Dust: An Elysian Tail is an exercise in genre-blending. With its 2D platforming elements and slowly trickling supply of new tools to navigate hidden areas, it quickly prompts comparison to the famous Metroid and Castlevania games. Where it diverges noticeably, however, is in its approach to combat. Put simply, it's a brain-melting frenzy of projectiles, sparks and numbers, with combo counts in the hundreds for even basic enemies.
|There's probably a Dragon Ball Z move to reference here, |
but it's not one that I'm familiar with. Missed opportunity.
|As you can see, the whirly-blur is using lightning to create |
yellow numbers out of the purple smears.
In fact, there were only two occasions I wasn't enjoying myself during Dust. The first was any time I was being forced to
backtrack because enemies respawn in rooms behind you.
Luckily, this did not happen too often.
|Beware: for better or worse, this critter follows you all game.|
me. Within the first ten minutes, Dust is established as an incredibly talented warrior with amnesia who is mysteriously united with a sentient, talking sword. Without going further than that, I can assure you things don't get much better. If that weren't groan worthy enough, your flying orange squirrel companion has an appearance and irritating voice straight out of Digimon. In fact, all the main characters had melodramatic voice acting combined with hackneyed writing that made me want to play with subtitles only. Additionally, the decision to make every single character an anthropomorphic anime animal did not fit the attempted seriousness of the story. If you were wondering why the subtitle says "tail" instead of "tale", that's why.
It's my opinion that Dust: An Elysian Tail is an excellent expansion upon the 2D platformer explore-a-thon genre typified by games like Metroid, adding incredibly stylized combat to the mix and empowering the player with more RPG elements. The attempt to introduce a serious plot using essentially cartoon animal characters, though it fell flat, was at least an admirable risk. For $7.50, I'd certainly recommend giving it a shot. Go grab it while it's on sale.
4 out of 5