The platform Freedom Planet developed by GalaxyTrail has finally arrived on the small Nintendo home console, here is our review.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Freedom Planet is a 2D platformer born of 16-bit aesthetics which started out as a Sonic fan-game. The project then changed course to become an original title but capable of maintaining the retrogame soul that distinguishes it.
The full game first came out on PC in 2014 thanks to a successful KickStarter campaign, later it was also made available on WiiU in 2015 and on PS4 in 2017. Now it has also arrived on the Nintendo Switch hybrid, allowing the owners of this console to enjoy the opportunity to get to know this excellent platform, often gone unnoticed by the general public.
Running together with Lilac!
From the first start you can see how the atmosphere you remember that of the titles of generation of the Sega Megadrive, especially that of the classics Sonic The Hedgehog. The game puts us in the shoes of Carol or Lilac, the two nice protagonists of the adventure, but during the succession of events we will get to know them too Mile (she is also a playable character).
The game's storyline is very simple and also has several clichés, we will not spoil you of any kind but we can assure you that he lets himself be followed. Thanks to a well-managed narration and ad a script that is also of a good standard, it's easy to get attached to Lilac and company.
In fact, following the story of the game is certainly enjoyable and listening to the conversations between the characters will often be fun and satisfying. But Freedom Planet is not just joy and cheer, the development team has been capable of wisely alternating touching and emotional moments with scenes of pure hilarity, without ever falling into forcing.
The immersion in the events is also aided by the dubbing, which in most situations proved to be suitable and of excellent workmanship. It is therefore true that we are faced with a very simple plot and that does not present any particular twist, but it is also true that in its small and in its simplicity manages to convey the love that was placed by the developers in the production of this title.
It was in fact easy to forgive a few clichés too many in the characterization of some characters. It is not to be underestimated that in games of this type, the plot is usually a secondary aspect compared to the gameplay. But it seems that the guys from GalaxyTrail wanted to put both sides of the coin on the same level of importance.
Everything is seasoned with one gorgeous art direction capable of creating models and scenarios full of charisma. The appearance of the characters (in particular that of the protagonists) is in fact not particularly original but it is certainly full of charm. Lilac, Carol and Milla have an appeal capable of immediately capturing the affection of the players.
Freedom Planet gameplay
In Freedom Planet the missions are structured exactly like in any 2D Sonic game. The goal is always to get to the end of the level and then fight a boss. The playable characters, as already mentioned, are three: Lilac, Carol and Milla.
Each of them, in addition to being able to carry out simple melee attacks, is featuring unique abilities and a different play style. Lilac can double jump, float in the air and launch at high speed thanks to a sprint that also allows her to bounce off walls. Carol is able to climb walls and by collecting the petrol cans she can recall her motorcycle. While Milla can attack with a beam of energy, she can parry herself by creating a shield and is finally able to reach high areas by waving her big ears.
The level design is certainly of excellent workmanship, since the variety throughout the course of the game is not lacking. The situations in which we will find ourselves will be disparate and moreover the title will not just make us run forward with our eyes closed but rather. Very often we will find ourselves having to slow down for solve small puzzles that will allow us to continue, or in other situations it will be It is necessary to study the attack pattern of some enemies to advance.
In short, darting at full speed will not always help you, also because many enemies will do a great deal of damage. The title remains in any case very fast and fast paced, eventually allowing the most experienced players to pass the levels at incredible speed.
The boss battles all offer an excellent level of challenge, which grows as you progress through the game. Often and willingly we will not be able to defeat the latter at the first attempt, but we will need to find the right method and study the engagement times. In any case, these battles always manage to be fun and engaging.
Freedom Planet also makes it available to the player different game modes. In the "Adventure" mode we will find ourselves playing the classic story of the title, with cutscenes and dialogues. While in the "Classic" mode will be eliminated inter-sectional and cutscenes, allowing us to enjoy the pure gameplay.
There is also the evergreen "Time Attack", that is the mode that allows you to select one of the game levels, and face it to try to make the best completion time. In addition to the rest there is no shortage of typical collectibles to collect and unlock hidden around the various levels of the game.
The technical side and the details
From a technical point of view the game is practically almost free from defects. Graphically it is well cared for, thanks to some always very detailed and refined sprites, especially those of the protagonists of the various vicissitudes. The game engine manages to recreate the 16-bit atmosphere very well while showing itself capable of making the title visually fresh.
It is easily noticeable as well animations are not alone Detailed but also credible and well designed, always being pleasing to the eye. The framerate is granite and there are no drops, neither in portable mode nor in docked mode.
Also the color palette used is particularly context-centered, with colors that are always very strong, vivid and gaudy. The game is also accompanied by an unmemorable soundtrack, but certainly a pleasant accompaniment.
Freedom Planet is an excellent title that all platformers can't miss. The love that has been placed in this production is so much, you can see, and you will not be able to help but become attached to Lilac and friends. GalaxyTrail proved that it knew how to create not a simple Sonic clone, but a game with its own strong and thick soul and identity.
The only major flaw in the game is its extreme brevity: longevity is around 4 hours to complete the story. The permissive price proposed, however, is a further invitation to try this great little title not to be underestimated.