LTTP or ‘late to the party’ pieces are opportunities for me to catch up and write about games I missed out on the first time around. They may contain spoilers.
I will remember Dust: An Elysian Tail for its development origins. It isn’t a game of poor quality — in fact, it is an incredible feat by one man. It just rang a bit hollow for me.
I had no issues with the art style. Certain aspects were given more care than others (the giant talking heads were a little iffy) but the backgrounds and assets outside of the story sequences were top notch efforts.
My issue with Dust was that him and his sidekick Fidget were overpowered beings. Dust had a very brief moment of weakness in the beginning but it was so easy to overcome with the flurries of sword and elemental attacks. By the half way point of this journey, Dust was essentially impervious to attacks. I was crafting items that would negate the effects of poisons and burnings. Enemies were falling by the wayside within a slash or two. I felt like a god and I didn’t enjoy it.
Because of the issues with immortality, I couldn’t play Dust for more than an hour. I enjoyed the exploration and hunt for secrets but it did wear out its welcome quickly.
“Why was Gaius killing all the Moonbloods?”
That’s the burning question that I was hoping to have answered by the end. Unfortunately I never found a satisfactory answer. The game speaks of genocide but it doesn’t really go anywhere with it. The motivation to stop the mad man wasn’t foreign to me and neither was the notion of self sacrifice.
I guess I will remember this game for Fidget as well. She was an amusing sprite that complimented the blandness of Dust well. She was the comic relief and the mirror which emotional moments bounced off of. Thankfully her voice actress had the chops to pull it all off as well.
I would also like to highlight the fact that the game wasn’t as smooth as it could be. There was noticeable of judder in spots despite my machine being more than capable to run this game. FRAPS would never waver from 60 FPS, but when the action stopped and Dust was just walking through an empty level, I noticed the annoying judder. Maybe it wouldn’t have been such a noticeable issue if I was able to run and not walk through it all but unfortunately that was not the case.
I would have absolutely loved Dust: An Elysian Tail in my younger years. It reminded me of the 16-bit action adventure titles that I played on my SNES; everything about it was easy to digest and play. Unfortunately for me, it was a bit too easy for the me of today.
Worth a Try
For more information on Dust: An Elysian Tail, visit the official website.
2010 PC Rev. 1.3 was used to play Dust: An Elysian Tail.