But surely it can't be as bad as boxing 3 Angry Birds titles?
Nintendo has gone on the record to point out how it has been having far more success with its download releases on the eShop than previously on WiiWare and DSiWare, but now it is taking one of the most popular games so far, adding some extra content and turning it into a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS XL in Europe. Should Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! have stayed in original digital market form, though?
Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! is quite an interesting concept, borrowing somewhat from 5TH Cell's Drawn to Life, whereby the characters in the game are actually user-created, as is the scenery if so desired. The original idea, from Japanese developer Asobism -- which normally works on mobile phone content -- was released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop towards the end of 2011 and despite receiving a mixed reaction from fans and media alike, clearly actually sold sufficient units to warrant a moderately expanded retail version being produced, one that weighs in at roughly four times the price of the download edition (£19.99 vs. £5.40). That version was a limited experience, with players building up their own formees (creatures are weird or normal, as the player's imagination dictates) from a small selection of shapes and then throwing them into a bland world to wander about using a poor control input and subjecting them to repetitive tasks.
The game takes each player through various tutorials to allow them to quickly become accustomed to the tools on offer for bringing the innards of the imagination to life on the 3DS screen (3D is not of particular use here, so dragging the slider to the off position to save on battery power is more than acceptable). Strangely shaped heads, different heights of legs, crazy eyes and mouths, and plenty of other options are available to make the weirdest looking creatures appear on-screen. Freakyforms Deluxe tries to encourage people to delve deeper into the processes involved by unlocking numerous new steps upon the completion of earlier ones, and even starts to open up more of the game as certain amounts of formees are…formed.
The draw of Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! will undoubtedly be how the barebones world that can be explored starts to expand, with the formees able to wander around, adventuring to new sectors, meeting other freaks of nature along the way. This is where the quest element comes in, with fruit eating, key collection, and item delivery being the order of the day in terms of requests from other characters, all to be completed within a set time limit. The world around can also be tailored to user preferences thanks to item creation, but the environments in general are extremely average and will not hold the attention of even the younger crowd for long.
Another key matter to mention is how the control scheme, as touched upon briefly before, is entirely stylus-based. A circle sits dead centre on the touch screen, and to walk/run it is a case of dragging the stylus to either side (with varying degrees of success, which is annoying due to the time-based element), plus jumping is a truly awkward process of pulling downwards or diagonally down in the opposite direction of desired flight to then let go and launch the selected formee onwards, normally nowhere near to the platform that needed to be reached, resulting in crazy leaping all over the place, wasting time and building up high levels of frustration.
Mixing in dungeons filled with randomised battling and some new 'Special Actions' to give formees differing attributes for fighting, really does not justify the cost of entry, especially as the specials cannot be manually triggered, leaving everything to feel too automated. Even the one-3DS-card-multiplayer element is held back, with themes being chosen and a mere stage show taking place. There was so much potential to make Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! a thoroughly better experience than on the eShop, but the developer has actually made it worse by not fixing fundamental problems and then Nintendo slapping a times-four price onto the end product. Oh, and only one profile? Steer clear and opt for the delightful New Art Academy instead.
The basics of the creation process are mildly enjoyable, but jumping into the exploration stage highlights how frustratingly bad the control system is, and the fact that this was highlighted upon release of the eShop game and not fixed for this update is truly shocking.
Despite the wide range of items available, this barely pushes the 3DS at all and makes no great use of the 3D capabilities of the format. The imagination can only go so far with limited visual options.
Tiresome, repetitive music throughout, with a small selection of voice clips for each formee that start to grate on the nerves after only a short time.
Create up to 120 personal formees, play around with StreetPass for showing off creations or use QR codes to receives ones from friends, but do not fool yourself into thinking there will be much value in the long-run with this one. Also, ignore all the talk of an 'RPG' mode; it is not what you may imagine.
When Nintendo told Asobism it had the chance to update its eShop game to full-scale retail format, the Japanese developer should have immediately looked to right any wrongs brought up by fans and media alike. However, Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! simply goes to show this was a product rushed out of the door as fast as possible to make a quick penny or two. For four times the price of the eShop game, this is definitely not worth the investment. Stick to the original or opt for something far better for creative minds, New Art Academy.
But surely it can't be as bad as boxing 3 Angry Birds titles?
this is way better! It got 8/10 in the Official Nintendo!
Lobber, are you joking? Just because ONM gave it 8 doesn't make it good. This is a poor attempt at making more money from a decent concept that is poorly executed, and the retail version doesn't bother to fix the fundamental flaws of the download game. Ridiculous...
Lynk, are you referring to the Nintendo handheld (3DS?) version of Angry Birds coming later this year?
I thought it was decent for $20...
I believe it is a good title. Although I never played the original, I got the deluxe, finished it, and still play through it to see and hear my formee do the CRAZIEST things. Love the concept, but I will admit it holds back a bit.