Dust: An Elysian Tail Review (Originally Posted August 30, 2012)

The first thing you should know about Dust is it’s a spiritual successor to the original Metroid and Castlevania games. 2D, side scrolling, platforming, hack-n-slashing, spell casting, bomb exploding, wall chicken eating fun.

Overall the game was pretty good. The graphics are gorgeous, the soundtrack was pleasant and the gameplay was smooth. I have a few bones to pick with bits of the game, but they aren’t enough to ruin it.

Graphics-wise the game was absolutely gorgeous with the varied, painted backgrounds, fluid animation and bright colours...then the cutscenes happened. I cringed each time one would pop up, thankfully they’re fairly rare. The art was startlingly bad, the lipsync was pretty horrid and they felt fairly pointless. Luckily they’re completely skippable.

The voice acting in the game was another drawback. It felt a bit dry in most of the scenes and some of the voices were just grating after a while. Fidget, I’m looking at you. But, again, you can skip through pretty much all the dialog in the game.

The gameplay was a throwback to the old days. Cut down enemies, jump up cliffs, down holes, slash through walls. It brings you right back to Castlevania or Metroid. The maps are broken into blocks to explore, some areas inaccessible until you get a new ability. Outside of the core game, which took about 6 and a half hours to beat on normal, there’s plenty more to explore and gather.

There’s some fun things in the game, like what’s in the locked cages. I’m not going to spoil that, but I found it pretty neat.

My main problem with the game was the end. Again, I’m not going to spoil anything but I found it to be really really predictable. They could have done a lot more with it, but in the end that’s just my opinion.

The game is solid, fun, gorgeous and not a bad price. 1600 MS Points on XBLM. If you’ve got the money I’d say get it, it’s well worth it.