Man, is this game good looking. The movie blurb people would probably call it “a sumptuous feast for the senses” or something like that. It was love at first sight.
Is it wrong to be smitten like this? I feel like a teenager!
It’s just so damn colorful! Remember back when every game was gray? The levels here practically pour off the screen in a cascade of vivid hues; and everything is sprinkled with Danny Elfman-type music like fairy dust, which makes it even more otherworldly. It even moves beautifully. The animations are so fluid and graceful!
Ok, in my more clear-headed moments I do have to admit that there’s not quite as much as you might hope for going on behind the pretty face.
The story, for example, is obviously just an excuse for you to jump around on things. That worked for Mario, but haven’t we raised the world-building bar a little since then?
And for being a puzzle platformer, the puzzles here are not exactly what you’d call tightly constructed. Most of the time you can pretty much do whatever you want. Usually you’re leaning hard on the rogue and her grappling hook, or else you’re building laborious towers of blocks with the wizard. Once in a while you switch to the warrior guy when you need to mop up skeletons, which don’t pose much of a threat.
I never felt like the abilities of the three characters were integrated very well or were really pushed to their limits. I guess you could argue they’re giving you freedom to create your own path through the levels, but more likely they figured they could build a good looking game like this with loose tolerances. It all comes across as mushy and relaxed. Maybe it sharpens up on the higher difficulties but I’m not nearly masochistic enough to find out.
These and other such thoughts may cross your mind, but then you’ll find yourself admiring the ghostly fires twinkling in the forest at night or the flare of dawn sunlight blazing golden through the trees, and forget all about it. This isn’t the sort of game that makes you want to sweat the details too much.
Of course I couldn’t help noticing that, as per game industry requirements, they felt the need to include a sewer level with all of this.
Do you think they’re ever in a development meeting running down the levels–Enchanted Forest…Dark Castle…Wizard’s Tower…Fiery Magic Forge…Sewer–and someone ever raises their hand and asks why the hell a sewer really needs to be in there?
They might as well put a DMV office or dentist’s waiting room in every game while they’re at it.