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…..my 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)