So as mentioned previously, I was lucky enough to get a review copy of Dust: An Elysian Tail. I’ve finally finished my review, should you want to go and read it. As is customary, here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
Dust: An Elysian Tail follows the path of its titular character, Dust. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: An amnesiac hero wakes up in the middle of nowhere and decides to set off on a quest to find out who he really is. Despite dealing in cliches, like a good genre flick, Dust (the game, not the character) plays with its tropes in some clever (and not-so-clever) ways, particularly towards the end of the game. There were many times I could not shake the feeling that this was some kind of lost Saturday Morning Cartoon from the era of Disney’s Gargoyles, particularly in the banter shared between Dust and his flying companion Fidget, who fulfills her role as the highly-marketable comic relief with textbook precision. I’m not quite sure if that’s a complaint or something legitimately worthy of praise; all I know it stirred emotions within me that were something akin to nostalgia.
It certainly doesn’t help matters that Dust and Fidget banter a lot. At a glance, you wouldn’t expect Dust to be the kind of game to have a lot of talking, but once you get these characters going, expect to buckle in for several minutes while even seemingly unimportant NPCs expound on the legacy of Moonbloods, Elysium Blades and Life Threads. That’s not to say it’s difficult to follow, nor is it as flowery and serious as it sounds; but at some point I started to get fed up watching mostly-static portraits flap their jaws, even if the game goes the extra mile in having all of its dialogue be fully voiced. Thankfully, Dust is smart enough to offer up a button to skip through its dialog line-by-line for those times where you just don’t feel like listening to a hillbilly go on about his “hittin’ stick”.
The annoyance with so much talking is in part because Dust is such a joy to actually play – and that’s because it wastes little time before throwing you into the pandemonium of its combat system. (Keep reading…)