PS4 version tested
Review code provided
When the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 2 were in their prime, I was in heaven because my favourite video game genre was plentiful. The third-person action platformer was so popular and successful it saturated the gaming market causing its own demise and still has not recovered. Games like Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie and Jak & Daxter, just a few personal favourites to name, have been very few and far between since those glory days. The current generation and increase in Indie support have definitely caused resurgence for the genre.
Effie is a new instalment in the slow resurrection of the action platformer. Our hero is a young man named Galand cursed by an evil witch with a prematurely aged appearance. Galand narrates his own story by the fire to either his daughter or granddaughter (hard to tell because he looks old in the cut scenes when telling his story and when playing as him in the story from the past). The tale starts out to defeat the witch that leads to a larger mission of restoring power to a good force of wise elderly statues. Granted a powerful shield by the statues, Galand can set forth on breaking the curse and riding the world of evil.
Instead of using your shield traditionally, it is used to attack. The controls are similar to most games that provide the player separate faster light attack and slower heavy attack combos. A double jump, dash, and a few other attacks moves are sprinkled in to help you on your journey. I found the fighting to be below average as there was no way to lock on to an enemy and there was no auto-aim/aim-assist so there was a lot of swinging of the shield that hit nothing. On the other hand, the platforming and jump controlling was on point to me as a seasoned platformer.
There is a large eye-appealing open world (except all the way too much red everywhere), but I found it to be one of the emptiest ones I have ever played in. When in the open world, you can use your shield like a hoverboard. There are boosts to go through and some camps of enemies but that is about it. I found myself just going straight from one level to the next and not exploring the open world. There are only five levels counting the opening tutorial and final boss one.
One of the main issues I had while playing Effie was I kept hearing a sound that sounded like an axe chopping woods every few seconds when Galand was walking and it drove me crazy. No matter what area I was in I kept hearing it and had no idea why or what it was. I actually had to mute the game most of the time playing except to hear some music of new areas. I found the music to be done very well so makes it even more of a shame that walking sound was throughout the entire game. In one of the levels, I came across a glitch that caused me to float in the air when Galand grabbed a ledge to climb up and the only solution was to turn the game off. His attacks felt weak against the enemies and they hit you no matter what, even if in the middle of a combo. If you take the time to gather the rune relics that level up your health and power up bar, then there is no need to worry about dying from fights. There was no direct fight with the witch, you either did platforming to get to a switch to activate something to attack her or just fought waves of normal enemies instead. I never died from losing my health but died from instant death like missing jump plenty of times, especially in the last boss fight. Thank goodness they provided checkpoints during the final boss, otherwise I would have quit at that point.
Effie was so close to being a great action platformer. I really enjoyed the platforming and puzzles, but the fighting and other issues really took away from the game as a whole. It took at most four hours for me to beat the game and get enough collectables to level up seven times (I always explore every nook and cranny of levels). Perhaps if you take the time to hunt for all the hidden relic treasure chests and explore the open-world fully you could squeeze eight hours out of it. I do not think the price of $19.99 (£15.99) is suitable for what the game offers also. If you enjoy this genre like I do and there is ever a sale to make it $15 or less then this game would get my recommendation to purchase.
TBG Score: 6/10
Platform: Steam, PlayStation 4
Release Date: 04/06/2019
No. of Players: 1
File Size: 2.59 GB
Category: Action, Platformer
Publisher: Inverge Studios
Download link: PSN