Haha I remember playing this bad boy on Commodore 64 when I was barely out of nappies. Might have to pick this one up
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams combines satisfying gameplay with dazzling environments to create a worthy platformer.
- Beautiful, shifting environments
- Gameplay shines in conjunction with level design
- Varied modes offer fun, different ways to play
- Plenty of hidden treasures to unlock
- Boss battles test your skills fairly.
- Long loading times
- Enemy variation is limited
- No restart option on speed attack mode.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is a gorgeous, intelligent platformer. Beginning with a blatant Super Mario Bros. rip-off for the Commodore 64, the series was revitalized after last year's successful Kickstarter campaign by developer Black Forest Games. The result is an ambitious game with variable mechanics, visuals, and music, all hinging on a well-implemented duality system. Smart level design forces you to use all of your abilities and prepares you for encounters with the game's unforgiving bosses. Instead of pointing out obvious pathways around every obstacle, Giana Sisters constantly pushes you to learn from your mistakes. It's tough, but almost never unfair. It's fast-paced, but sprinkled with hidden treasures for the adventurous among you. And perhaps most interestingly, it trusts you to make the most out of a limited moveset.
The premise is a thin one that serves only to introduce your character. Two young sisters sit huddled together on a cramped bed. A portal opens within the darkness, snatching little Maria and tugging her into a dangerous dreamworld. Her sister, the bold and brave Giana, leaps into the vortex after her. What she discovers is a menacing world of platforms, pits, and spikes--and the looming crimson dragon that inhabits it.
You're immediately introduced to the aforementioned duality system, which must be used to navigate traps. At the press of a button, Giana can switch between cute and punk versions of herself. Cute Giana has access to a twirl maneuver, which slows your rate of descent and allows you to float between flying fish, spike bunches, and more. Punk Giana is equipped with a fiery dash, used offensively or as a means of boosting across gaps. This skill can be used only once per jump, though it recharges if an enemy is killed midflight.
In one of Giana Sisters' more brilliant design choices, a shift in personas signals a shift not only in available skills, but also in level layout, art direction, and musical tone. Punk Giana blasts aggressively through a gorgeous world of sunshine and lush, green trees. Mushrooms stand healthy and orange. Most enemies appear to be funny, rotund marching birds. Switching to cute Giana turns the world into a chalky, scarlet hell. The vegetation withers and dies. The tree branch you stand on becomes a dry, yellow backbone. Innocent birds become winged demons. The music switches from an upbeat, bouncy tone to a heavier, more metallic version of itself. Platforms that were once translucent phase into existence while others disappear. Gems that weren't obtainable in another form become corporeal. You change the world at the press of a button, and the transformation is always both beautiful and functional.
The game's beauty can occasionally act as a double-edged sword, however. Because the environments are exploding with color, some of the more vibrant traps--spiked vines, for example--blend in too well with the background. You may die numerous times as you simply stroll along, unaware that death waits at the next step. Some of the jumping fish are also difficult to see as they rest atop the water, especially when persona shifting alters the color of the puddles. Prepare to receive several surprise nips on the rear. These problems won't be constant, but they can be frustrating when they spring up just moments before a new checkpoint.
After finishing this game, you're not going to talk to others about which version of Giana you used most. The levels and enemies demand that you switch between both, sometimes at a dizzying pace. Imagine jumping off an enemy's head, rocket blasting high into the air as Punk Giana, and then twirling along a path of collectible orbs as Cute Giana, all the while shifting to deactivate spike blocks and stalactite barriers. Red and white ghosts pursue you in later levels depending on whether you're cute or punk. Dodging their assaults while scaling vertical tree mazes becomes an exercise in dexterity. The game keeps your finger glued to the trigger, eager to tap your way to safety in a fraction of a second. The pain of these trials is lessened by the fact that Giana Sisters is very generous in doling out checkpoints. As a result, the challenge of the game takes the form of tight, successive sprints rather than a grueling marathon.
To up the stakes, each level has several supersized gems hidden in hard-to-reach locations. As you navigate your way through the worlds, you notice divergent paths, though some of them aren't quite so obvious. Following these all the way to their rewards often requires more precision than avoiding the traps along the main path. Many ask you to jump off the heads of multiple flying enemies without falling to your death, or to navigate moving platforms while dodging enemies or outrunning swift walls of fire. The hidden gems unlock concept art, which you probably won't care about, but they're also usually surrounded by a hearty stockpile of gems, which you definitely should care about.
I have it on pc. At first I just thought i will give it a shot and see if its any good, remembering the original. But in did it is really good :)
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It's a good game from what I tried in the demo, very tough game with a challenge that will have you screaming in rage at times. I liked the music as well.
I might buy it once I've got the MS points for it, maybe.
Game is good, but Soundtrack is horrible..
it's probably the worst soundtrack I've ever heard on video games.
is this gonna be available to download from the wii-u store then. kinda torn between getting it on xbox 360 but might prefer to play it on the wii-u controler.
i had the original game for the commodore 64 and the hacked version for the commodore 64 that replaced the sister sprite with mario.
Nice to see this kickstarter game got a good review. I remember watching their video and thinking, 'that might be interesting once they get it completed'. I might look into picking it up.
The artstyle reminds me a bit of Trine, which certainly isn't a bad thing.
Guess I should get it, I still can remember playing the original on the Amiga 500 so well :)
Got this on Steam a few months ago. Pretty solid game. I can't get into myself though, and I think the only reason why is that I own a 3DS and a Wii U, along with all the Mario games. This game isn't as good as any of them. I would say, if you have the Nintendo systems, skip it, otherwise, it's definitely worth a pickup.
Great game, got it on Steam last year :), don't recall slow load times but would say it's one of the best platformers out there aesthetically & mechanically.
Fun fact, the original on the snes was a Mario clone ;)
I played this title at its release on Steam and totally loved it. It's fantastic and a good challenge. Gameplay is satisfying and the art style and music are simply gorgeous. Worth every penny you spend.