ďOr I knew I would love it after I saw the the first trailerĒ
Steam , PC
Some of you might have caught me ranting about its amazing soundtrack on twitter, seriously go and have a listen, you wonít be disappointed
Hitboxteam, where have you been my whole life? After completing Super Meat Boy almost obsessively while enjoying it throughout I thought to myself that few games would match that delicate balance between being tough-as-nails but also super rewarding as you progressed, giving you that addictive incentive to keep on trying like the one Super Meat boy pretty much nailed (fuck you I want to be the guy stage). Well I was wrong. Presenting Dustforce, in which your task is to sweep one of 4 distinct and environments (forest,city,castle,laboratorium) clean from all of that icky dust(or leaves / goo depending on your location). This is however more tricky than it seems as the filth (as always) manages to get to the most hard to reach places (for example the freaking rampart of a castle) and itís you job as one of four unique and beautifully animated and highly acrobatic cleaners to make it go away.
To achieve this wonderful dust-butt-kicking you have to maneuver increasingly bizarre and difficult 2D-levels as you do with your arrow-keys. Z makes your character jump and X, C is for your light and heavy attacks and CTR makes your character do a horizontal or vertical dash (or just use your own custom controls). As you dust your way through levels you will find filth infested objects (the leaf covered bear is adorable!) that you have to dispatch and when enough ass whopping and dusting has occurred your dust-meter will reach its peak and youíre allowed to perform a super attack (by pressing light and heavy attack at the same time) clearing a whole room worth of dust and any baddies unfortunate enough to be in the area, this dust-kicking is presented to you in stylish slow-motion fashion which never fails to satisfy. In the earlier levels this super-technique is mostly reserved for a stylish ending to the level but in harder levels knowing when and how to use your super attack becomes essential for seeing it the end of the level as killing enemies in mid air recharges your jump/dash ability, making those impossible jumps possible. The controls handle very fluently and once you get a hang of them and you start to you figure out the levels and how the developers intended you to move trough them itís pure bliss to try to beat that super-hard level or shave off seconds from your previous best-time.
While the level design remains top notch throughout the games levels I found myself at a sudden stop as the difficulty-level skyrocketed when I attempted the harder levels and unlocking new levels previously required me to beat a level with 100% of the dust removed and without losing my combo-meter that starts ticking down when you havenít been attacking or sweeping anything in a little while. This was a major problem. Thankfully this has been addressed in a recent update making so that if you improve on old completed or just make it through a harder one ( thank god for checkpoints) a meter fills up granting you a key if filled so that you can potentially unlock every level without being a ninja. Seriously, some of the later levels had me beat even before I reached the first checkpoint.
Thankfully the game shows leader-boards of the top players so if you ever find yourself stuck you can always look at the proís how they traverse the level, donít beat yourself up if you canít measure up though , the guys topping the charts are insane!
Lastly I wanted to write a little something about the presentation which is pretty damn good; the characters are all fluidly animated and varied (watching gramps as he uses his vacuum to glide on ceilings while spinning around never gets old). The palette of most levels isnít vibrant instead itís pretty brown and dark which kind of works seeing as your goal in the game is to clean up a filthy world, to nitpick the foreground could have been more distinguished as it can be hard to make out whatís a wall or whatís in the background at times. The soundtrack is nothing short of stellar and managed to capture my imagination like few soundtracks has done before it, like the game's presentation it focuses more on atmosphere and manages to excellently portrait say the desolation and sadness of a abandoned castle as the moon shines in. Yet it still packs some of that NES era catchiness with songs like (Cider time) cheering you on as you (hopefully) blaze trough the levels , the first time I saw the teaser trailer for the game with that song in it I knew that I would ejaculate all over this soundtrack. To make things even more insane he mentions that this is his first completed musical project, seriously give this guy some cred!
Enough masturbation letís wrap this up!
With the newly added level editor and a website for the community to share and rate player made levels (some stellar and super-imaginative ones have already been popping up!) and a patch fixing my only complaints about the game itís hard not to give Dustforce my highest regards, if you love challenging yourself and feeling like a ninja Dustforce will not disappoint.
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