‘NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits’ Hands-OnPosted on June 20th, 2009 No comments
“NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits” has been unleashed on the European WiIWare service, where you can purchase it for just 10 euros (1000 Nintendo points). As you may have seen, it’s a charmingly stylised platformer that at one point was thought to be the next “Kid Icarus”. You can’t get more praise than that, but it’s actually an independent effort by a small Spanish studio (don’t miss their video on the Nintendo Channel), ‘Over the Top Games‘.
While I haven’t exactly spent a lot of time with it just yet, I figured some first impressions may be useful for anyone too eager to wait for actual reviews. You can see the visuals for yourself, so I’ll restrict myself in saying they’re even better, and focus on the experience.
I’ve spent about 30 minutes with this game, passed the first few levels and the first boss encounter (mostly what’s been seen in the trailers) and I have to say that I’m very pleased with it, so far. I can’t fully recommend it just yet, since I don’t know how long it is (word is that the length is that of “Lost Winds”, and then some), but I really doubt you’ll regret parting with your precious cash to experience it. Simply put, it’s really good so far.
The controls are similar to “Lost Winds” but since your powers aren’t based on wind (you can still flap and glide thanks to your wings), you can manipulate more solid objects, blocks, switches, fireballs spewed from traps, and other interactive elements, again as seen in the trailers. The world is more interactive with physics-based objects, traps, collapsing structures and other hazards that may hinder your progress. Another major difference is that the game’s not using a seamless, continuous world, but instead you pass levels in a linear manner, though many do include a little backtracking thanks to clever challenges.
The levels seem to provide a decent challenge and require making the most of the available manipulation abilities, as well as your platforming skills, to get through them – especially if you try to get certain bonus objects (I’m not sure if they unlock anything or are there just for show). Since, unlike “Lost Winds”, your divine abilities are separated from the actual character skills, you can also play it in a co-op manner, as one player controls the character with the nunchuck and a second player uses the remote’s pointer to manipulate the environment and aid the first. Timing may be tough to get right, but it’s fun.
As for the storyline, just don’t expect to actually learn anything about the “real” legend of Icarus, since it has been changed completely. It’s still charming and atmospheric, there are various real Ancient Greek quotes, yet it’s an all new tale. It’s all told in text and while it would have been nice to have actual voiced dialogue, with booming voices for the Gods speaking to you, it works well enough thanks to charming visuals, audio cues and music.
In short, so far so good. If you do take the plunge, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I am.
Update: I have now finished the bulk of this adventure. It took three hours and seven minutes according to the in-game counter. My initial positive impressions remained throughout the duration of the game, and there are a few more hidden goodies to find, which apparently unlock an extra level and further boost the title’s length. I personally feel the developers could have done a little more with the storyline, especially since all it would take is some more text and static images, but the gameplay side did peak appropriately.
All in all, this is a satisfying and unique adventure that takes advantage of the platform’s strengths and doesn’t betray its low budget independent development roots. The purchase is almost a no brainer for any fan of the genre and of course the Wii.