Jan 252012
 

“And so we have prototypes of the character walking and running, and we try the prototype, and if you feel good just walking in the game, and running in the game, then you know that’s a go sign for you to move forward.” – Toshihiro Kondo, President of Falcom, in an interview with Gamasutra

Dustforce is a game where it feels good just walking and running. Then you throw in air jumps, sliding down slopes for bursts of speed, samurai-style ultimate attacks, and running upside down on ceilings and it feels amazing.

Dustforce is a platformer with dozens of beautiful levels. There’s no story that I can see other than “The world’s a mess and as a super-powered janitor, it’s your job to clean it up!” The music is incredible (reminiscent of the water stages in the original Donkey Kong Country games) and just the thing to calm the player after they’ve messed up on a hard spot yet again. The character animations of the four playable characters (each of which has slightly different attributes) is fluid and enjoyable.

Dustforce is a score attack game. Merely reaching the ending of a level doesn’t accomplish much. To gain the keys necessary to unlock additional laters in the game requires a SS rank in each level. This is gained by cleaning everything that needs to be cleaned and maintaining the combo counter (it resets to zero if you take too long between cleaning or attacking something). Beyond gaining SS ranks, the game also features online leaderboards for each level where your completion time is taken into account as well.

Dustforce isn’t a hugely varied game. There are no boss fights and level gimmicks are rare. It’s a focused game and too much variety would ruin that focus.

Dustforce is the time trials of Mirror’s Edge turned into a 2D game.

Dustforce is a solid contender for Best Platformer of 2012 and it’s only January.

Dustforce is glorious.

Dustforce is available on Steam for a mere $10.

 Posted by at 4:19 pm

  5 Responses to “Dustforce Review”

  1. I got this game a couple of days ago, and the controls are a huge problem for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge SMB fan (100% in light world, about 70% in dark world), so I’m no stranger to hard platformers, but just like rekenner mentioned, the controls are an issue. I feel like part of it is that Hitbox could have worked more on the controls and playtested with more people to find out if the controls felt right, but the other part is that in a world where you can slide on any surface, having claustrophobic levels is a bad idea. Often times my character would go where I didn’t want him to go, and I’d have to wait for him to slide down, because jumping would only make the matters worse. There were times when I know I’ve hit the right arrow only to have my character still be facing left and do a powerful attack resulting in a combo reset. These things aren’t game breaking, sure, but when I quit the game feeling that I got screwed over by the game yet again, it doesn’t make me jump up and down at the idea of coming back to it. At this point, I know that I’ll either get used to these quirks and play through the game all the way, or I’ll quit. I don’t think that’s something that any developer wants their player to feel.

  2. will this game be available on xbox live?

  3. Probably you already saw it, but just in case: Game Trailers put Penny Arcade Episode 3 in the video “The Best Under the Radar Games of 2012”.

  4. It’s Lu-Tze! The sweeper.

  5. I suppose I should play the game again, but last time I tried it (Maybe… 4 months ago?) the controls felt LOOSE. Super loose. This game feels like it wants for Super Meat Boy precision, but the controls don’t follow through.
    I’m not sure if there’s a demo of the actual finished product. Hrm.
    I’d buy the game, if I knew the controls were better in this version.
    Oh well.
    Instance $LARGE of no demo = no sale.

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