If you know me, you know that I am a huge sucker for PS1-era graphics, I love big, chunky polygons. Some classic examples of shit I can’t get enough of from then are Final Fantasy VII, Legend of Legaia, and Digimon World. SNES era graphics are just as good in a totally different way, Chrono Trigger, Link To The Past, and Secret of Mana make me all warm and cozy inside. So when you tell me that there’s a NEW game that combines both of these types of graphical styles, my ears are gonna perk up.
Anodyne 2: Return To Dust tells a familiar story but with a unique twist. A thick, malevolent dust storm has taken over the world and has begun infecting the residents. The symptoms of being infected are all over the place, from being bed-ridden with an uncontrollable cough to being constantly in a state of rage. However, you are here to clean the Nano Dust from the world with your powerful vacuum and willpower.
You play as Nova, who was seemingly created just for the purpose of cleaning up this Nano Dust. The way that you do this is by shrinking down to the size of a nanometer and entering the bodies of infected residents. You make your way through their bodies, taking out enemies in a variety of ways, and sucking up dust particles. The dust particles that you suck up are stored in your vacuum, which you can then deposit between levels in the center of the main town. At the end of each stage, you fight a boss, and then cleanse the resident of their dust crystal, acquiring a card related to the resident. By depositing the dust, and collecting these cards, you push the dust storm back and are able to access new areas!
The levels have some pretty clever Zelda-style puzzles, a few of which actually made me scratch my head until I really thought about it. Nothing ever made me this “this is bullshit, this is too vague and weird”, which is great cause that’s a huge turn-off for me. I really enjoyed playing through the handful of levels that were available to me in the preview and can’t wait to play more. The parts of the game where you’re in a 3D environment and moving around and everything weren’t as fun though. I LOVED how it looked in the overworked, but I was under the assumption that the action would be half and half. Basically all of the core gameplay is in the Zelda-style dungeons, and in the overworld, you just kind of run around and talk to people. You have a mega-buster-esque weapon that you solely use to interact with people to shrink down into their bodies.
There are some rhythm game sequences that you have to complete in order to enter their bodies, though. That part is done in 3D and it’s actually pretty fun once you get the controls down, but I just want a little more. The preview was only the first seventh of the game, though, so I’m going to hold out hope that the 3D parts get a little more in-depth.
The world in the game, in both parts though, is just so much fun, it’s so weird and kinda dirty but fun. All of the characters that you interact with are totally bizarre-looking characters, with some of them coming straight out of Silent Hill in terms of design. Without spoiling too much, there’s a character that you interact with, whose entire body apparently is their tongue, and it absolutely looks like it. Every character’s dungeon when you enter their body, mildly represents them and their setting, while still giving hints that you’re inside someone’s body. The design of the levels and the world is fun, and at the very end of the demo, you get to run around a small new area. It’s a total breath of fresh air from the dirty, dingy city below, and goes to show how many different areas you’re likely to travel to in the full game.
With the minor gripe about the overworld feeling like it’s missing something, this game is GREAT. I cannot wait for the full monty to release, and you guys can expect a video about this coming real soon. Check out the Steam page here!
It’s supposed to release mid-2019, but it’s a pretty small team working on this game, and I have no idea how much is done. More power to this team, keep up the fantastic work, cause I want more of this, I really do. The look and feel of the game is something that kept me glued to my screen with the lights off for a couple hours straight. Not many games do that to me nowadays with working full time and trying to fit in all the things I have to do in the week. Keep your eyes on this one, seriously, it is one of the first games of 2019 to leave an impression on me… and it ain’t even done yet, folks.
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