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SMFoxy
SMFoxy

Pain Indie Ass - Freedom Planet

Pain Indie Ass - Freedom Planet
- 
ūüé∂¬†I want to break free~!¬†ūüé∂¬†-
-Second Pain Indie Ass review (two years later...)-


I'm reviewing this game as someone who has both played the entire thing, and earned every... single... Achievement. As before, I will be looking at the gameplay, art, level design, replayability, and anything else that may come to mind as I'm writing this review.

Freedom Planet is a nice little Sonic-esque indie platformer developed by GalaxyTrail. There's a good reason for it seeming like Sonic The Hedgehog: it originally started life as a fan game before becoming a standalone thing in its own right. This game can definitely be a challenge in places, especially some of the Achievements you can get, but for the most part it's a very simple "get to the right of each section as fast as you can" game. The (video proof) world record speedruns for each character are: Lilac - 32 minutes 47 seconds, Carol - 32 minutes 26 seconds, Milla - 30 minutes 38 seconds. I'd been playing it for thirty-nine hours before unlocking every last Achievement.

I don't know how long I've owned this game, or what I paid for it. I'm pretty sure I got it in some bundle or another, or at least a sale, so I know I got it for less than the full price. It's definitely worth at least what I paid for it, though.

Edit: I do not know exactly when I purchased this game or what for, but it was redeemed on Steam, via a code from a third party sale site, on the 24th of March, 2015.

Art Style

Honestly, it looks like some of the older Sonic games, having similar graphics, though possibly a slightly higher quality. It has been far too long since I've played Sonic, but I feel like the comparison is a reasonable one. I actually like that it looks and feels a little retro, it makes me feel kinda nostalgic, I suppose? Overall, if you like the art style of 16-bit games, you'd probably enjoy looking at this. I think it definitely suits that style better. If it looked like some of the modern Sonic games, I don't think it would look as good; the 2D style just... fits.

Level Design

Much like SMB, levels vary in size. All have several separate sections, but some feel longer either because they are, or because you get caught up in a swarm of enemies that slows you down immensely. Especially in later levels, you can get some troublesome to deal with enemies, but overall it's nothing overly taxing.

The level design is is a pretty straightforward "make it to the next section"/"run to the right", for the most part. There is a little backtracking in a few levels, and if you want certain Achievements, or sometimes a decent 'power-up' in a level, you have to go off the beaten path a bit. Mostly, though, it's just like any standard platformer game.

As previously stated, there are enemies in this game, and environmental hazards. Unlike in SMB, there is very little that can one-shot you, thanks to having a health bar. There are only two things that can kill you outright, and both are stage hazards, not enemies.

There are 'glitches'(?) that speedrunners can take advantage of to get through the game far quicker than I feel I ever could, but I've only ever used two. One completely by accident that resulted in a softlock of the game (no crash, but unable to continue), and one deliberately to take out a certain boss far quicker than I could have doing it legitimately. Then again, if it's left in the game, why shouldn't I use little tricks to make it easier/quicker?

Gameplay


As with most games I've played, this one can be played with either a keyboard or a controller. I personally used an Xbox 360 controller to get myself through this game, since at the time I played it, I was used to using it for a certain fighting game that I may review at a later date. I have not tried using the keyboard that much, though I suppose I should make an attempt, in the interests of seeing how it compares...

Gameplay is straight up simple; you only have to use the arrows/WASD and three other keys, or the analogue stick(/maybe D-pad works? I don't use it.) and three other buttons, which I believe you can customise. Avoid or defeat enemies as you run right, trying to make your way past each section of a stage until you get to the boss, then kick its ass. Boom, done. Oh, most stages have mini-bosses too. You have to kick their asses too if you want to get past them, with like... one exception.

There are no special bonuses for completing a level in under a certain amount of time, but there is a way to get extra lives, or bonus 'power ups' at the end of most stages, if you get a certain collectable in that stage. There are, however, Achievements for completing each level in under a set time. Yes, I have them all. Yes, some of them were a total Pain Indie Ass to get. xD

Replay Value

Calling this replayable is dubious. You have three characters available that all handle very differently, along with a few character-specific Achievements, which means if you're going for completion, you definitely have to play the whole thing at least three times, once for each character. There are also (on Steam at least) leaderboards for level time, and crystals collected, so I suppose it could be worth replaying for the sake of improving your time. And certainly you may have to replay it to get all the Achievements, if you take too long on a level, or miss a collectible card, or screw up an Achievement. But I think it's more than reasonable to believe you could get every Achievement in the three playthroughs.

It's not an overly long game, but it is fun. I managed to get thirty-nine hours out of it just going for every Achievement. It does also give you an option to wipe your data (which I haven't tried yet), which means you can try and get all the Achievements again. I assume it only deletes the in game data, not the Achievements on Steam, or Trophies on PS4.

You May Like This Game If:

You enjoy platformers.
You enjoy nostalgia/retro throwbacks/16-bit games/2D Sonic.
You like playing around with a variety of characters with different handling.
You want a nice, easy game to relax a bit with.

Conclusion

This game was enjoyable, and I would definitely suggest that anyone who can play it does. Even if you just try out the demo version or something, if it's still available anywhere. Also, just to let everyone know, there is a sequel currently in development, which should be released some time in late 2017/early 2018; I'm cautiously optimistic, because I liked the first game. It's a great game with a few challenging Achievements, but it's just a little short.

I'm only reviewing games I actually like, huh? xD


(Review edited to follow ToS. Whoops...)

Other Reviews
PIA1 - PIA2

 

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Sunstone

Posted

Yay it's here! *read read read*

Very insightful and informative review, @SMFoxy, I would have to agree on many points brought up, particularly the nostalgic dynamics of Freedom Planet, kind of being like a homage to the classic Sonic games in a way. 

I have played this game on Steam too, and as enjoyable as it is, I'm honestly quite surprised it isn't more popular. I have noticed if you search for Freedom Planet on YouTube, or look around on the official forums for GalaxyTrail (the publishers), it doesn't seem to show a whole lot of results...

Anyways, this was a pleasure to read through. I'd gather you might be reviewing Freedom Planet 2 after that is released? , I'd love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and summaries of the sequel too! For now, I'm very hyped for it, xP.

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SMFoxy

Posted

I will definitely be looking into reviewing Freedom Planet 2. I've seen some videos of it (one of each playable character, as far as I know), and it looks a lot like the first game in the series, just with updated graphics, new levels, slightly different mechanics for the characters, and a new character to choose from.

I'm looking forward to the release, and as soon as I can get it, play it, and hopefully complete it, I'd love to review it (though I suspect most of it will be very similar to this review, from how similar it looks of what I've seen of it).

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