Freedom Planet Is the Best Sonic Game Since the Sega Genesis

Freedom Planet

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 fan-game. Even beyond that, however, it reeks of the Genesis’ most famous platformers, including the aforementioned Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as games 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.

In Freedom Planet, you choose between three distinctly Sonic-esque furries. One is super fast, one can fly a little bit, and one is better suited at close combat.

The line between homage and ripoff is drawn with love, and this is definitely a more than a heart-shaped box of chocolates with Sonic’s name on it. 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 is closer to Gunstar Heroes than Sonic in that regard. There’s also a lot of grabbing rungs and ricocheting off walls a la Ristar, but that takes a backseat to the other features lifted from the Blue Blur’s repertoire.

Freedom Planet

Earlier I mentioned that this feels like it has the power of the Neo Geo behind it, and what I mean is that the visuals are bursting with color, the sprite animations are high-quality, and the parallax scrolling would have crushed a Sega Genesis.

The soundtrack is a nice mix of guitar licks and synthy chip music, which reminds me again of Gunstar Heroes.

The controls make use of a three-button style, which would have been right at home on a Genesis. There’s one button for attacks, one for jumps, and one for special moves (each of the three characters has at least one special). This game, which I played on a PC, recognized every gamepad I tried, including the modded USB Saturn controller I have. That allows Freedom Planet to feel totally legit if you prefer the old controllers.

I’m having a grand time with this faux retro gem, and more people should be playing it. It’s very well-priced on GOG.com and Steam, and it’s worth every penny.

Still not convinced? Check out our gameplay video to see it in action:

Stay classic!

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Matt
Matt
5 years ago

I hope it comes to consoles. I’d like to play it on PS4/Vita.

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