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November 23rd, 2012, 08:04
Just picked up Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams.

If you've played old school platformers like Mega Man, Ghosts n' Goblins, and Battle Toads, the difficulty rests pretty close to that, except it's a lot like Mario in that you have only one hit and you're dead. While there is a rare powerup that gives you a second hit, it's rare, and it doesn't help against pixel-perfect jumps.

Difficulty is tamed, however slightly, by unlimited lives and frequent check points.

Made it to the first world's boss, which actually gives you the super crystal for some help when you restart the fight after dying. Pattern is basically Armored Armadillo from MMX1 (snes). Except you have no way to stun or weaken this thing, and of course no ranged attacks at all. Given that that was one of the toughest bosses for me to bring down without the correct weapon back in the day, needless to say I'm having troubles.

Controls are fair, keyboards suck at platforming, but I borrowed a logitech controller and it's pretty tight with that. Red headed sister's dash ability tends to be wonky though. It's multi-directional, but oddly defaults to an upward angle, rather than straight ahead. It also doesn't always detect if you're holding up, right/left, or down and doesn't dash in the direction you want it to roll.

Graphically, it's beautiful, with lush, detailed stages that alter when you switch between red head and blonde. Some traps and paths are only available to one or the other. Each has their own special ability, the aforementioned Dash and a 'Twirl', which lets the blonde basically double jump then slowly fall/glide down. I end up preferring the Dash, as it destroys enemies when you dash into them.

Stages are relatively linear, with some alternate paths and secrets. Mostly in-line with the genre here. Music is good, with each PC having their own music, but there only seems to be the one tune, and it get repetitive after awhile.

All in all, I think it's a good game for those whole like the challenging platformers of the old consoles. Just get a controller though. Keyboards don't do well at platforming on a good day, and certainly not at this level of difficulty.
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