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I think the title says it all. Upon opening the packaging it arrived in I was greeted with a wonderful, bright and very eye catching box and could not wait to load the game into my console.
Pretty loading screens and a HUGE character editing program accompanied by a sound track that was strangely familiar, a feeling of déjà-vu came over me!
Now let me give you a rough idea of the plot:
Many years ago there was a small 2D land known as the Dotnia Kingdom. The people there were peaceful, protected by six orbs and six sages that guarded the orbs. Though one day a dark king called Onyx decided he wanted the power of the orbs. He kidnapped the sages and stole the orbs they guarded. Enter the Hero! As usual, good wins over evil and the peace was restored, the Dark King being sealed in an orb of his own. All was well in the Kingdom of Dotnia. Many travelers came to Dotnia drawn by the tales of legend. But as is usually the case, legend turned to myth and the visitors dwindled. In an attempt to regain prosperity the King investigated why people had left and the harsh realization that no one was interested in the 2D land set in. Using the latest technology the King transformed the land into a lush 3D world. Dotnia was becoming lively once again. Then as the people were returning something happened; the orb that the Dark King was sealed in was stolen. Here’s where your quest begins! Find the sages, recover the orbs and bring peace to Dotnia once again.
This is without a doubt a very pretty and attractive world. Built up (in a very clever way) of blocks of pixels; sort of like Lego. The scenery is very lush and inviting. One thing that does annoy me is only the center of the screen is in focus while the edges are blurred and out of focus. Really speaking, I can’t see (no pun intended) any reason for this. Hitting enemies and bushes with your blade is very satisfying and sends pieces flying across the screen. It is visually stunning and very well put together. Dotnia is an exceptionally nice place to spend an evening after a long and bland days work!
To sum-up the game play: Simple but very effective and addictive too. It is worth pointing out that most of the time, the simple inventions are the best.
There are four action buttons one for a sword, one for a shield and one to assign any item from your inventory too, the fourth is for the Pegasus Boots err... I mean Sprinting Shoes. L1 is the map button and the start button sees to the options/save duty. L2 and R2 cycle through your inventory items so you don’t actually have to bring the inventory screen up (which is assigned to triangle). Monsters with increasing difficulty are scattered through-out the Kingdom of Dotnia along with Bosses at the end of each temple. Items to help you on your quest are strategically placed in dungeons and other areas of the map, most (ok ok, all) reminiscent of retro games that won the hearts of millions in the 80’s and 90’s. A point to note is finding the next item that allows you to explore more of the map is downright addictive.
I realize this will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I will admit I love it. I cut my teeth in 1990 on A Link to the Past and have been waiting many years for another game that emulates the style of it. In a world where many games take themselves too seriously (especially on PS3) this is a breath of fresh air. I pray a sequel is made and hope other games that pay homage to the by-gone era are made for the mighty PS3. I’ve heard people say mixed things about this game: “it’s theft” being one of those things. Others rate it highly. What I will say is; it’s like a cover version of a really good song, done right it can be almost as good as the original, but, it will never be the original. It’s nice to remember why the games of today are the way they are and this game truly pays respect to that.
Price is a factor as with anything. It’s worth mentioning that Gamestation, Asda/Tesco, and HMV do not stock this game in their stores (at least in Yorkshire). The Game outlet does but asks a shade under £40 for it, which is on the top side. You can purchase it online though, most websites are asking between 20 and 30 UK Pounds Sterling, which is good value considering new releases range from £40 to £50.
All in all, a fun, happy, and enjoyable game that will keep you entertained for a good few hours. It is not the largest of games but that is reflected in the price (online at least).
Ok, when writing this I decided I wouldn’t mention Zelda (argh!), and every time I did I would place £1 in the reviewer’s naughty word box! So let’s count up how much I owe.