Indie Games, where the heart and soul is!

Dust: An Elysian Tail Review (XBLA)

As Dust, equipped with the Blade of Ahrah, and Fidget (a nimbat) by your side, you set forth on a quest to learn about who you are. That’s as far as I can tell you in the story.  I can tell you, the story is very in depth and could possibly start some sort of fad and start a TV show of some sort (I swer I heard something about a movie).  But I would honestly like to just see it stay the way it is, a glorious video game.  There is so much going on in this title that will just have you wanting more when you finish.  I have finished the game, and you will feel rewarded when you finish it.

Dust: An Elysian Tail is a side scrolling action RPG filled with much to explore.  As much as I hate most things that have to do with RPGs, I found the mesh of action platforming and RPG mix just right.  It was easy to learn how to play the game, but difficult to master the controls, not many Action RPGs have that feeling.  In the matter of a few hours (yes hours, 20 of them to be exact… whole weekend) you’ll be hacking and slashing like a pro.  I can suggest for the people who are not familiar with hack and slash action platformers, to start out on the normal level.  You will feel most comfortable at this setting.

I found the gameplay most exciting, as with each ability I learned, I was able to take off the ground in no time.  I adored the characters, all furry, cute and snuggly.  There were few other characters that weren’t so cute.  Boss battles served a challenge, and hordes of enemies barreling towards me.  Right now as I am writing this, I have moved on from the normal difficulty and moved onto the hardcore difficulty (Yes I want that achievement).  The one thing that struck me the most interesting about this game is that the use of cameos.  All of the cameos are indie game characters from other indie studios.  I will name one, as it is my favorite……The Dishwasher.  You find a bunch of these other indie characters who are hidden throughout the game and you hang out with them in the sanctuary while 2 DJ Ducks mix some tunes…..I said too much.  I found the controls responsive, and easy to get use to.  Nothing much to complain about it.  The controls actually felt, polished.  I also would like to mention the game uses that rumble feature so intensely that it increases your viewing experience.

The beautiful character art work, and lush detail in scenery made this game more enjoyable with every level I encountered.  When I saw this game in the early stages, I was amazed at the talent.  Now a few years later, it is just a big eye-gasm.  The soundtrack and ambience within the game, were absolutely amazing.  From the deep caves, whispering forests, and raging storms.  I found my time spent with the game all much gratifying.  The voice acting was impeccable.  Every single character, professionally done.  Want to get more out of the sound?  Put on some good headphones and pick an evening to play.  I literally cried at a few points of the game.  I was in tears, for a few moments at a time.  Was it the voice acting?  Was it the soundtrack?  I think it was both.  Dust: AET got me so worked up, I actually had to go to my local park just to get it out.  I have probably cried at only like 3 games in my lifetime.  I honestly can’t remember which games they were, but Dust: AET is my fourth and I will never forget it.

My final conclusion………….I am not going to sit here and tell you not to get it.  This game deserves to be a retail game with the amount of time I put into it.  Altogether, Dust: AET gets a solid 4.9 out of 5.  Controls were spot on, the ability to catch my attention with a story so in-depth and my ability to cry again while playing a game. Dust: AET feels like a hardcore movie, with the ability to play.  Two things bothered me, but didn’t effect my entire thought on the game.  There was no ability to collect concept art, I wanted to see what the developer did before going forth on finalizing characters and such.  Lastly, if you plan on getting that Tough/Hardcore achievement, don’t start out on normal.  I found that your stats do not carry over to a new story.  I mean, it is pretty hard playing on tough right now.  So if you’re a completionist, start out on tough.  Dust: An Elysian Tail is set to release on Wednesday August 15th 2012 on the Xbox Live Arcade.  We will have 2 copies to give away to our readers that day.  It will most likely be using raffecopter.  Keep an eye out on VVGtv Twitter on Wednesday.

We have a special treat for you in this review.  Below and above the trailer is an interview with the villian General Gaius, voiced by River Kanoff.  Go listen to his Demo Reels now and listen to the interview.

Interview with River Kanoff (Beginning of audio is low on Rivers voice, increases about a minute in)


41 responses

  1. Really well executed action platform game! Looking forward to play it!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:33 am

  2. Prox

    @StarfighterProx here hoping to win a copy of the game!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

  3. @ilRadd – Thanks for the chance to win. Looks like a fantastic game.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

  4. Glad to see that you liked it. It looks like such a cool game!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

  5. Juan Sanchez

    Game looks amazing especially since it was done by 1 person!


    August 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

  6. Hoping to win this one (the game looks so good).

    August 14, 2012 at 9:54 am

  7. AntaraelDulacre

    The Gameplay and the graphics are looking awesome, this looks like the best of the bunch in the SoA Games =)


    August 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

  8. Really looking forward to playing (and possibly winning) this game! Thanks for the contest! @eugaet_aux

    August 14, 2012 at 10:06 am

  9. This games seems too fun to miss! Thanks for the review!


    August 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

  10. This game is looking to be the best SoA game yet!

    August 14, 2012 at 10:54 am

  11. Very nice review. This game really looks beautiful and well made. Thanks for the giveaway, I would love to win this !

    August 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

  12. Anonymous

    Thanks for the chance!

    August 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

  13. Ale Z.

    Thanks for the chance!

    August 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

  14. Thanks for the chance to win 🙂
    Twitter: @DomPaolo

    August 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

  15. Really Enjoyed the Review. Keep it up. Great insight into the game and well written.

    August 14, 2012 at 11:19 am

  16. It sounds really good and looks to be the best of the SoA bunch this year.


    August 14, 2012 at 11:30 am

  17. Elizabeth

    Looks very fun, thanks for the chance to win it! @kujen92

    August 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm

  18. Thank you for the contest!

    August 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

  19. Thanks for the review!

    August 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

  20. @rogXue Thanks for the chance!

    August 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

  21. This game looks brilliant! 🙂 @keklar

    August 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

  22. starkeee

    Looks beautiful! @starkeee

    August 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm

  23. Thanks for the chance!


    August 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

  24. Anonymous

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    August 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm

  25. Eliza Lipinski Garnier (@elle180)

    Such a beautiful game that is so enthralling! I had no idea it had Indie Game Character cameos as well. If it made a grown man cry I guess I am going to be in tears tomorrow 🙂


    August 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

  26. Mikey

    This game looks awesome!

    August 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

  27. The lokks really beautiful and amazing, I love the metroidvania style.


    August 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm

  28. The gameplay and the art in the game looks fantastic, can’t wait to try this game.

    August 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    • Whoops forgot – @qwikciphers , thanks for the contest!

      August 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

  29. Gram

    Twitter: @Gram_Cracker

    Hope to win this instead of the same 5-page trade list, “already have 3 copies but I’ll still enter every giveaway for it lol” type people I always see entering these contests. They should be blacklisted from everything ever.
    Thanks for the chance.

    August 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

  30. Evilteddy03

    Thanks for the contest. Hope i win this game. Deadlight and Dust: An Elysian Tail are the only games i was really interested in playing


    August 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

  31. Anonymous

    this game looks so good. thanks for the contest and i hope to win

    August 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

  32. chris

    this game looks really good. thanks for the contest and i hope i win

    August 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm

  33. I thought this games was going to be god but it seems it’s even better.


    August 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm

  34. JD B.

    Thanks for the chance!! Really hoping to play this one.

    August 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm

  35. fanweihua

    Looks awesome!

    August 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm

  36. Hoping I can win this contest!


    August 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm

  37. Good Review. The game looks so amazing and is one of my most anticipated games since I found out about it since last year. I can’t wait to play it and see how amazing it is also maybe later on Dust AET would get a patch to add an extras section with music/concept artwork we can listen and look at how amazing it looks … maybe in the future I hope. 🙂


    August 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm

  38. DrewciferX

    Looks wicked awesome! @DrewciferX

    August 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm

  39. Very excited for this one. Best looking game of the Summer of Arcade, been waiting years to see how it turns out.

    @wiswell on Twitter

    August 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

  40. Richard TRICKY Hudspeth

    Would love to win a copy of dust!! pleaseeee

    August 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm

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