Freedom Planet: What Sonic Should've Been Today

So while the rest of you chumps were either playing the piece of shit that is Sonic Boom or letting Ubisoft (and other publishers) screwing us over with games like Assassin's Creed Unity, I've been playing this little gem. And my reaction? BEST INDIE GAME EVER (imo). And I don't like indie games.

First, a short history about my early gaminghood - while most of you grew up with Nintendo, I was one of the few who grew up with Sega. As such, every game system I owned up until 2000 was always Sega something. Whether it's the Genesis (or Mega Drive for those outside the US), the Saturn, or of course the fucking Dreamcast, I was a Sega boy through and through. And probably the one game series I've enjoyed the most on any Sega platform (with the exception of NiGHTS Into Dreams... on the Saturn), was Sonic the Hedgehog. I don't even know why I played those games for as many times as I did back when I was a wee little lad, but one thing I know for sure is that I had a hell of a lot of fun playing all 3 classic games, Spinball, R, 3D Blast (Saturn), Adventure 1 and 2.


After Adventure 2 came out, things started taking a turn for the worst as far as consoles are concerned. Heroes was pretty damn good, Shadow was...URGGHH...and Sonic 06, do I even need to mention it?! Clement did a 3 hour review on that game, that's how bad it is. Then Sonic Unleashed happened, and I loved it, but pretty much from Colors onwards (except Generations), I started noticing that some of the gameplay elements that made the old games great were gradually going away (no more Super Sonic fights, no more playable characters other than Sonic, etc.). And if Sonic Boom (the Wii U/3DS games) isn't proof enough of that, I don't know what is. Don't tell me about Sonic 4, because that still doesn't have some of the things I miss to this day from a Sonic game.

The point is, I fucking loved Sonic the Hedgehog. The new Sonic games are shit compared to the classics, which is why I'm so glad to have stumbled upon Freedom Planet around the time Steam's Recommended/Curator features went live earlier this year. I didn't have the money at the time, so I added it to my wish list and happened to notice that it was on sale for Black Friday. So of course I had to buy it.

Upon seeing the launch trailer, I was blown away by just how awesome the game looks and plays. Then I read reviews (well, the few that there are, anyway) outside Steam and I noticed that the game plays similarly to Sonic the Hedgehog - you know, the old games - so I was like "FUCK YES! SEGA, WHY CAN'T YOU TAKE NOTES?! AND SONY, WHY IS THIS NOT ON YOUR ECOSYSTEM?!?!". Upon playing it for the first time, it immediately became my pick for indie game of the year. I just wish it was playable on Vita - actually, the game practically begs for Sony's support if you ask me.


But enough about that, let's talk about the game itself. Not that there really is much to talk about, but still. This isn't really a review, more like an impressions post.

When you first start the game, you have the option of playing either Adventure (which is the game's Story Mode, with cutscenes during and between levels) or Classic (no Story) Modes. And I gotta say, the story isn't all that great (it's your typical "stop the bad guy from destroying the world" plot), but the voice work is pretty damn good, considering this is an indie game. However, I think the execution of the story is pretty damn good too (hey, it tries, right?).


As for the gameplay, well, you have Lilac - the game's main character, and the closest thing to Sonic. She's a dragon, has a double jump tornado (like Blaze the Cat from the Sonic Rush games), but isn't quite as fast as Sonic. Hell, she can't even reach her top speed without the help of a descending hill or a scripted section where you're always running away for an oncoming threat. I haven't played the other 2 characters yet - Carol and Milla - but I heard they aren't as good as Lilac, let alone the likes of Tails and Knuckles.


The stages themselves are structured similar to Sonic 3 - each level is one map, split off into two sections (IE the "act"s), each ending with a miniboss and boss fight, respectively. And I gotta say, some of those bosses are crazy and hard. Like, Gunstar Heroes crazy and hard.

Oh, and the soundtrack? IT. KICKS. ASS!!!

So what am I trying to tell you? Well, if you love Sonic, 2D/retro platformers, or classic games in general, and if you're playing any of those awful games I mentioned earlier, PUT THAT SHIT DOWN, GET YOUR WALLETS OUT, GO HERE (HERE FOR MAC OR DRM-FREE VERSIONS) AND BUY THE DAMN GAME. It just goes to show of you that yes, 95% of all the indie and Early Access games ARE shit, but that other 5% can be better than even the most expensive AAA game.


And if you need even more convincing, well, I have prepared a gameplay video (in 60fps!) of me going through the game's 1st stage with Lilac.

That ends my gushing on how damn good the game is, hopefully the video will speak for itself. But my question is - it went through Kickstarter, it went through Greenlight, so why hasn't ANYONE (IE Kotaku, IGN, etc.) provided any coverage on the game? And Sega, why have you not taken notes from your fans on ideas from your next Sonic?


You don't know?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jim Fucking Sterling.

If you bought the game, what are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!

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