Gamers who grew up playing Sonic games and have been wanting the same type of experience found in the golden years of the 16-bit era will find their wish granted in Freedom Planet. The colorful backdrops, Eastern Asian influence, great voice acting, and the focus on lovable female characters all make it highly enjoyable. There are two modes offered to the player: the Adventure Mode (offering the storyline cutscenes in between the stages), and the Classic Mode (which omits all cutscenes). For those looking to simply play the game and who are impatient with semi-lengthy cutscenes, Classic Mode is the one to choose. However, since the main reason I play video games is to experience the story, I decided to play through the Adventure Mode instead.
The Wii U edition of Freedom Planet supports off TV play, and this feature is helpful for players who can’t use the television set or would rather play on a smaller screen. It would have been nice to have some sort of advantage or incentive for playing the game on the Wii U, but it would most likely defeat the purpose of trying to experience a Sonic-like game. The reason to play on the Wii U instead of on a computer could be the use of the Freedom Planet Miiverse page. It’s a wonderful place to ask for help or advice while also having a venue to brag about accomplishments to accompany screenshots.
Since the story is on the light side, I will refrain from discussing it too much lest I spoil the plot and surprises that lie in wait. The cutscenes explain the reasons for each stage, and obviously the story is played out through dialogue. It’s certainly a game children can enjoy, but since the story involves the assassination of a king and a takeover of a militant dictator capable of brainwashing, it would be best for young kiddies to play in the Classic Mode. Two adorable female fighters, Sash Lilac the purple dragon, or Carol Tea–a green wildcat who is always ready for adventure, are the character choices for the Adventure mode until the player unlocks more. In the Classic Mode, Milla Rasset is playable in the beginning, but be careful; this cute canine has a lower health bar than her fellow adventurers.
Special attacks are available for each character and can only be used while their energy gauge is full. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long for the gauge to fill itself. Freedom Planet is a splendid homage to the 16-bit gaming era that enveloped so many childhoods. Since Freedom Planet was greatly inspired by the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the game’s mechanics are simple and clean. Without the fuss and frustration often found in today’s controls, Freedom Planet offers a purely enjoyable experience.
Unfortunately, the Wii U edition of Freedom Planet has a bad habit of freezing the console during some of the cutscenes. The freezing resulted in a loud buzzing and prevented me from even reaching my Home Menu without completely turning off and restarting my Wii U. With the promise of a fix from GalaxyTrail Games, Freedom Planet has the potential for being a must have game for everyone’s Wii U digital library. Having such fluid and clean run-throughs of stages, and a fairly interesting storyline of a kingdom in need of a hero along with a bit of girl-power sprinkled in, has created a game that will treat you to an old-school experience. Despite the heart-stopping freezing of my Wii U, I am thoroughly enjoying playing a game whose visuals are a pure delight. You may want to wait for the freezing patch to be released, but it you’re in a hurry to play Freedom Planet than you should stick to the Classic Mode to avoid freezing your Wii U during cutscenes.