Autumnal Waterfall 35 – Dust: An Elysian Tail

Dust: An Awesome Game.

Super serious. As an example of the Metroidvania style games, Dust is really good. It’s cool, crisp, clear and refreshing. Combat is pretty much a two button system for attacking. As I am using the keyboard and mouse, my 2 keys are the left mouse button and the right mouse button. You perform slick combos with a combination of the 2 keys, get some new moves as the game progresses and kick lots of ass.

Get in on Steam

Tail, get it? Tale, tail? Eh? Eh?

For a sidescrolling beat them up with exploration, this game pretty much does everything well. The controls are smooth, the enemies are varied and combat feels really impactful. The game is gorgeous looking as well, kinda on the Odin Sphere level of looks.

You play as Dust, an amnesiac.

Seen here running among the deer.

He’s (the guy in the large hat) basically a wanderer, trying to figure out who he is. And just look at that screenshot. The game looks even better in motion with some really good animations. Vines dangling in the background even react to the force of your attacks.

Also joining you are Ahrah, your magical talking sword

Rise from your grave!

And Fidget, your annoying/helpful sidekick bat/weasel thing.

She’s adorable.

As far as it goes, I don’t think Fidget every become too annoying, and the interaction between her and Dust is pretty amusing overall. Ahrah, the sword, takes on more of a mysterious guardian type role, occasionally giving out some advice here and there. Together, they set off to find out about Dust, the mysterious guy that caused Ahrah to awaken in the first place. And kick lots of furry, furry butt.

Mash ze buttonz!

Okay, technically, the enemies don’t have fur as they’re mostly non mammals of some sort.

But the combat feels satisfiying. Every swing connected with a nice sound effect and some sparks of clashing. Basically, you make combos between Attack1 and Attack2 buttons. The easiest combo is just Attack1 x 4. Attack1 followed by Attack2 will launch enemies into the air for air juggling!

Eat sword, lizard!

Enemies get bounced around by your attacks and can get juggled around in a fun manner. Doing combos and avoiding getting hit will reward you with bonus exp. Enemies will drop items and gold too.

There are a few character type elements in this game, such as crafting, levelling up and equipment. Money is basically used to buy equipment, healing items or crafting materials. There are several sidequests too that you may choose to undertake for rewards.

Level up screen.

So far, for levelling up, I’ve been taking health a lot. On my difficulty level, any save point will restore up to half my health. They’re the only source of free healing as far as I know. Oh, and there are save points, no quitting any time you want.

Level design is pretty good, as well as overall awesome to look at. There was this one place that had giant broken down statues. In the background, I saw an unbroken statue, and that was amazing. Levels also have you going in all four directions, left, right, up and down.

Now, combat does have a bit more to it than just normal attacks. Fidget isn’t just good for flying around near you. She also shoots out rather weak magic. But combine that with your Attack2 skill and watch out. The screen will be covered in magic!

Spin 2 Win.

The wavy effects ripple outwards, letting you feel the power.

Lastly, you also have a parry, in which you attack at the same moment as an opponent and stun them. I am pretty bad at this so I don’t try for it too much, but it’s really powerful if done well as stunned enemies take a lot of damage.

Ever wonder about the smartness of eating a chicken found in a wall?

Character voices are generally done well, I think. Some are better than others, but all of the main characters seem to fit in nicely. Interactions are told similar to visual novels, with characters images on the left and right side. In this game, the character images actually move, and there are a bunch of poses. When speaking to NPCs, the direction you’re facing even determines image position on the screen.

And yes, every character in this game is an anthromorph, usually of animals. Nothing wrong with that at all. The lush, vivid world really works with the more colorful pallette that animals allow.

Now, to show off my awesome skills to two scared rabbits and beat back the invading monsters.

You’re one big guy.

Parrying really helps here.

Well, after making it to the first town, the plot starts kicking into gear. You find out that there’s a lot of trouble going on and some dude is causing it. The amnesiac hero starts finding out about his past. Not that original, but all the same, interesting enough to follow up on. And with such a beautiful world, I kinda want to just see more of it.

Well, I’ll be doing that on my own. Get this game if you have any like of metroidvania beat’em’ups at all.

Chapter 1: Start

Get it on Steam.

Everything rides on tonight.

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