The map doesn't get drawn until you reach a save point. Save points aren't in close proximity to boss fights, so you can't immediately try again like in the various Castlevania games. Fast travel points are so scarce that some areas don't even have one; when you feel that you are stuck in one area and want to go to another one, there is lots of time wasted for backtracking. The charm system is completely botched because you get hardly any points to equip them and because the charms themselves only grant very small improvements. Health and weapon upgrades are nearly non-existent for a game of this length. Hollow Knight falls flat in providing growth for the playable character because there are no proper rewards for all the hardships the player has to go through. You play for hours upon hours, but have very little to show for it.
When you put up Hollow Knight against similar games on Switch, like Axiom Verge, Shantae, Guacamelee or SteamWorld Dig 2, it's pretty obvious that Hollow Knight isn't even remotely close to being as fun as those. Even the low-profile Aeternoblade is better than Hollow Knight. When you move beyond Switch and look at loads of Metroid and Castlevania titles, Hollow Knight comes across as a poorly made game. Team Cherry is comparable to a writer who is well-versed in spelling, grammar and vocabulary, but story and character development in his novel is illogical and incoherent and full of plot holes; Team Cherry can program, but they can't design.
It's true there is a plenty of useless charms, but saying their improvements are small is a overstatement. Indeed you can have a specific set to beat specific bosses, to pass trough platform sections, to exploration, etc. And the fact the charms interacts with themselves make the charm system even better. I agree there are few notches but that's the point, you need to make a specific set to use in a specific situation that matches your play-style and personal ability
And there is actually health and weapon upgrades. Did you visited nailmasters and the nailsmith? Of collected the shard masks and the vessel fragments? Did you collected all spells and abilities? I actually disagree there are so many things you can learn during your play-trough that at some time you just turn into a killing machine who can literally decimate the maps as much as you please, so yeah upgrades definitely are there
I mean, I understand you may not find all the items and upgrades cause some are damn hard to find, but when I tried to beat the Hollow Knight I was so strong that I didn't even need to use focus (the cure magic). I just went full berserk and smashed the hell out of everything (Quick Slash + Mark of Pride + Unbreakable Strength + Sharp Shadow user here)Last edited by IcaroRibeiro - on 14 June 2020