Video Game Freedom Planet (PC) (2014)

Freedom Planet (PC) (2014)

Lilac gets propelled upwards.
Relevant Links:
Freedom Planet Website
Freedom Planet (Steam Store Page)
Freedom Planet (Wikipedia.org)

Default Controls:
Button A / Keyboard Z: Jump
Button B / Keyboard X: Basic Attack
Button C / Keyboard C: Special Attack

Choose between Lilac, Carol, or Milla (Locked)
20160225: [20160321]
While on the airplane I decided to play this game. Off the bat, I found the game had a nice introduction and playing the game immediately brought back found memories of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Gen.) (1992).

Unfortunately, I was running my laptop on power-saving mode to conserve battery power and it was probably the source of major lag.

Lilac runs from the boulder.
Sash Lilac:*
(Air) A: "Dragon Cyclone" (Tornado Spin)
(Running) Down + A: "Dragon Cyclone"
B: "Hair Whip"
Down + B: "Kick" (Low Kick)
(Air) Down + B: "Dive Kick"
(Standing/Running) Up + B: "Rising Slash" (Uppercut)
[Direction] + C: "Dragon Boost" [Diag. Up/Left/Right/Diag. Down]
*Paraphrased from readme.txt

Carol rides her motorcycle.
Estimated: 16 minutes (session game time)

20160327:
Today I played the game again with my laptop set to performance mode and confirmed there was no lag. I also chose to play as Carol instead of Lilac and choose Adventure (which includes the story) instead of Classic (which is just level after level).

Milla thinks Lilac's hair feels "like a rope!"
Carol Tea:*
(Running) Down: "Rolling"
(Air) A: "Pouncing"
(Standing) Down + A: "Pouncing"
(While On Jump Pad) A: (Move to the next jump pad)
"Wall Jump"
B: "Punching"
Hold C: "Wild Kick" (Rapid Kick)
(Collect a Fuel Tank): "Driving" (Motorcycle)
: (Standing) Down + A: (Stop driving and pounce off)
: (Air) A: "Air Spin"
: (Ground) C: "Nitro Boost"
*Paraphrased from readme.txt

Carol on a jump pad
Steam: 28 minutes (session game time)

For the purpose of this blog post I played some more Lilac from my first save file and overall I found her moveset easier to play.

Steam: 26 minutes (session game time + idle time)

Comparison:
While I'm most familiar with Sonic 2,* I've also played a fair amount of the original Sonic (Sega Gen.) (1991) and bits of various other Sonic games.

Carol and Lilac speaking
Similarities:
The feeling of speed, loops, and buttons interactions are definitely the first similarities which Freedom Planet shares with games from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. In particular, the charged spin dash which I associate with the Sonic series finds its way into this game as well. The game also features some familiar items such as a shield power-up and a temporary invincibility power-up (Sonic's equivalent of Mario's star).

Backstory
And last, but not least, the game also features an underwater air meter.**

*I've definitely reached Wing Fortress Zone a countless number of times and I recall once reaching the Death Egg Zone, but I don't remember ever beating the game. I've also never collected all 7 Chaos Emeralds.
**Though it seemed to be missing the awesome sound effect that plays when Sonic consumes an air bubble!

Lilac hangs on a bar
Differences:
The first difference I noticed is an array of melee attacks as opposed to the traditional sonic jump attack - I'm not sure whether or not modern renditions of Sonic have a similar array of attacks. Furthermore, it seems that the character (the player can choose one of two) progresses through a level with a life bar, as opposed to Sonic's one-hit death when neither shielded nor invinceable. Of course, the trade-off is longer levels.

Carol's "Stage Complete" pose
Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Successfully reproduces the action and speed of the Sonic series
+ Strong level design

Neutral:
~ For older players, Freedom Planet provides something new by incorporating something old and personally there was enough new material to keep me interested even through the lag caused by my using power-saving mode.

Lilac replenishes her air supply.
Minor Con:
- Compared to modern games that use immediate in-game achievements as an enticing factor to play, Freedom Planet can feel relatively plain (there are, however, plenty of Steam Achievements)

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