It’s impossible to talk about GalaxyTrail’s Freedom Planet without mentioning Sonic The Hedgehog. For one the indie title was borne from a Sonic fangame but beyond that it just reeks of the Genesis’ most famous platformers extending from the blue blur like Gunstar Heroes and Ristar. It feels like a Genesis platformer with the power of a Neo Geo behind it…
…and my god is it ever glorious. You choose between three distinct Sonic-esque furries. One is super fast, one can fly a ways, and one is more suited to close combat. Sound familiar? Well, I’ve always said the line between homage and ripoff is drawn with love, and this is definitely a more than a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The only real distinction between the 16-bit Sonic games and Freedom Planet in terms of gameplay are combat the health system. You still collect rings (or in this case, crystals) but your health is a separate meter. Every character also comes with a series of attacks they can perform instead of jumping on enemies or taking damage from simply touching them. This very much reflects Gunstar Heroes as opposed to Sonic. There’s also a lot of grabbing rungs and ricocheting off walls a la Ristar, but that takes somewhat of a backseat to the other features lifted from Sega.
The graphics are as I said like a supercharged Genesis or Neo Geo in that they are just bursting with color, animation, parallax scrolling, you name it – it’s all there. In the sound department we have a nice mix of guitar licks and synthy chip music, which again makes me think Gunstar. Probably the most comfortable thing about the game is the control which uses a three-button style as you’d imagine. One for attacks, one for jumps, and one for special moves of which each of the three characters has at least one. The game recognized every gamepad I had including the Saturn controller I modded myself for USB, which means it can feel really legit.
Still not convinced? Check out our gameplay video to see for yourself: