By Josh Speer / June 19th, 2018
Let me be honest here. Of all 3 games I played at XSEED’s booth at E3 2018, the one I was initially least interested in was Freedom Planet. One reason I felt that way was quite simple – I’m horrible at Sonic the Hedgehog games. Even though Freedom Planet is only loosely inspired by that series, I felt I wouldn’t be able to really appreciate what it was trying to do. The other reason I wasn’t excited was because, of course, Freedom Planet is already out on everything except Nintendo Switch. In the end though, I’m quite glad I got to play Freedom Planet, and you can find out why if you keep reading!
Even though I was nervous about the game being too fast and furious for me, it quickly became apparent that in Freedom Planet there is a character for every player. After listening to the descriptions of what the trio of lady critters excelled at, I went with the lovely Carol. While Lilac may have worked as an all around type, and while Milla sounded quirky and interesting, the thing that convinced me was that Carol could wall climb, had a smash attack that made her temporarily invincible and could ride a motorcycle. Given how many platformers I enjoy, that sounded like the best pick for me.
It became clear pretty quickly that Freedom Planet is not Sonic the Hedgehog. Despite the obvious aesthetic influences, it’s definitely made with more modern sensibilities in mind, and each large stage offers a variety of ways to get through them. Once I got used to the gameplay, I was able to sit back and really enjoy how it flowed and appreciate the beautiful and lush cartoon visuals. Put simply, Freedom Planet is utterly gorgeous for gamers of a certain age, and I love all the retro polish its been given. One thing that struck me out of nowhere was how the game also was seemingly inspired by Mischief Makers, easily one of my favorite N64 titles. That became very clear when I fought one boss riding a giant mechanized beast, and it really made me fall in love with this game.
Though I didn’t experience much of it in my demo, I was also pleased to hear that Freedom Planet has a deep and multifaceted storyline. It’s also a good design choice that players who aren’t interested in that can skip the story altogether, though I’ll be playing it to get the full cinematic experience. I may have gone into the demo uncertain, but I came out of it very pleased with my time. While I foolishly missed out on playing Freedom Planet on my Wii U, I’ll certainly be remedying that when it release on Nintendo Switch in Fall 2018. XSEED and GalaxyTrail certainly seem to have a winner on their hands here, and I’m only glad they decided to port it to the Switch to give gamers sitting on the fence an opportunity to see what they’ve missed, not least of all since I want to play this portably. Definitely a must have if you’re a fan of Sonic, platformers or just retro in general.
E3 2018Fall 2018Freedom PlanetGalaxyTrailnintendo switchoprainfallXSEED Games