So I finally got to play Freedom Planet. I already got the game by PayPal months before it was released. Now I'm just waiting for the OST. Seriously can't wait for it. Now that I've played the game fully twice, one with Lilac and one with Carol, I think it's time I review the game of what it is so far. Apparently they'll add more stuff into it soon such as Milla's story.
Freedom Planet is created by
and was originally a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game, but over time, it became it's own thing to what it is now. Mixing elements also from Mega Man and Gunstar Heroes, and I think all 3 are pretty apparent.
I first heard of the game in 2012 during the Sonic Amateur Games Expo (SAGE). I was honestly hesitant to play it to begin with since it didn't look like a Sonic game... or traditionally anyway. New looking characters and such, and I thought "How did this get into SAGE?", but I gave it a shot anyway. Throughout that first playthrough, I forgot about Sonic entirely. It had Sonic elements, but it seemed a bit different from a Sonic game in a sense of the mechanics and level design... And I really enjoyed it for what it was. Great graphics, music and gameplay.
I didn't really follow the game fully. I didn't even know of its Kickstarter in February 2013. In fact, I didn't even know of Kickstarter. I'd go on the Freedom Planet website for more info, but never knew about the Kickstarter until mid 2013. A few months after that, on Steam, I find out that they were accepting PayPal, and so I managed to pay $20 for the full game and OST. From there, I just looked on Kickstarter for upcoming information of the game until it was released.
SAGE's demo wasn't the only Freedom Planet demo ever. As the game continued changing, the gameplay, music, graphics, etc. started changing. The gameplay change did take me some time to get used to.
Every character uses 3 buttons; a jump (and a possible double jump), a standard attack, and special attack button.
Lilac has the ability to hair whip to attack and they're pretty strong but isn't exactly spammable. She has other moves that depends on the direction you're facing such as Up for an Upper-cut. Carol is mostly swipes. She's slower and her moves are weaker, but her swipes are a bit more spammable. To make up for the fact she doesn't have as many moves, she has a motor bike she can ride to use a few other moves and move much faster than on foot.
Something both characters have is a power meter which recharges by itself over time. Running fast or collecting crystals will recharge it faster. Lilac can use Dragon Cyclone as a double jump that can deal small damage in quick succession. At full, she can use Dragon Boost. It's decently strong, quick and you're invincible during that period, and you can choose your direction besides directly up or down unless you're in a running boss battle.
Carol merely has a Wild Kick which makes her deal small damage at rapid succession and also makes her invincible during the attack. With a bike she can do more. For one, she can double jump and is a faster version of the Dragon Cyclone I think. The rest is a ground speed boost or a Wild Kick or... Swipes in the air.
Milla is a bit more different. I've only played as her once since she doesn't have her own full story, and only played her through Time Attack mode. Firstly, she has less heath and doesn't have any sort of power meter. Instead, she has the standard attack button for creating a block or lifting objects, and the special attack to create a shield. Both are pretty useful in their own ways, but it might me odd to get used to after playing as Lilac and Carol so many times.
All three characters are created by
, and the rest are original characters for Freedom Planet, and I really like the designs. It certainly fits in this Chinese-esque (or is it Japan-based?) world.
All of them have the same objective in the game, and that is to stop Lord Brevon from stealing the Kingdom Stone and destroying their world. Brevon actually uses the King's son, Dail (and yes, the King's name is King... as far as I'm aware) to carry out some of his tasks. So it's a normal good vs. evil type of story, but it has more than that. Character interaction in this game I think is pretty good stuff. I like how their personalities change throughout the story and how it all ends, but I don't want to spoil the story as the game is relatively new.
I will say though it surprised me. I didn't exactly know what to expect in Freedom Planet's story, but the last demo before release, we see the King get decapitated. Uh, I was pretty shocked, and from there, I knew Freedom Planet really wasn't screwing around. Between stages, you get cutscenes and their humor can actually make me forget some of the rather violent things this game offers. The voice acting is pretty good too, though some characters like Carol are a bit on-and-off for me, but it's nothing horrible and I can definitely cope with it. My only issue with the cutscenes is that most are skippable, but not all are. Sometimes I come out of the game after finishing a stage and after the cutscene, and when I come back in the cutscene plays again before the next stage can start. I know I could just zip through the text or just have chosen Classic to begin with instead of Adventure, but Skip Scene is still quicker than tapping "Z" continuously to go through text I've seen before, and besides, I wouldn't skip story to begin with. Especially if it's my first try.
Stages are actually broken up into sections and not Acts like Sonic the Hedgehog which I'm fine with, but my thing is, is that if a stage is long and/or has a hard boss during it, you can't quick save or something in order to go off for a moment and come back to retry that moment again.
Stages also have mini bosses, but some have more than others. All the bosses are fun in general and I think they're all wonderfully animated and I like how most bosses have individual parts to them. Very similar to Gunstar Heroes. However, I do think some bosses are harder than others. I even sometimes find mid bosses harder than the final boss of the stage. The stage itself is something I can get the hang of, but sometimes bosses can take a really long time to beat if you don't have a good strategy for it. My fight with Brevon with Carol took about 73 minutes. I took small breaks, and you know, you will rage. I personally didn't really although I did get pretty tired at some point during my playthrough, but I didn't want to stop because I didn't want to play the entire stage again.
The stages themselves are very well done I think. Most stages have lots to explore and searching deeply enough will get you cards. 10 per stage besides the final 4. Not all are very easy to find, but unfortunately all these do is give you an achievement. I plan on getting all the cards anyway, but I'd honestly rather get something out of them instead of having them as collectibles because... just 'cause.
Boss fights can be very fun, but can also be very brutal just like with the example I mentioned earlier, however for the most part, I don't mind dying because I can at least listen to that music.
Woofle, Blue Warrior and SpacemanStrife himself, composed the tracks to this game and I think they did a magnificent job on it. The tunes are very catchy and memorable, and never have I got sick of them. Makes me want that Soundtrack even more...
Controlling a character feels very good and I don't usually have issues. Maybe the one or two times when a very thin platform is in sight and I can't land on it properly because you slip around a bit in the air, and I find it difficult to stay still in mid air. Not really much of an issue though. The controls are responsive at the very least.
Characters and foreground environments also pop with their darker colouring instead of the lighter colouring I find some backgrounds have, although in rare situations where stuff is happening in the back, sometimes I make a move thinking I'm going to get hit by something in the foreground, but is only a background element. It hasn't gotten me into any life threatening situations though, so it's nothing really bad. The environments do look very good though. Very distinguishable from Sonic, Mega Man and Gunstar Heroes.
For the most part, the game works perfectly and there are barely any bugs. The only one I've ran into is an occasional music stopping besides boss themes or the 1up jingle. It doesn't exactly affect the gameplay, but it's odd when no music plays for some reason, and it usually happens I lose a life. A shame too because like I said, I really like this game's music.
This game is only worth £10.99 and I think it's worth it. It definitely has a lot of action, I think the large stages are great, intense bosses (that may or may not frustrate you), great characters, music and graphics.
I give this game a 9/10.
Just keep in mind more is coming along the way in this game. For what it is currently, it's complete enough. It's not like the story is unfinished or something.
I'm honestly quite surprised this game isn't as well known as I thought. It got into SAGE 2012, but I thought from there it would've gotten pretty popular. It's definitely become it's own thing since then and is not a Sonic clone as many might say it is.
But that's it. I hope you like the review and if you disagree or have your own opinions, comment away. See you all later.
PS. Did this game just reference a picture of ZiyoLing's?