Freedom Planet (Wii U) Review
At first look, most people would say that Freedom Planet is nothing more than a Sonic knock off. Well, they are maybe about 25% right. Freedom Planet by GalaxyTrail Games was originally a fan-created Sonic the Hedgehog game. Inspired by the 16-bit era Sonic, it was meant to pay homage to that fine series, but with original characters and a darker story than most classic Sonic games. In the end, Freedom Planet is a well-polished, 2D platformer that incorporates the best elements from the Sonic and other classic platformer games.
There are two modes in Freedom Planet, Adventure and Classic. Classic is the more straight forward, not much story just old school gameplay and you can play as one of three characters. Adventure, on the other hand, has a flushed out story with cut scenes and voice work and you can play as one of two characters. The story is Lord Brevan and his alien army invade the planet searching for the Kingdom Stone, a stone that contains unlimited energy. His plot is to bring the three kingdoms of Avalice to war with one another. However, another ship piloted by an alien named Torque, crash lands on the planet. Our heroes, Lilac the Dragon and her best friend, Carol, see the crash and save Torque, who tells them of Brevan’s plans.
There are 14 levels in Freedom Planet; all of them are huge and they get more difficult as you go. Gameplay is vintage action-platformer with mostly linear levels mixed with combat, platforming, and the occasional light puzzle. Each character's moves are different with attacking, jumping ability, and special moves. The platforming and combat is very good; the controls are tight and work very well for each character. Level design is well balanced, even with the higher difficulty later in the game. The boss fights are the true highlight. Every level has a boss and they are long, heavily involved fights that pattern to them like any classic platformer should.
I know what you are thinking, let me guess, I have to collect rings for health right? No, it’s a more standard method of losing and regaining HP. You have red leaves that represent your health and they can be replenished by defeating enemies or finding the leaves scattered throughout the stages. Your special attacks will also consume an energy bar, so choose their use wisely, especially in boss encounters where a wrong move will get you killed. The robotic enemies are well designed and varied. Some have weak points you must hit to defeat them, others you have to use to remove obstacles out of your way. Boss fights, like in any good classic platformer, are varied in challenge. Some are harder than others and will require multiple tries to defeat.
Overall, Freedom Planet is a great homage to those 8 and 16-bit era platformers like Sonic and Mega Man. Anyone who loves platformers will love this game. Levels are colorful, the story is good and the characters are memorable. In the end this really could be the classic Sonic style game we have always wanted and one of the best games on the Wii U.
Score: 4 out of 5
Thanks to the publisher for supplying a code for review.