Talewind Review

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Talewind is a new platformer that utilizes the wind as its main driving force throughout all levels. There are five different worlds with around three distinct sections per world. These sections are called acts which are one way of labeling levels in certain platformers. Also, there are five special levels, one, consisting of a level taken from the Binding of Isaac. The main character in Talewind represents a pilot of some particular kind. We live in a village at the bottom of a mountain; our main goal is to climb the mountain and restore the normal wind speed toward our village and people. This task is rather hard because the wind has decreased exponentially and has continued to decline as all of the levels progress. Talewind takes patience, proficient motor skills that are precise, and accurate pinpoint timing since it places a limit in the whole game to one combat move.

Talewind gives a very different perspective towards the meaning of high difficulty in platformers. Unlike traditional two-dimensional platformers, Talewind’s enemies are simplified; all enemies have a specific pattern, but they are easy first-hand to spot. Okay, since that is the case, then what makes Talewind stand out from other modern-day platformers regarding its gameplay and mechanics involved? There are a few examples that come to my mind when I think of the wind mechanics used in Talewind. The wind is used as a propeller machine to get us to higher ledges, platforms, and areas. There are three main different pathways in which the wind flows. The first pathway, characterized through straight travel, left-to-right movement of the main character and up and down as the wind curves along a horizontal based axis similar to The Undergarden, Never Alone and Sonic.

The second pathway the wind flows is rather in a zigzag pattern. It flows diagonally, increasing the velocity and time it takes to reach the other side. This certain pathway is found most in the third world called the Fieg Snowpeaks. In other words, the first snow level in the game we have that has snowmen buried in the ground, a sasquatch looking creature that hops forward standing in our way and icy glaciers that can make us lose our balance.  If we travel too far and glide, instead of letting go when the wind propels us, each time we will overshoot it and hit the spikes underneath. However, if we let the wind naturally guide us, we will never hit the spikes on each level. The third pathway and my favorite, giving the game its initial excitement, are the loops. The loops function like Sonic that delivers the most precision and incredible speed in the entire game. Sometimes, as in the case in World 3, there is a quadruple loop.

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Our character moves throughout a simple layout of controls. How simple? Well, let’s just say that the controls are so simplified that even an animal without a human brain could understand the controls. The controls are stripped down to the very basic of all platformer controls: jump, float, air bast ( whirlwind of air that harnesses crystal energy), and, finally, glide. The controls are very protrusive, or archaic that forms a knockback when approaching enemies. The controls using a gamepad, either an Xbox One or an Xbox 360 controller for the personal computer. They are some of the worst controls I have seen all-year considering all the other platformer games this year that have released for the personal computer.

I wish I could get past the horrible controls and tell you that it has not taken away from my first experience of enjoying this game. However, if I were to inform you that everything was fine, I would be indirectly lying to you. The controls mechanics are not well-designed, although the controls are responsive, doing what the controls are meant to do in the game within the constraints of the actuation force it takes for the floating and jumping to be precise. I have played a handful of platform games now on the personal computer with a Xbox 360 controller, my favorite all-time video game console based controller. However, Talewind does not have that smooth of an experience as I was hoping for when it comes to how the controls feel when I press the corresponding buttons in-game. It feels very contrived as if the developer failed to realize that most gamers do not want to have to approach most enemies within two inches of them for the air bast combat skill to work. There is no variety when it comes to hammering down enemies.

Consequently, because of this one minor flaw, it makes the rest of the game’s strengths stand out immensely in comparison. The air blast mechanism should not be a primary move and the only move you can pull off in Talewind to kill enemies. The rules are impeccable. I cannot change the rules nor the fact that how much I would have liked to jump on the heads of enemies, it is impossible for me to do so. If I decide to go this route, each time I get killed which has no bearing according to my accuracy and my judiciousness. These use of poor mechanics forces both me and all of you who are reading this and wondering if you should buy this game, whether it is worth it or not. The developers coerce me without thinking about us, the gamer playing their game. WindLimit tells me that I have to use air bast to defeat enemies, yet I have no secondary long-range combat options. I have to place myself in immediate danger in the path of enemies with an eighty-percent chance I might get killed doing so because I can only fire,at most, two to three inches in length.

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Talewind is beautifully made in the graphics department and stands out among many other platformers that cannot use the right color palettes that become an eye-sore in the overloaded platformer genre on the personal computer. The graphics commensurate Braid on the personal computer and Ni No Kuni:Wrath of the White Witch on the PlayStation 3. It uses a near flawless coding with colors normally found in gaming mice, vibrant, bright, and well-lit. Mainly, green, white, blue, light blue, grays and many others that complement the textures well. The first world stands out the most because of the beautiful windmills with hand-painted graphics( i.e.Pokémon Ruby, Valley Windworks, Route 205). I am impressed by the time it took to create the environments and backgrounds in the distance; it uses the Unreal engine 4.

Talewind has an excellent sound and a soundtrack that is light-hearted and calm to the ears. The soundtrack increases towards Rock-type electronic, synthesized music while then decreasing after each boss level, typically the third section of each world. The soundtrack uses a variety of instruments, some good drums with possibly some string instruments that are harder to decipher. The soundtrack does not adhere to my standards that I usually enjoy listening to when playing games, but it gives it more variety which can grow on me. I can learn to appreciate all these small trinkets, rather the micro-based elements they designed.

I am uncertain how long the game is supposed to be. Others have reported, it can be beaten within five hours. I believe it varies depending on your motor skills and first-hand experience, years of experience with platformers. The developer replied to a thread on Steam saying ” around eight hours for the average player excluding all the special levels and  collectibles.” Replayability is around two runs of value, one for the initial experience, then a second for only those that want to do a separate playthrough for collectibles, those of which are mostly, feathers.

Rating 7

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@brashgames.co.uk.

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