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Freedom Planet Review


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On 08/30/2018 at 03:01 AM by Nick DiMola

The... purple... blur?
RECOMMENDATION:

A must-buy for fans of Sonic and absolutely worth a look for all other fans of classic platformers.

The genesis of Freedom Planet is quite evident from the moment the game begins. Though you play the part of a purple dragon, it’s clear it could’ve just as easily been a blue hedgehog. However, there are a few changes to the classic Sonic formula that sets Freedom Planet apart as its own unique experience that merely wears its influence on its sleeve. The end result is a well constructed, fast-paced platformer that entertains from beginning to end.

Depending on how you choose to start your playthrough of Freedom Planet, you may or may not have the pleasure of experiencing the game’s story. It’s your typical B-level, Saturday morning cartoon quality, though the delivery of the voice acting is at least better than expected. That said, these interludes between levels go a bit long, and most of the time I wanted to skip ahead to jump back into the action. Thankfully, GalaxyTrail Games was savvy enough to include an option that cuts the inane story out entirely, which would be my recommendation.

For those who care, the game stars a few different anthropomorphized characters, Lilac, Carol, Milla, and Torque. The game starts with Torque, a duck-like creature, crashing his ship and Lilac and Carol coming to his rescue. They come to find out that Torque is an alien and has been sent to protect the Kingdom Stone. Brevon, the antagonist, has also arrived on the planet, but he seeks to steal the Kingdom Stone and use it to power his ship. He commands a powerful army and will stop at nothing to obtain the power of the stone.

Freedom Planet is structured like a typical Sonic game, where each level has a couple parts and ends in a boss battle. Unlike Sonic though, Lilac’s moveset isn’t strictly limited to just spinning and jumping. She has a comparable move to Sonic’s spin, but in the air it will rocket her in a given direction serving as an aerial boost. In addition, she has a cyclone spin that allows her to deal damage and float, as well as a proper attack, both of which are critical to effectively conquering the bosses.

Though the locales are unique, levels are reminiscent of a Sonic game containing many branching paths and treacherous jumps along with well-placed enemies to deal damage when you least expect it. However, they also take into account the particular moves that Lilac has at her disposal and ensure that you have to leverage these moves to make your way through and find the hidden items. Lilac also moves a bit slower than Sonic, making platforming feel a bit more controlled and precise, which is a much appreciated change. Also unlike Sonic, Lilac has a proper life bar and can take many hits before dying.

Zipping through levels as fast as possible, nailing perfect jumps, and finding secrets is just as gratifying in Freedom Planet as a bonafide Sonic game. There are even a slew of power-ups that only serve to further that comparison between the two. Where things really start to differ is in the boss battles.

In the earlier levels of the game, I found myself really enjoying these new types of encounters. The boss battles have you hitting critical points on a boss while avoiding attacks, sometimes at high speeds. However, the allure quickly faded as the game reached its conclusion because almost all of the bosses begin to require a level of precision that’s borderline unreasonable. By the time I reached the game’s conclusion, I was basically begging for it to be over. These encounters weren’t fun and if it weren’t for the checkpoint and unlimited tries, I don’t know that I’d have made it through.

The final battles aside, the bulk of Freedom Planet is quite satisfying and fun to speed through. Though the quest is generally short, you have an opportunity to replay it with Carol who plays totally different from Lilac. Carol has more attacks, an in-air lunge, and the ability to continuously wall jump. You can also hop on her motorcycle when you find a gas can and really jet through the level. It’s a lot of fun, though It’s clear things were built with Lilac in mind. In making your extra pass through, you can scrounge for all of the cards that you missed in your first playthrough which will unlock music and concept art in the gallery, which is also a nice touch.

You can also play as Milla after you beat the game, who has her own quest that’s geared around her abilities. She has much less health, but can conjure up green gel blocks to throw at people as well as issue a quick shot from her blaster. Enemies seem to be easier though and the unique play style makes for an interesting change of pace from the main Lilac/Carol quest. Despite his inclusion as a playable character on PC, Torque appears to be missing from the Switch release, so this isn’t the definitive version of the game.

In short, if you’re a fan of the Sonic games, Freedom Planet was absolutely made for you. If it weren’t for the fantastic Sonic Mania, this would be the game to scratch your Sonic itch. That being said, even if you have Mania, Freedom Planet is an excellent addition to your collection and a game that lends itself well to the portable nature of the Switch.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/31/2018 at 05:44 AM

Whoa, haven't heard of this before!

mothman

08/31/2018 at 10:27 AM

Cave dweller. :P

Matt Snee Staff Writer

08/31/2018 at 12:44 PM

Hey! I like my cave!

mothman

08/31/2018 at 10:28 AM

I have the Wii U version. Is this one better?

Nick DiMola Director

08/31/2018 at 11:10 AM

As far as I can tell from my research, they're exactly the same. It's only better in the sense that it's fully portable. The PC version is the most complete offering as the Torque quest is available there. I supposed it's possible the Switch will get that ported over, but it's not clear at this time.

I suspect that if you've already played the Wii U version (or still intend to play it), you're fine doing that on the Wii U. No reason to grab it on the Switch.

mothman

08/31/2018 at 01:13 PM

I might do it anyway, The Wii U version was free and I haven't played it yet.

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