At a time when certain modern gaming trends dominate, and old-school values are in short supply, along comes this charming French 2D platformer.
is pretty much the perfect blend of old-school ideas and modern ones in a single game. There's practically no plot, and I had no idea what was going on with some of the (very brief and rare) cutscenes due to the lack of exposition. And you know what? I really don't care. It's refreshing to finally have so little story getting in the way.
After a brief cartoony intro that explains nothing, you hop into the game and immediately get accustomed to the basic controls - run, jump, attack. That's it. It's like playing Super Mario
in that sense. You can fight, and the combat has depth to it in the form of multi-hit combos, charged up attacks, running spin attacks, upwards attacks and slamming the ground from above. These are fun but also unnecessary, since enemies die in one hit.
The platforming is very frantic, much like the Donkey Kong Country
games. You move at a fast clip, and the levels often have moments where you have to keep moving quickly. The levels are all straight-up linear, but with hidden alcoves to search for to find items and hidden cages which contain smiley face-like creatures to rescue. What's more, the "lums" you're collecting are often arranged in ways that require tricky platforming skills to get to them, adding an additional optional challenge.
The collect-a-thon element is totally optional and the game can be won without it. But indulging the collection elements is rewarding and fun. The material rewards are mostly additional outfits for your character, but you can also earn extra-challenging levels. Other modern gameplay elements include drop-in/drop-out multiplayer, infinite lives, and the ability to revive dead players in multiplayer.
The game has a very satisfying difficulty, especially for collectors, and a satisfying length, which is double its initial appearance.
I also have to praise the graphics. Characters look like hand-drawn cartoons, and backgrounds look painted. It looks fantastic in motion, and much like what we all thought video games would look like one day back in the NES days. Some bosses look more like Flash animation, but that can be forgiven.
Ultimately, a great old-school game. Pretty cheap too.