Friday, July 29, 2016

Trine: Enchanted Edition (PS4) Review

I enjoyed Trine: Enchanted Edition so much on the Wii U that I couldn't help but jump on the game again when it was on sale this past month during a PSN Flash Sale. Now, the PlayStation 4 version gets due coverage with this in-depth SuperPhillip Central review.

A knight, a thief, and a wizard walk into a Trine...

The original Trine released in 2008. Its sequel, Trine 2, released several years later. As 2014 arrived, Frozenbyte, the developer behind the Trine series, released Trine: Enhanced Edition, a remodeled version of the original Trine, given Trine 2's graphical upgrades. What you get with this edition is an magnificently fun puzzle-platformer that doesn't outwear its welcome.

The fun comes from having three characters to play as, being able to freely switch between them at any time. This proves necessary as each of the three protagonists of Trine have their own special abilities that only they can use. The knight is great for brute force situations, the thief can pick off faraway targets with her arrows as well as swing across chasms, and the wizard can conjure up magical boxes and planks to help reach new areas and cross otherwise impossible chasms.

The wizard can use summoned boxes in a multitude of ways,
from platforms to shields against enemies.
Trine: Enchanted Edition sports fifteen story levels, each taking the trio of heroes across many a unique locale, from thorny forests to dark crypts and dingy dungeons to sparkling caverns. Each level contains a set number of experience bottles sprinkled throughout in both (well) hidden locations and in plain sight. Experience points can be used to upgrade abilities, such as giving the wizard the privilege of being able to have two summoned boxes be on the screen at once, or giving the thief a quicker charge up time for her to shoot arrows.

Pontius the Knight is perfect for most close combat situations.
Experience is also recovered occasionally from fallen enemies. The combat of Trine itself is one of the weakest parts of the game, oftentimes having you flail around while mashing the attack button as the knight to deal damage to foes. It doesn't take any thought to do, and it feels fine at best and clumsy at worst.

Generally, what makes up most of Trine's levels are various traversal-based challenges. It's all about surveying the environment and coming up with a way to reach your destination. Trine's levels are so captivating because of the fact that you can take many of the challenges that the game presents to you and take them on in more than one way. Paths that can be crossed by placing planks and boxes down by the wizard can also be crossed by swinging across the way with well timed swings of the thief.

After a day of summoning magical boxes and planks, a wizard needs some time to himself.
Being a physics-based puzzle game of sorts, Trine has you interacting with the environment in a grand variety of ways. With the thief, you can flip light platforms over by striking them with a shot of her arrows. With the wizard, you can grab onto a wide assortment of objects and platforms and levitate them to create a way for you to cross a chasm or reach a higher platform. The greatest test of your patience will not be with the physics of Trine, which work wonderfully, but instead the floaty jumping your characters perform.

I previously reviewed the Wii U version of Trine: Enchanted Edition, and the ability as the wizard to summon magical boxes and planks into play by drawing shapes on the GamePad screen was a godsend. The PlayStation 4 version gives you the ability to draw shapes with the PS4 DualShock's touch pad, but also just concocting shapes with the analog stick is just as easy. You don't have to be perfectly precise, as I found that as long as you make a shape that resembles a square to summon a box such as a circle, the box would appear.

Not mentioned in the review text, but multiplayer is also available in Trine: Enchanted Edition.
I gushed over the visuals of Trine: Enchanted Edition on the Wii U, and the game looks even better with the PS4 hardware powering it. Using the same visual style as Trine 2, delivering super impressive lighting, jaw-dropping detail, and other notable effects, Trine: Enchanted Edition is a treat for the eyes, one that will glaze your eyes over with its visual awesomeness. The saturated look of the game can result in sometimes it being hard to make note of where you need to go or where a certain collectable is, but overall, the visuals are absolutely lovely.

Trine: Enhanced Edition is a remarkable puzzle-platformer which has exquisite level design and marvelous visuals. What it lacks in tight platforming and polished combat, it more than makes up for in giving players a constant stream of clever puzzles and obstacles. It's another success story from Frozenbyte that makes me very much want to play the third game in the series that I've yet to trine... er, try.

[SPC Says: B+]

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