Video Game Dust: An Elysian Tail (PC) (2013)

Dust: An Elysian Tail (PC) (2013)*
*Dust: An Elysian Tail (XBLA) (2012)


Relevant Links:
Dust: An Elysian Tail Webpage
Dust: An Elysian Tail (Wikipedia.org)
Dust: An Elysian Tail (IGN.com)
Dust: An Elysian Tail (PC) (Metacritic.com)
Dust: An Elysian Tail (Steam Store Page)


Dust: An Elysian Tail is an action role-playing game. You play as Dust, wield a mysterious, living sword called the Blade of Ahrah, and get accompanied by the sword's guardian named Fidget. Note that unlike Link's fairy who follows Link around and just says "Hey! Listen!" (and "Look!" and "Hello!"), Fidget is actually useful and an important part of your fighting mechanics.


20140921: [20141108]
My first impression is that the game has pretty fun brawling mechanics. While it mostly feels like button mashing, there's seems to be a layer of strategy that can be perfected for higher quality gaming. However, since it was my first time playing, I decided just to mash buttons and only used an ounce of strategy.


In terms of story telling, I find the game throws in a bit too much of it in between the gameplay. I would rather there be long cutscenes that appear infrequently than short bits of dialogue that come up frequently.

In addition, the pace of the dialogue (voice acting) itself is also quite slow, further impeding on the overall flow of the game.


In any case, it seems like parts of this game encourage exploration of previously explored regions, sometimes regions which are originally unreachable until gaining an ability. This nostalgically reminds me of all the Castevania games I played back on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, the story telling did not have a Metroidvania feel to it.


Unfortunately, this first impression results in a low likelihood of me returning to this game any time soon. This is especially disappointing since I remember really wanting to play the game after seeing its trailers.

Note, however, that given its high reviews, perhaps I simply didn't give the game as much time as it deserves.


20150606:
Before playing today, Steam had me logged for 51 minutes (but the save file had only 41 minutes on it). Having unlocked two Steam Trading Cards, I originally intended to only play until the remaining two cards dropped.

However, having already played past a lot of story, I was able to get straight into the action and put an additional hour and thirty minutes into the game before growing tired of it. Furthermore, I believe I was using a keyboard the last time I played and today I used my Logitech Rumble Gamepad.


While I had re-familiarized myself with most of the game's mechanics, one move I couldn't figure out was the parry. A quick Google search reveals that a parry is executed by holding down the attack button when the enemy attacks. Swords will clash and the result is a successful parry.


Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Good dialogue/story.
+ Beautiful background/foreground/character design.
+ Strong fighting scheme in place.


Cons:
- Voicework is a bit slow, so while it's good, I just read the text and click.
- Some of the in-game looks funny, but if I focus on the fighting I forget about this minor detail.
- Can be confusing to navigate. While the gameplay has a Metroidvania feel, the levels do not have a Metroidvania-style map (AFAIK).

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