Freedom Planet Review (Switch)
''They can take our lives, but they will never take our FREEDOM.....Planet''
Freedom Planet is an action adventure game developed by Galaxy Trail and published by Marvelous(XSEED). Taking in the heart and soul of beloved franchises like Sonic The Hedgehog, Freedom Planet offers us gamers a glimpse of an era we still long for till this day.
The planet Avalice has had a long reign of peace and prosperity thanks to an orb of power known as the the Kingdom Stone. But one day the stone starts to weaken with its power and a plot is hatched by one of the three houses to not only take Kingdom Stone but to also overthrow other leaders with the help of an alien invader. It is now up to you, a character named Sash Lilac and her friends Carol Tea and Milla Basset to save the kingdom from utter destruction and doom.
If you're wondering why this game seems so similar to Sonic The Hedgehog in a lot of ways, well that's because it is. Freedom Planet once started off as a fan game for that same franchise before a series of mishaps happened and characters names and other things about the original iteration were changed. This change brought upon the current version Freedom Planet we find ourselves with now. But was this a good thing or a bad thing to keep a project such as this alive? we'll find out.
The game play can go from slow to fast paced in a manner of seconds thanks to the Sonic like game play mechanics with boosting. You'll find yourself dashing and bouncing off various objects throughout each level and navigate through multiple paths to discover secrets and other hidden items along your journey. Game play however varies depending on which of the three characters you choose to play as. Lilac,Milla or Carol. Be warned, they aren't all that fun to play as in my opinion, but then again that's all subjective.
As Lilac you have a distinct move set and very unique techniques at your disposal due to the character being of dragon origin. With your dragon abilities you will be able to whip your hair(back and forth) to take out any incoming enemies that are in your way,spin as if you were a cyclone and even move at top speeds as if you were a speeding bullet. Lilac was definitely my most favorite character to play as out of the three during my time with this game. Any chance I got to play as her, I knew I was about to have a lot of fun.
Carol is also another character that was a joy to play as due to the various abilities she has. For her main melee attacking she uses a claw attack that will slice through her enemies and leave them in a world of hurt,while also throwing in a few kicks or two for good measure to make sure they're truly in a land of pain. Other secondary moves you will have the pleasure of using include scaling walls(who does she think she is Knuckles?),and summoning a gravity motorcycle,which by any logic shouldn't even be possible, but hey it looks cool so I'll allow it. But sadly, now we get to the worst character in the game.
Oh Milla. Milla Milla Milla. I hate to do this to you, but I'm afraid I have no choice. Milla is the only character in the game that I feel completely kills any and all momentum that the game has going for it. What I mean by this is that she slows the game almost down to a halt due to her techniques and the way she moves around. It makes everything way more mundane and lax than it had or needed to be. Her attacks include stuff like gliding through the air with her ears and creating magical cubes. There's really not much to say about her other than the game would've still gone on just fine without her involvement in it. She's barely more useful than BIG The Cat.
But enough roasting poor Milla, lets get back to the game play aspect of the review and start talking a little bit about the story mode in the game, or as its called here, Adventure Mode. In this adventure mode you get to enjoy lots of voice acting from each of the main characters and villains and you are also able to experience each sequence of actions with nicely animated cutscenes for you to enjoy. Overall the story is pretty decent, while it's not very well paced and it tends to hop around here and there at the wrong times(during intense sequences),it did manage to keep my interest long enough for me to give a hoot what was going on.
Sadly, while the story managed to interest me and keep me involved in what was going on, the voice acting is something that annoyed me quite a bit on some occasions. The level of professionalism in this game goes from 5 star type of quality to a low 2 very quickly. Some characters you find are giving it their A game and giving it their all with everything they've got, while others feels like a honed in performance and you can tell they don't really have their heart in the character. It's really a big mixed bag and it nearly took me out of the game because the rest of the game from the cutscenes to the game play have been pretty top notch through and through. It's not a deal breaker but it will definitely make you shake your head a little bit.
Finally one of the last aspects of the game play in this game I'd like to go over real quick,relates to the boss fights in this game. Now do not worry, I'm not going to tell you all the bosses, such as their names,what they are or anything like that, but I will however try to give a little detail of why this was my favorite part of the experience with Freedom Planet. The bosses in this game take a crap ton of trial and error to get through due to the fact that some of them will manage to kill you in just two attacks. This will cause you to die many many times and even get you frustrated at the game until you learn the proper technique you need to use in order to take them out. The boss fights are also pretty massive and an overall spectacle to look at do to the way they're designed and animated. Sure you may die a lot and get ticked off, but I tell you what, whenever you manage to take one of these bad boys down, it feels so damn satisfying.
Overall my final thoughts after having played through Freedom Planet,my view of it comes out pretty positive. This game to me feels like a long lost SEGA CD/Saturn game that I missed years ago and gives it that distinct ''hidden gem'' type of characteristic. Other than the disappointment of Milla as a playable character and some of the shoddy voice acting that takes place, Freedom Planet with its fast paced game play,interesting storyline,great music and superb boss fights, makes up for it completely. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the older Sonic games or just like fast paced games in general.
Freedom Planet is out now on Nintendo Switch.
*Review Code provided by XSEED