. As players begin their proper journey, TEVI’s combat system and story unravels in satisfying ways.
The world of TEVI is vast for a Metroidvania game, and the demo allows players to journey through several areas in just a few hours. During the playthrough, players will meet fascinating characters such as the magitech angel Celia, the demon Sable, and the tragic Dr. Anton. The game’s premise is purposefully basic at the start and greatly shifts in exciting ways as Vena and other characters grant insight for what’s really taking place. Players are also treated to captivating artwork/CGs by RWBY character designer Ein Lee and a diverse soundtrack by composers Triodust (OPUS) and 3R2 (Hatsune Miku, Dusk Diver 2). The music is incredible in one particular area leading up to a major boss fight, and TEVI’s music in towns and shops is very pleasing as well.
A Refreshing Take on Metroidvania
While progressing through the game, players may learn new moves, make and acquire Sigils, and craft consumables that will aid the protagonist on her quest. Similarly to Adol’s move-set progression in the Ys franchise, Tevi’s move-set expands as she lands combos and defeats enemies. Despite TEVI’s lack of a leveling system, she grows stronger by improving her loadout and acquiring Juice items, which increase stats depending on the flavor. Moreover, the protagonist’s Equip Points (EP) grows as she improves in combat, letting players to equip more Sigils over time. Sigils act in numerous ways, allowing Tevi to perform extended combos, increase HP, gain additional bonuses, and even regenerate MP faster after firing. The sky is the limit with Sigils since the game has a ton to craft and choose from at nearly every turn.
Another main highlight of TEVI is the use of a “Break” system, which disorients a boss and makes them vulnerable to attacks after inflicting enough damage. While a boss is in the Break state, players may unleash longer combos and inflict even more damage. The enemy may be juggled, allowing skilled players to extend combos. In short, this particular Break system is akin to stun states in fighting games, leaving the opponent open for match-ending damage. This was one of TEVI’s biggest surprises as it offers a unique twist for the popular genre by taking inspiration from fighting games. The bullet hell elements are just as great during boss fights and certain enemy encounters, and fast reflexes are a boon in such battles. On the player’s side, Tevi may also switch between firing modes to damage enemies and clear obstacles.
TEVI – 2023’s Platforming Gem
The TEVI demo is a must-play experience for those wanting to scratch that Metroidvania itch, and I was pleased to see so much content packed into the preview build. After completing the demo, a new difficulty option may be unlocked, and harder versions of the demo’s boss fights may be challenged. Additionally, players may backtrack to prior areas and collect power-ups that were previously inaccessible, emphasizing that satisfying gameplay loop once more. It’s possible to get roughly 10 hours of content or so out of this demo, and I believe the game manages to sell itself quite well in that time. TEVI is set to become a real hidden gem, so it’s definitely one to look out for later this year. From addicting combat to a stellar soundtrack, TEVI appears to check all of the right boxes for an exciting new platformer.
TEVI launches in Q3 2023 for Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam, followed by PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S at a later date.
Special thanks to Crespirit and Neverland Entertainment for providing Final Weapon with access to the TEVI demo preview build!