What are the Dark Souls of their respective Genre?
Currently playing the Dark Souls of metroidvania according to the steam review comments.
This one, from what I can tell, is a legit metroidvania.
Backtracking, possible sequence breaking, zoomers and such.
I see your point though, a lot of games are considered metroidvania that really aren't, such as Outland.
So far it's like super metroid but you get the grapple beam really early and a lot of puzzles involve getting good with utilizing it with your double jump.
The graphics are typical indie tier inconsistent pixel count but when someone linked me the size of the fuck huge map over the winter sale I knew this game would be a cheaper and better alternative to Axiom Verge.
The games bosses are a lot more challenging compared to metroid games and they throw them at you often.