Dust: An Elysian Tail

This weekend I finally bought a copy of Saints Row 4 and more or less killed every chance for doing anything productive for the last two days. Well, basically the same thing happened last weekend when Steam had Dust: An Elysian Tail for sale. The teaser video looked nice and the game certaintly did not disappoint!

The game is a really fun hybrid of action RPG and beat-em-up. You play as Dust, a mystical warrior, who has lost of all his memory and is woken up by a magical and talking sword accompanied by a flying cat called Fidget. Over the course of about 7-10 hours you learn more about all three and the fantasy world you’re living it as well as prevent a General-gone-mad to destroy an ancient species.

Winter levels in this game a probably the most beautiful since DKC. (Larger screenshot)

This story is explored in classic Metroidvania-style over 12 stages with only minimal twists, so the story isn’t really what makes this game amazing. The character leveling, combat and graphics are, though. First, let’s get the graphics out of the way: They are just gorgeous. For me, entering the snow level was like seeing Donkey Kong Country for the very first time back in 1994. Espeically in the winter level you also see some great weather effects where a snowstorm tries to stop your advance through the level.

Kind of linked together are the other two. The combat is extremely fluid. You have more or less 3 basic attacks (simply sword strike, whirl-wind and Fidget’s special power), but each of these are upgrade throughout the story and in the end I was probably using the weakest (Fidget’s power) the most simply because it allows to keep multiple targets occupied while you focus on one enemy at a time.

With each fallen enemy you get XP and over time you gain more health, more combat power or more defense. This is done by being able to progress one ability for one step after reaching a new level. The duration between these levels is long enough to make it interesting while not long enough to make it boring. Perfect balance here.

If you’re still not sure that this might be something for you, read this review on Giantbomb and just get it ;-)

P.S.: I have no idea why it is called “tail” and not “tale”. If you know, please tell me :-)

Over the years I've written quite a few reviews 🙂 You can find them at /reviews/.