Game Reviews

Dust: An Elysian Tail

Another metroidvania game – This time Dust. I’m sensing a theme here,. Dust is different from the usual genre however. It’s “a bit” cliché in the sense that you’re a mysterious hero who wields a legendary talking sword and need to save the world. Again.

But, you get a funny sidekick and a whole lot of abilities with which you wield the sword as you progress along the story. Some may be turned away by the slight furry theme of the game, but in all you shouldn’t be bothered with it too much.

Classical Music and Arts

Not many games use classical or even orchestral music in a way that actually fits and enhances the gameplay. Dust does it very well and it’s a lovely soundtrack worth nearly 2 hours if you look up the OST.

Music aside, this game, I’m sorry to say should have been included in the earlier review Games as interactive art. It’s hand drawn and painted. The amount of time it must have taken seems staggering. The final product a sight to behold and play through. A few screenshots you’ll find in this review, but in reality a video (as above) will do it more justice.

The cliché

Unnamed hero, memory loss, funny sidekick, tragic past, defeat the bad guys. The main lines of the story aren’t really all that different from for example Zelda or any classic RPG really. However, Dust gives it form and character in a way that you aren’t likely to have experienced yet. With a handpainted world and an eerily well made soundtrack.

As with any Metroidvania style game you will unlock new powers and skills as you progress and return back to older places to find secret rewards. Dust brings you these powers in the form of your sword. Whirlwind, higher jumps, magic missiles and much more.

Skills aside the game also features a decent size crafting and upgrading system. You can brew potions, make food, armor and other things. You may or may not need to find a smith for the latter. (no spoilers)

Hack and slash

Similar to Sundered, Dust is a hack and slash first. Kill first, talk later. That combo counter should increase rapidly and will even grant you a fairly simple achievement. The game features a number of (some very large) bosses to beat or get beaten by. A few dozen sidequests for bonus rewards and a large number of NPCs which will respond indifferently to a random guy walking into town big a big talking sword. Like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

I keep telling myself I need to pick this back up and actually finish the game sometime,. it’s quite long for a metroidvania, and yet simple enough that a 10 year old girl can learn and enjoy to play it. (Which one of my nieces was happy enough to demonstrate)

If you think it’s “too easy” initially, then just wait until you reach the challenge gates. It goes from bashing bunnies with a club, to getting clubbed by were wabbits right quick.

Dust was released on steam: 24 May, 2013

Minimum system requirements: Windows Vista, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz or equivalent, 1 GB Ram, DirectX 10 or higher with shader model 3.0 support, 1.5 GB HD space

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