More Reviews
REVIEWS Slender: The Arrival Review
Few games can offer genuine scares in the horror genre. Can Slender: The Arrival prove otherwise and it can offer more?

Pillars of Eternity Review
Obsidian Entertainment creates a retro Infinity Engine RPG funded by Kickstarter. Is it as good as previous Infinity Engine games, or does the novelty quickly wear off?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Dirty Bomb Preview
Looking for a more competitive, challenging online FPS multiplayer game? Splash Damage is introducing just that by dropping a Dirty Bomb on the free-to-play game market.

LATEST FEATURES 6 Helpful Tips for Pillars of Eternity
Simply put, Pillars of Eternity can become maddening if players aren't careful.

Top 10 Active Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns
There are lots of indie projects going on right now, so we did the dirty work for you and found the best.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
The perils of the Hype Train…
By shandog137
Posted on 03/09/15
The recent release of Evolve and The Order 1886 really got me to thinking about the disparity between the perspective of sales-driven publishers and the quality-driven purchases of consumers. The “Hype Train” is nothing new, but the way it is utilized has been creating far more...

Dust: An Elysian Tail Review

danielrbischoff By:
danielrbischoff
08/13/12
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action Platformer 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Microsoft Studios 
DEVELOPER Humble Hearts 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E10+ Contains Mild Language, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood

What do these ratings mean?

I don't know about you…


But Star Fox is about all the furry I can stand in my video games, and you don't even see those guys that much. They're all too busy in their spaceships, flying around, shooting stuff, and chasing after Ghost-Dad.

So you can imagine my reluctance to play through Dust: An Elysian Tail for the Xbox 360. Developed by Humble Hearts and scheduled last in this year's Summer of Arcade XBLA lineup, Dust never had a lot riding on it. Were our expectations sufficiently low or can Dust bat clean up?


Dust was originally planned for release on the 360's Indie Games Channel; however, following the Dream.Build.Play Challenge in 2009, Dust got a contract for full release on XBLA. Titular hero Dust is an amnesiac with a penchant for swinging a sword, and it just so happens that his sword is a talking weapon called Ahrah, complete with a little fairy-fox guardian named Fidget. *GROAN*

I decided it was in everyone's best interest that I skip through as much dialogue and story as possible, or else let Dust suffer a fate much worse than the amnesia he's already got: me bitching for 1000 words in this review.

While my interest in the title was all but killed within the first five minutes thanks to this intolerable premise, Dust's furious combat quickly did away with my apprehension. While you'll mostly mash the X button, the Y button can be thrown in for lifting enemies into the air, adding a little oomph to your combo or spinning your blade in a whirlwind.


Fidget can also be called upon for a projectile attack. Combining that magical ability with the whirlwind of your blade creates a tornado of damage, racking up the combo multiplier. Within an hour of gameplay I had achieved a 500-hit combo, just with these few early moves.

If you're having trouble visualizing, (check out the video above and) think back to Wii's Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Sticking to a 2D plane means enemies are easy to line up but difficult to maneuver around. It's easiest to slice and dice right through them.

While I might not find the story of Dust and his merry band of animal creatures very compelling, there's a lot to love here. Notably, the animations and environments are sharp, crisp, and fluid. I'm not in love with the character designs, but personal preference has gotten in between me and a lot of great things before too.


What's truly notable about Dust: An Elysian Tail is that the developer Humble Hearts is actually only one man. In this day and age, where a studio of dozens of individuals can fuck up a game that's already been made for them, it's unthinkable that Dean Dodrill created Dust from the ground up with his own two hands.

What's more, Dust is actually quite enjoyable, deep, and even pays homage to other XBLA greats in the form of easter eggs. Exploring every nook and cranny in the massive 2D world is its own reward.

Frankly, I wag my finger in Microsoft's direction for sitting on this title since 2009, for dumping it in the back corner of their horrid Summer of Arcade lineup this year, and for not offering Dean a contract as a lead on another game right away.

If you've got a penchant for 2D brawling, old-school side-scrolling, and an ability to overlook way too many furry characters, Dust: An Elysian Tail is well worth your time and your money. It's certainly the best game in this year's Summer of Arcade lineup.

Code provided by publisher.
Dust: An Elysian Tail
fullfullfullfullempty
  • Absolutely insufferable characters and story
  • Furiously arcade-y combat
  • Varied enemies to beat down
  • Hand-drawn environments and animations
  • Tons of quests and secrets to uncover in a huge world
Reviews by other members
No member reviews for the game.


Tags:   XBLA, xbox 360, xbox live
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Dust: An Elysian Tail
Also known as: Dust An Elysian Tail


More On GameRevolution