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Thread: Freedom Planet: My Dream Game Finally Arrives!!

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    Freedom Planet: My Dream Game Finally Arrives!!

    Wow! I discovered a 2014 indie game called Freedom Planet recently and was completely transfixed by the experience!

    The original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis was the first video game I ever played or owned and is responsible for transforming me into a lifelong gamer more than any other title. I remember first playing a demo of it at the mall in the second half of 1991, where it was strategically located next to a demo of Nintendo's rival title Super Mario World for the then-new Super NES. The point of this marketing strategy was clear, as kids lined up one-sidedly in the line to play Sonic, making it clear to parents that their kids would like Sega's title better. To me, it was no contest: the bright colors and faster pace of Sonic the Hedgehog stood out, especially next to Super Mario World, and drew me to that demo. Once I got to play, I was mesmerized by the idea of controlling a character on a video screen and just thought Sonic was a really cool-looking character. (I had no idea what a hedgehog was at the time and subsequently assumed they were blue for a while.) I also loved the zones, the catchy music, everything about the game. I kept getting back in line and my parents caught on that I might like a Sega Genesis for Christmas.

    As time went by, I kept buying more installments of the Sonic franchise, I got into the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series, and fell in love with the dramatic, and actually somewhat dark, Sonic the Hedgehog TV series that aired on Saturday mornings. Clearly I wanted more Sonic games, but also wanted out of this franchise than the games were offering me. I wanted more of a storyline and more characters. My expectations had risen. My interest in games logically paralleled those changing expectations, as I began getting into titles like Out of This World, Super Metroid, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and (my favorite of that era) Chop Suey. These games had more (and more moving) story content and often gave the player more freedom to explore. They did lack the pacing and visual aesthetics of Sonic though, and were, in my view at the time, unfortunately about people, not animals rebelling against people. (I'd developed a bit of a misanthropic streak that, among other things, a lot of Sega's games in and around that time fed, e.g. not just Sonic, but also ToeJam & Earl, Ecco the Dolphin, and others.)

    My dream game at the time was a Sonic-like, somewhat fast-paced, bright-colored, action-oriented game about creatures, not people, with a female hero character, larger and more open-ended stages, the cute, catchy type of tunes featured in the Sonic games, and a much more developed and emotional storyline like that in the Saturday morning Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon. I didn't get my wish back then, but now, finally...HERE IT IS: MY CHILDHOOD DREAM GAME!!



    Narratively, Freedom Planet is nominally set up similarly to the classic Sonic games, wherein your basic quest is to save magic crystalline relics (representing power in the abstract) from falling into the hands of evil. In the Sonic classics, this simple narrative was set-up in such a way as to deftly metaphorically suggest that people have too much power over nature. That was kind of the implied theme. In this game's far more complex storyline (which includes lots of fairly lengthy cinema scenes, fully, and very well, voice-acted), the definition of evil is a bit more subjective, as the player is tasked with ending a war between three kingdoms over this game's preferred magical relic, the Kingdom Stone (logically analogous to the Master Emerald in the Sonic universe), all of which have their flaws, and ends with the destruction of said relic. Following the final battle that witnesses the destruction of the Kingdom Stone, the sky lights up with swirling, crystalline energy released from the Stone and the three kingdoms resolve to harness the Stone's power and share it equally, thereby ending the war. There is a certain message there about competition for scarce natural resources and the freeing and unifying power of collectivist solutions revolving around the sharing of those resources, I would observe and personally find highly agreeable.

    This is not a story told with subtlety or realism. It's told in a dramatic, cartoony fashion involving aliens and so on. But it's good cartoony, like the TV shows Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball Z. And if you just don't like for storytelling to be a significant element in your games, there's also an alternative Classic Mode where you can just play through the stages in order without any of the cinema scenes too.

    The three heroines you can play as, the Sonic-like dragon Lilac and her friend Carol the wildcat, and the unlockable basset hound Milla, are all cute, goofy, and legitimately heroic. Each of them is 50 times more interesting than the most notable heroine of the Sonic franchise, Amy Rose, whose whole character arc is invariably just simply that she's infatuated with Sonic. I found it a refreshing change of pace to have three awesome high-speed heroines to play as in place of the classical trio of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Each of them also has their own distinct arc and separate versions of most stages, as they typically each take different paths through, which gives the game a great deal of replay value. You'll have to play through a minimum of three times to experience everything.

    The stages are larger than those of the classic Sonic games and more open-ended in a way that encourages players to do more exploring, though in a way that's not too dissimilar. They remain fundamentally action-oriented, as per Sonic tradition, and nostalgically lift a number of hooks directly from the classic 2D Sonic games, as well as from the classic-but-obscure platformer Ristar from the Sega Genesis. They also employ a medieval East Asian artistic influence that I actually find more aesthetically pleasing than the classic Sonic stage art style. All that is good about 16-bit Sonic is here and all that needed improvement has been improved upon markedly (including also the health system, incidentally, which is far more reasonable in this game). It's awesome. It makes me feel like I'm ten years old all over again, only happier. Sorry, I'm kind of a dork I guess. I just couldn't resist sharing.
    Last edited by IMPress Polly; 12-08-2018 at 09:23 AM.

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    I hate video games. I used to repair them back when they were big box games like centipede.
    “What’s the difference between a cannibal and a liberal? A cannibal doesn’t eat his friends.” -- Lyndon Johnson

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    Is this on the switch? Because I just got a switch

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    IMPress Polly (12-08-2018)

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Xl View Post
    Is this on the switch? Because I just got a switch
    You're in luck: my own recent playthroughs were on the Switch!

    (The trailer in the OP even is for the Switch version, though it's also available for PlayStation 4 and computers too.)

    Also, congrats on the Switch! Good choice!
    Last edited by IMPress Polly; 12-08-2018 at 11:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPress Polly View Post
    You're in luck: my own recent playthroughs were on the Switch!

    (The trailer in the OP even is for the Switch version, though it's also available for PlayStation 4 and computers too.)

    Also, congrats on the Switch! Good choice!
    I dig the switch. I'm on the go a lot so it's a convenient choice for me. They also have a lot of old school stuff in their library. If this game isn't that expensive I might check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Xl View Post
    I dig the switch. I'm on the go a lot so it's a convenient choice for me. They also have a lot of old school stuff in their library. If this game isn't that expensive I might check it out.
    I paid $15 for it, so it was pretty inexpensive.

    And yeah, I know what you mean about the ever-expanding library of classics! I assume you're taking advantage of the online NES? Or have you been focused on the Neo Geo arcade games that are available through the eShop? My most recent properly retro acquisition for the Switch was Sega Genesis Classics (50 games, one package!) yesterday. Or did you mean "old school" in more of an aesthetic sense, as a general term for retro-style games?
    Last edited by IMPress Polly; 12-08-2018 at 11:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPress Polly View Post
    I paid $15 for it, so it was pretty inexpensive.

    And yeah, I know what you mean about the ever-expanding library of classics! I assume you're taking advantage of the online NES? Or have you been focused on the Neo Geo arcade games that are available through the eShop? My most recent properly retro acquisition for the Switch was Sega Genesis Classics (50 games, one package!) yesterday. Or did you mean "old school" in more of an aesthetic sense, as a general term for retro-style games?
    I meant literally old school, as in the NES and recently released Genesis Classics. Although I also am intrigued by the retro style games as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Xl View Post
    I meant literally old school, as in the NES and recently released Genesis Classics. Although I also am intrigued by the retro style games as well.
    Aaaah! Well let me throw this out there as one more recommendation: Celeste. That's the #1 game I recommend to all Switch owners. Everyone who plays it loves it. Though yeah, I think that if you liked the classic Sonic games on the Genesis at all, you'll definitely like Freedom Planet too.

    I mean I could give you a whole list of titles I really think you'd like, but maybe we should just start with a couple to be practical. (Hey, at least I can recommend you games now!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMPress Polly View Post
    Aaaah! Well let me throw this out there as one more recommendation: Celeste. That's the #1 game I recommend to all Switch owners. Everyone who plays it loves it. Though yeah, I think that if you liked the classic Sonic games on the Genesis at all, you'll definitely like Freedom Planet too.

    I mean I could give you a whole list of titles I really think you'd like, but maybe we should just start with a couple to be practical. (Hey, at least I can recommend you games now!)
    Well I'm looking for some new games and indie games are cheap so any suggestions are welcomed. All I have right now is Pokemon and Smash Bros. What is Celeste about?

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    Weird.

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