Ten Minute Taste: Trine (PSN)

At long last, Trine is available as a PSN download. But is it a quality port?

Released in July for the PC, Frozenbyte Interactive planned to launch the PSN version of the game later that month. As is plain, that plan didn’t pan out.

In September, Frozenbyte CEO Lauri Hyvarianen pegged the discovery of small bugs and a lengthy testing process as the culprits. In a more recent explanation, developer Joel said a of failed certification submissions to Sony because of the aforementioned small bugs play a role in delay as well.

Continually pushing dark download thoughts out of mind whenever my Steam client opened over the last few months, I stayed true to what I decided in July — to experience Trine on a console as opposed to a mouse and keyboard. But my own play was delayed further because something wild happened. I forgot it released on PSN as I plowed through three enormous ‘AAA’ releases that hit within the downloadable’s window.

I remembered it existed thanks to the most recent Giant Bombcast, which smacked my brain guts with a brief discussion of the game’s release. But the talk also carried a bit of a warning. There’s a mention that PSN version of the game could be buggy (Ed. note: this information came from others; it was only relayed to the audience). Remaining optimistic, I decided to download the puzzler last night. I had, after all, waited this long to play it.

So, does it have problems? The short answer is yes — thus far I’ve identified a few issues, but nothing of the crippling variety. To aid you in any future purchasing decision, I decided to grab the first ten minutes of action from the game, which you can watch in the header above.

And these are a representative ten minutes. You’ll notice the game chugs at the beginning. This is indicative of the full experience to some degree. The framerate dips, skids, and jerks at random before sliding back into smoothness, regardless of action or intensity. It’s an odd, nagging thing.

The hit detection is suspect as well. The first boss, for example, is hard to hit despite its gargantuan size. The knight’s sword moves through the baddie’s bones as if they didn’t exist on-screen. The blocking mechanic in this section is frustrating as well, as the sword can just pass through the defense. But even normal fare can be a challenge to maim as certain attacks don’t register at appropriate times.

Also, it would have been nice if the wizard’s cursor move just a bit more quickly.

Of course, this is still Trine — that imaginative and vivid physics-based puzzle game we reviewed moons ago. I still haven’t played the entirety of the game, so take this baby-analysis as you want to. I’ll continue to play and will update if I notice anything spectacular in terms of general bugginess. Until then, what do you guys think about this release?

[Update: Just to be clear, as we’ve been shown recently, Frozenbyte believes there’s a connection between slow-down and external peripherals. The developer plans to address this.]

Brad BradNicholson