I got my gaming computer setup, so if you're wondering where I've been, blame video games for that. I've been watching a lot of “Zero Punctuation” so I feel a bit more critical of some games I play. Recently I beat the game “Dust an Elysian Tail”. I heard about it on the ActFur podcast.
Basically it's a side-scrolling adventure game with anthropomorphic characters. You play as Dust, a blue furred swordsman that has lost his memory. You are joined by a talking magic sword and a flying little helper thing named Fidget. Together you must discover your past and save... the land or something. You know it'll happen at some time in the game.
The gameplay starts out decently. I was glad that a steam game had such well implemented xbox 360 controls, but turns out that it was released on the xbox live marketplace too. So the game doesn't get extra points for that. The sword combat uses 2 buttons and a third button to use Figdet's magic. At first I thought the combos would make for challenging gameplay with tight controls, but then you learn the dust storm in which you spin your sword around like a deadly fan. After that the second sword button that was used for combos is dedicated to the dust storm and the sword combos are a pain to pull off after that because now it'll just turn you into a murder tornado most of the time. While doing this you can get your little flying squirrel friend to shoot magic into your dust storm and fill the entire screen with magic lens flares and dying enemies. Later in the game this will drop the challenge curve off a cliff while you breeze through the ending. But throughout the entire game the combat is nothing short of a cluster-fuck. It's got a level up system and item crafting system where you get materials from dead enemies. The gameplay felt like a small upgrade from a free flash game.
The plot of the game is peculiar. If you think twokinds has the best storytelling ever, this is a couple steps down from that, so you might enjoy it. Early on in the game you learn that you were in some army under the command of a some general whom is basically a furry hitler. You were participating in the genocide of creatures called “moonbloods”. Thing is, not much has changed since the memory loss since you've been slaughtering moonbloods since the beginning of the game. Your character wonders if he's doing the right thing in a cutscene, then afterward you cut back to gameplay of you racking up combos of murdering these creatures. The plot and the gameplay are so inconsistent. After I learned the moonbloods were faced with extinction (despite the infinite supply of them on repeated areas), I tried to avoid combat then pretending the moonbloods I had run into were all just had brain damage that makes them inexplicably violent. Turns out you can't move to the next area if there are enemies nearby. So not only do they make you feel evil for killing enemies, they force you to kill them to gain experience, complete quests, and just travel around the place. Plus the story never explains why the feral moonbloods keep hitting you with sticks throughout your journey.
Anyways, the tone of the game feels setup by the art style. The landscapes are constructed from beautifully constructed hand-painted set pieces. The good guys are attractive, and the bad guys are unattractive. While this is sadly common, I thought the game would move away from that. But the only exception seems to be the fat-chinned furry Hitler at the end. Even when you find the sane moonbloods, they've been made to look nice. Your little fuzzy magic thing is always quick to point out what is ugly and what is pretty. The landscape, the monsters, and on occasion the other characters. The shopkeeper is apparently ugly, because he has to hide in the shadows of his little tent to keep you from dicing him to pieces upon sight. Without giving away spoilers, the game makes it very obvious that a sequel is planned. It's mentioned that there are four other swords of Elysium. Wow, a number of magic swords. That's certainly not a cliched plot device. In the ending cinematic, the last line of spoken dialog is one of the characters basically telling you there's going to be a sequel.
I didn't feel like the game was amazing or even very good. It's decent and certainly looks nice I suppose. The only reason I bought the game was because of the furry art style. So if you want an adequate adventure game with a furry art style, this game is an option. Just don't expect to be blown away by it.
5 years, 10 months ago
12 Aug 2013 00:47 CEST