A Game Review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Giana Sisters: Twisted Dream
Version – Wii U eShop
ESRB Rating: ‘E’ – Everyone
Release Date: 9/5/2013
Obtained – Courtesy of Black Forest Games
Will this game be a twisted mess or will it be better than your wildest dreams? Read on to find out!
Gameplay & Controls
If you need a game to compare this to, I’d say Mighty Switch Force! would be somewhat fair comparison as it borrows the alternating/switching elements. However, do not write this off as a MSF clone. This game is much more than collecting, dodging enemies, and doing some tricky and switching platform jumping. Each sister has a world that they interact with, one a more of a light and flowery type of world, the other a dark and death-like world. The player can switch at any time by using the ZR button, or the twist move will automatically move to the player to the dark world when activating the move in the light world, or it will automatically go to the light world when using the flame dash move in the dark world. Each respective move only changes if used in the opposite world, but does not switch worlds when used in the respect world. There is a basic control of jump which is executed using B. With the twist move, the player can fall slowly and somewhat float when the X button is held. The flame dash provides a directional attack and a burst of speed. This can also be used to wall jump when held.
Basically you traverse through the levels collecting gems. Some gems exist in both worlds, others only in the light, or only in the dark. The gems affect the players score at the end of the level. Based on the number of deaths and gems collected the player gets a score out of five stars, and the game at this point tells you how many gems were in the level. The stars are used to unlock the boss level for that world. Stars on the boss levels unlocks hard mode on the main screen. The game offers some help showing signs indicating some tricks that can be used to help make your adventure easier, and really helped explain the controls. Each level has lots of depth, multiple/hidden paths, and hidden artwork that can be collected. The game offers two starting difficulties (easy and normal) and hard and uber hard can be unlocked. It also has a few modes in which the player can race against the clock in time attack, or score attack where the player can collect gems for points and defeat enemies for extra points.
The gameplay is quite fun and also pretty challenging. It is not a simple plat-former, and will require the player to be on top of their game and ready to switch between the two worlds at any moment. Thankfully there are check points in the easier difficulty levels and re-spawn the player at that point in the level. The player can only suffer a single hit before dying unless they pick up a second hit power up for that level which is only used once. There are also plenty of pits and spikes in addition to enemies. The enemies, backgrounds and even the music changes when the world flips. As I highlighted with the images at the top, the worlds alter significantly in addition to parts of the level that fade in/out of the background. Other objects move in opposite directions when the worlds are switched. This game features twenty-three levels, and three boss fights.
Visuals & Sound
The visuals are very sharp and clear. Each level is filled with plenty of details. One of the aspects of the switch is that the visuals are also switched. The switch comes through seamlessly. Even the backgrounds come through clearly and also switch with all the level elements as well. The backgrounds are filled with such detail that it really feels like you are traveling within the world yourself.
The sound on the other hand is also very impressive. When the switch occurs, the music also gets modified. There’s the standard version of the tune and also a metal version of it. The tunes were done by Chris Huelsbeck with their metal counterparts by Machinae Supremacy. The sound effects are also quite impressive as well and everything fits together perfectly. The only issue I encountered is that the sound does not go through the Gamepad. So even though you can play with off-TV play, you will not be able to play with any sound, as it will only come out the television.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dream is quite a unique and challenging game. The visuals and sound are top notch and the gameplay is very addictive. The game provides a sharper increase in difficulty than the average game, however on the easier modes the player will have checkpoints to assist with returning to the action. I had a incredibly fun time playing this eShop gem and can easily be considered one the eShop’s best games. While the game isn’t incredibly long, it will give a run for your money allowing you to complete the game without dying in Uber Hard mode and hard mode which takes away the checkpoints. I would recommend this game to fans of plat-formers or those that enjoy games with a higher difficulty.
Final Score: 9 out of 10
+ plenty of hidden areas, alternate paths
+ addictive gameplay
+ variety of modes
+ fantastic graphics
+ suburb music and sound effects
- Issue with no sound for off-TV play
- Only 23 levels