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    Freedom Planet 2 Review – Could Be Better, Faster, Stronger

    Join Lilac on yet another fast-paced, action-packed adventure to save the planet again!

    Freedom Planet 2 is finally rushing onto consoles! This long-awaited sequel to the acclaimed Freedom Planet is no longer exclusively on PC. Join Lilac and her friends once more on an action-packed, high-speed adventure! Read our Freedom Planet 2 Review to get an in-depth look at what does and doesn’t work in the game’s favor!

    The first Freedom Planet did initially start as a Sonic the Hedgehog fangame, so I believe that it’s impossible not to draw comparisons between the two. There is DNA of other franchises within the Freedom Planet duology, as well. This isn’t a surprise because many indie games take HEAVY inspiration from classic games and still manage to create enjoyable experiences. So, the real question is: does Freedom Planet 2 stand on its own?

    Fleeting Frivolities

    This game is absolutely gorgeous. Sprites are well-animated and have tons of personality. Backgrounds are beautifully rendered while being rife with detail. As far as pixel art games go, especially on the indie scene, Freedom Planet 2 does a stellar job at standing out. This is only exemplified by the East Asian aesthetic. Even beyond the eye candy, there are aspects of the game to love. Like that boppin’ music! I think the soundtrack is very strong. 

    Before I talk in-depth about the game’s mechanics, I must say that they are solid and well-implemented. You’re getting a solid platform game that has replay value. Multiple difficulty options and playable characters ensure that all play styles and skill levels are accounted for! Plus there are items in the main game that can help you out or boost your characters.

     

    I do want to say (in order to address certain statements of mine) that Freedom Planet 2 has aspects that lend it a more unique identity other than ‘sonic clone’. The bosses and abilities come to mind. Bosses share little to no design ethos with Sonic game bosses. This also bleeds into the combat. Not to mention, the level design feels a little closer to that of other platformers in some sections. I got a ton of Megaman and Metroidvania vibes, especially with the puzzles or level progression. I do find that this adds texture and some replay value to the game. In short, this game is most certainly more than a ‘Sonic Clone’ as it takes cues from plenty of other franchises. Overall, the game reminds me of an IntiCreates project. Just without anything that I find particularly cool…

    Harsh Stop-and-Gos

    Freedom Planet 2 minigame
    Here’s a fun minigame you can find! Enjoy this pleasantry before the lashing initiates.

    While I do feel that the game’s combat and game feel allow for a unique identity compared to Sonic, I also feel that the simplicity of Sonic allows it to shine and feel better. Sonic’s jumping or dashing into enemies is integral to the pacing. With good timing, you can blitz through, and the game rewards your skill by allowing you to keep momentum. Freedom Planet 2 however requires you to mash an attack button. That results in some clunk and, worst of all, loss in speed. Yes, Freedom Planet 2 features power-ups and items that can improve the weak combat, but Sonic doesn’t NEED those. This discrepancy leads to Freedom Planet 2 not being as satisfying as the property that it holds in such dear reverence.

    The stages are a mixed bag for me. A lot of this has to do with readability. There are several points in many stages where I’m confused as to where I’m supposed to go. I suppose I’m only ever lost for what is a matter of seconds, but those really add up when a stage is usually only a few minutes long. This makes me feel frustrated for, at minimum, a quarter of some of the more poorly designed stages. The main stage elements that make me irritated are certain puzzle elements that send you on a wild goose chase and not always knowing if you have to go left or right. 

     Well, the underlying part that binds my prior complaints together stems from my opinion that Freedom Planet 2‘s physics DO NOT come CLOSE to feeling as TIGHT as Sonic games in their 2D heyday. This only exemplifies the bad feeling of combat and the sometimes terrible level design. The momentum and movement aren’t exactly bad, but they don’t feel as rewarding or satisfying as a Sonic game. My lower skill ceiling for this type of game probably multiplies this feeling. 

    Do you know what the cherry on top is? I’m not exactly a fan of the story. It has some edge and cute stuff that can be enjoyable in bursts. But good lord, it’s usually like nails on a chalkboard. It’s just a bunch of quirky characters going “memeaJLKmasYIOUOIY” and “meaALHmsmAFDASDddams”. Just a bunch of noise. It honestly went in one ear and out the other. I either don’t meet the demographic for this game’s plot and characters, or they are themselves flawed. It’s a little on the annoying side… Luckily, there is an adventure mode that removes these scenes. I recommend using this if you didn’t like the first game’s cutscenes either. 

    A Planet Freed Once More

    Freedom Planet 2 stage clear

    Freedom Planet 2 is a very high-effort game with great art and ideas, however, the execution of said ideas often causes the game to trip and fall flat on its face. The speed and combat can be thrilling independent of one another, but they don’t mesh well at all. This creates a disjointed feeling akin to shifting gears. This feeling is also recreated by the level design. Levels can joyfully breeze by or be filled with obstacles that kindle a feeling of annoyance. The game has a unique identity due to its blending of several different classic elements found in gaming greats but this “highlight reel” fails to capture the same charm, I fear. The story scenes act as an additional kick to the shins by being quite adept at ripping the player out of the action with irritating characters. Freedom Planet 2 is an alright, yet jumbled, copycat. The constant back and forth the disjointed creates is disappointing. If you happen to like the first game, then you’ll surely enjoy what this game has to offer.

    Disclaimer: XSEED provided Final Weapon with a PlayStation 5 copy of Freedom Planet 2 for review purposes. 

    SUMMARY

    Freedom Planet 2 is a very high-effort game with great art and ideas, however, the execution of said ideas often causes the game to trip and fall flat on its face. The speed and combat can be thrilling independent of one another, but they don't mesh well at all. This creates a disjointed feeling akin to shifting gears. This feeling is also recreated by the level design. Levels can joyfully breeze by or be filled with obstacles that kindle a feeling of annoyance. The game has a unique identity due to its blending of several different classic elements found in gaming greats but this "highlight reel" fails to capture the same charm, I fear. The story scenes act as an additional kick to the shins by being quite adept at ripping the player out of the action with irritating characters. Freedom Planet 2 is an alright, yet jumbled, copycat. The constant back and forth the disjointed creates is disappointing. If you happen to like the first game, then you'll surely enjoy what this game has to offer.
    Payne Grist
    Payne Grist
    Payne is a huge fan of JRPGs. SQUARE ENIX owns his heart, especially their 'FINAL FANTASY' series. He is currently studying various mediums of art and Japanese.

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    Freedom Planet 2 is a very high-effort game with great art and ideas, however, the execution of said ideas often causes the game to trip and fall flat on its face. The speed and combat can be thrilling independent of one another, but they don't mesh well at all. This creates a disjointed feeling akin to shifting gears. This feeling is also recreated by the level design. Levels can joyfully breeze by or be filled with obstacles that kindle a feeling of annoyance. The game has a unique identity due to its blending of several different classic elements found in gaming greats but this "highlight reel" fails to capture the same charm, I fear. The story scenes act as an additional kick to the shins by being quite adept at ripping the player out of the action with irritating characters. Freedom Planet 2 is an alright, yet jumbled, copycat. The constant back and forth the disjointed creates is disappointing. If you happen to like the first game, then you'll surely enjoy what this game has to offer.Freedom Planet 2 Review - Could Be Better, Faster, Stronger