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Freedom Planet

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, WiiU
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: XSEED Games
Developer: GalaxyTrail
Release Date: Aug. 30, 2018

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Switch Preview - 'Freedom Planet'

by Redmond Carolipio on July 30, 2018 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

Freedom Planet is a fast-paced combat-driven platform adventure that pits a spunky dragon girl and her friends against hostile foreign powers and alien attack forces.

If you're of a certain age and take a passing glance at Freedom Planet, you run the risk of being mentally transported to the 16-bit golden era of the Sega Genesis. Even as I write this, I'm already hearing in my head the sound of Sonic the Hedgehog rings being gathered. It seems appropriate, since Freedom Planet carries many elements of the Sonic games, such as the sense of speed, whirring feet and even the general aesthetic of the Sonic series at the height of its powers.

That's because Freedom Planet, which was originally released a few years ago and is coming to the Nintendo Switch in the fall, originally started out as a sort of independent Sonic homage before being transformed into the wholesome, frenetic and colorful experience it is now. Yes, you can definitely see the Sonic influences here, but they feel more like faint echoes instead of the streaming lifeblood of the game.


Part of that is due to the cabal of rich characters. The heroes of Freedom Planet are Lilac, a dragon girl; the cat-like Carol; and Milla, a ridiculously cute hound-like girl with big, floppity ears. There's a definite anime style to each of these characters and the game as a whole, but what stood out to me was how the game experience really seemed to bend toward showcasing the diverse abilities of the playable characters. While Sonic and his pixelated brethren also had a variety of skills, those dealt more with traversal and maneuverability around the environment. The Freedom Planet crew carries a full package of creative fighting capabilities.  Lilac whips enemies with her hair and also has the ability to spin like a tornado, while Carol is the hand-to-hand fighter who also has the fantastic ability to conjure up a motorcycle that can climb walls.

Another thing that stood out about what I saw from Freedom Planet is the beauty and creativity of its levels. In this day and age of gaming, it might seem odd to laud the visuals of something that looks 16-bit, but the jungle level I saw was lush with color and movement, complementing some of innovative platforming elements, such as standstill platforms that can only move when Lilac spins on them. The levels also seem to move at different speeds — you can literally zoom through parts of them Sonic-style, while other areas demand a more analytical approach. Another fun aspect of the game that Switch players can look forward to are boss battles. I'm a sucker for a good boss battle, and Freedom Planet looks to have more than a few of them, each with interesting dynamics — some you stand and fight, others require you to run with or away from them in what amounts to a dramatic chase battle.


Freedom Planet has two play modes. One is adventure mode, which features storytelling and cut scenes that change depending on which character you select. Then there's classic mode, which lets you play through the levels in order. Whatever mode you pick, you'll be exposed to yet another promising facet of the experience: the music. The original score for the stages and the boss battles ranges from fun, bouncy electronica to more serious, moody action stuff. Other stuff I heard was actually relaxing.

Freedom Planet's brand of action will be coming to the Switch this fall.



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