Hey there Sean. I just finished going through the first world of Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (Which I’ll call New Giana Sisters PC because that’s what it essentially is) and I’ve been loving almost everything about it so far. The amount of ambition in this game is unheard of. Most of the awesomeness can be already seen between the seamless transition of the dark and light environments along with the track change that accompanies them. However, the most radical one is how much they deviated from the Super Mario Brothers formula they copied and instead took some of the best stuff from both the SMB (spin jump floating) and Sonic the Hedgehog games (lock on jump attacks) and meshed them to fit the context of the game’s content.
The only issue I have with the game is that each successive level gets longer and more difficult REALLY fast. Heck, I have told my friends who played this game that New Giana Sisters PC’s level design looked the developers hired someone who worked on the R-Type games because the amount of thought put into where the checkpoints and shield powerups are located because YOU ARE GOING TO DIE A LOT BETWEEN THESE TWO POINTS IN THE LEVEL could only come from someone with that kind of background, and they absolutely agreed with me. I know one reviewer on GoG already complained about this, and I can see why: I spent nearly 40 minutes on the last level of the first world, and the stuff the developers were throwing at me were giving me throwbacks to the dam stage (pun intended) in the NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (you will be swimming in really tight corridors with spikes that almost resemble the electrical coral reefs found in TMNT) game as well as the descent corridors and snake stages in Battletoads (yes, there are parts where you end up having to follow the path of a moving platform that deliberately moves right through clusters of spikes suspended by a cave wall in the background). And once you start a level, while you have infinite lives, the game will not keep track of your progress within a level if you need to quit the game for whatever reason at this point in time. Did I mention that after being thoroughly shaken by those challenges the developers threw at you in this level you have to fight your first BOSS at the end of it?
Needless to say, that was the most number of deaths I’ve ever had so far in a single level for this game, and it completely drained me after finishing it. And while it does sound like these design decisions are ruining the experience for me, they’re not. In fact, it makes me like the game a lot more because it shows that the developers were able to put in so much love and care into this game, and they didn’t even have six months to develop this game (unless they were secretly developing this game before the Kickstarter project was announced in July) nor did they have a huge budget, yet this game oozes with so much polish. When this is placed side-by-side with a modern 2D Mario platformer, I can see why you’re so frustrated with the way Nintendo is treating their flagship series because they have both the time and money to produce something as good as this game.
More 2d platformers are always a good thing. Tell me how the game ends up in later levels.