Let Freedom Ring
Indie platformers in recent years have done a fine job of paying homage to classics of yesteryear while carving out their own niche in the process. Shovel Knight was a fun Capcom-inspired title, Guacamelee! pushed the Metroid and Castlevania buttons, and Azure Striker Gunvolt hit the mark with its nods to Mega Man Zero and ZX. That said, there really hadn't been too many games that went and tried to recapture the magic of the Sega Genesis side of things. Leave it to GalaxyTrail to fit the bill with a title that I should've reviewed last year when it was on the PC but didn't. Well, at least we get a second chance with its debut on the Wii U.
|Usually the term "dragon lady" is an insult.|
To Lilac, it's a perfect description.
|One of the only similarities between Lilac and Indiana Jones|
is a need to be chased by rolling boulders.
The gameplay has the aforementioned Sonic features, but you're not tasked to jump onto enemies. Instead, the game employs more of a melee combat system, and that melee combat differs between the two playable characters you start out with. You have three buttons that you can attack with. In Lilac's case, she'll use a quick melee hair whip with Y (that can also be used with Up or Down on the D-Pad), a spinning Cyclone attack that doubles as a double jump with B, and a Sonic Rush-style boost attack with the X button. That boost attack can also be used to bounce off of walls to get to out of reach places fast. On the other hand, Carol goes for a more ground and pound style with her attacks and is allowed to use her Wild Kick special attack more liberally than Lilac's boost. She can also find gas cans lying about the many stages to instantly summon a motorcycle to ride on. That's pretty cool, as is her ability to scale walls either by repeatedly wall jumping up them or just defying gravity by riding her bike up them. There's even a third character that joins the mix after you beat the game's second stage, but that one, Milla the dog that everyone and their mother thinks is a bunny because she resembles Cream the Rabbit, is only available for Classic mode at the present time.
|Milla is a dog, and a second fact about her is that|
she is only available for play in Classic mode.
|Since this game has a Sega feel to it, should|
we dare say these things are after burners?
There is one complaint I have with Freedom Planet, and that's that some levels can be quite lengthy, especially those nearing the game's final few stages. It's not uncommon to spend 20-25 minutes in these latter areas if you're exploring around, and even if you're not, it can still take that long just because of the maze-like aspect some of these stages possess. The difficulty also ramps up accordingly, so those twenty-minute affairs can quickly turn into trying experiences if you aren't accustomed to platformers. At least you have the option of switching the game's difficulty on the fly if you're finding it difficult and even get plopped right back down where you fell if you do run out of lives, so there's that. Both of my playthroughs of Freedom Planet were on normal difficulty, and it gave even me a run for my money at times on some of the final levels, so don't feel ashamed if you have to tone it down a bit. It's nice to have the option in case you're struggling, and I've already seen many a player on Miiverse having those issues, but I find it to be a fair and frenetic challenge that will probably take most players three to five hours to clear for the first time. You just have to use your head is all.
|Whoa! You enemies need to take some time and chill out!|
[SPC Says: A-]
Review copy provided by GalaxyTrail.