Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Toki Tori 2 (Wii U eShop) Review

Review for Toki Tori 2 on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

It's been a long wait since the launch of the Wii U for this little gem to finally hatch. However, that wait is finally over now. The much hyped release from Two Tribes, whom Cubed3 interviewed last summer about the Toki Tori franchise and other projects in the pipeline for Nintendo systems, will become available for download on 4th April, 2013 for the beloved Wii U console. Touted as a complete revamp of the formula that was loved so much on Game Boy Color and WiiWare, the new game takes a totally different route indeed, pushing aside all expectations one may have had when it comes to the little yellow chick. Cubed3 got the chance to sit and play the final build of the game early and try it out...so stick with around to find out whether it was worth the long wait or not.

Upon booting the game, what's immediately apparent is the lack of any formal "main menu" like would be expect from any game. Toki Tori 2 takes no shortcut to put people right into the action and, as was mentioned in the aforementioned interview last year, there is literally no text to explain what to do in the game. Rather, the player is put in control of Toki Tori right off the bat and given the freedom to move around using either the left analogue stick or the D-Pad. It is up to the player to figure out the controls alone, which is a very old school approach. Even the digital user's manual says "We'll tell you what buttons to use, you do the rest!" and gives very little information about what's going on in the game. Other than moving left or right, and going up or down ladders like in the previous game, Toki Tori can now whistle... and stomp. Whistling allows for short series of notes to be composed, which can have various effects... and stomping shakes the whole screen like any Mario fan would expect from the plumber when he pounds the ground with his bum. These are the only two actions he can perform, and there are no limited number of uses for them this time.

What's peculiar about it, and makes these somewhat limited possibilities of action into much more than what they appear to be, is how the environment and creatures that inhabit it react to these two actions, and the possibilities are aplenty here!

Screenshot for Toki Tori 2 on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Each creature reacts differently to them and the little chick has to... use these abilities to his advantage to make the other living things in the universe of Toki Tori do his bidding, helping him to progress on his quest. A quest for what, though? As the developer itself says, it's up to gamers to discover it.

Toki Tori explores this side-scrolling world divided into sections at a leisurely pace, collecting little yellow 'thingies' that are never given a name but look like little golden wings of an Inca condor statue like those that play the role of checkpoints in the game. Their use isn't immediately apparent but it looks like they all need to be found. Some are purposely put in hard to reach places, requiring players to find out how to best use their surroundings and the creatures around them to collect it. Exploration, as was taunted by Two Tribes in past communication on the project, is indeed very much like what would be expected from a Metroidvania type of game... Except here, Toki Tori's move set or arsenal never upgrades, but rather players may find certain places that seem to be impossible to reach straight away...

However, figuring out how to reach may only become apparent later on as new ways of exploiting the limited existing move set are uncovered during exploration. This original take on the formula, which in fact is very much how the learning curve worked in the background of the original Toki Tori, takes all by surprise in a very good way.

Screenshot for Toki Tori 2 on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Actually, it also harks back to the original in a way that makes a veteran fan of its precursor growl with pleasure at how cleverly they managed to reincorporate this pleasant aspect of things from the first game in such a clever way that it still feels fresh. The more exploration takes place, the more things start to make sense. Toki Tori keeps reaching new places, encountering increasingly difficult puzzles along the road, and activating weird statues that seem to all need activating before whatever it is that awaits the chick at the end of the game becomes available for players to complete.

There is a downside to all this, though...The fact that what it is exactly that needs to be achieved is not quite apparent may well make it difficult to get into for those who are not hooked right away by the cleverness of the puzzles and the careful attention to detail in Toki Tori 2's presentation. A demo should definitely be made available for people to try out the formula and see if it meets their taste. It should, for any fan of the puzzle genre anyway, but it is easy to imagine it being hard to get into for certain more exigent people. It will certainly appeal to old school fans who like to figure things out on their own, but more modern gamers may be left wanting more. It shouldn't be dismissed for that, though, definitely.

In the presentation stakes it isn't short of magnificence either. The 720p display running at 60fps - presenting a lively animated little world, despite being merely made of 2D tiles and sprites - comes alive in a delightful manner.

Screenshot for Toki Tori 2 on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Certain puzzles even make use of light sources, changing the projected shadows in fantastic ways. Being able to read on Toki Tori's or even certain creatures' faces that they are clearly freaking out when they are in dark places and other nice little details like that all combine to make Toki Tori 2 an extraordinarily well presented game, beyond its initially basic 2D presentation. Sound isn't short of amazing either; Sonic Picnic is back with more music goodness that plays more on the "ambient" kind of music this time around. In fact, some tracks sounded a bit similar to Rayman Origins, which is an excellent game to be compared to.

The level editor available to PC players owning the Steam version was sadly nowhere to be found in the build Cubed3 reviewed. This is said to become available at a later date through an update, along with, hopefully, being available to share those created levels directly on Miiverse. What remains in terms of bonus is the announced ability to snap pictures of the game's creatures, using the GamePad like a camera, adding them to a photo album that lists all those already found, perhaps ultimately unlocking some more bonus content.

Screenshot for Toki Tori 2 on Wii U eShop- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Aside from directional control and the two basic actions, there's not much else that needs to be mastered in order to control everything in Toki Tori 2, so nothing could be faulted here, save perhaps for the speed at which Toki Tori moves, which seems to be a bit slower than in the WiiWare game.

Graphics

Brilliantly animated and detailed 2D rendered at a 720p resolution that makes the whole game a visually pleasant experience. What else could be asked for?

Sound

Sonic Picnic's compositions are brilliant, as always, and hearing Toki Tori whistling away in this colourful little world may well be the cutest thing in recent gaming memory.

Value

While it may come a bit pricier than some other Wii U eShop offerings, players are given one long run for their money with Toki Tori 2. The learning curve may not be quite as steep as it was in its predecessor, but the difficulty shouldn't disappoint fans of the first.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

With the same level of cleverness as its predecessor, Toki Tori 2, or rather its inceptors at Two Tribes, smashed another hit on a Nintendo console. It's absolutely beautiful, sounds great, and gives great value for money. Toki Tori controls admirably, even if he's perhaps a bit too slow at times. The choice of presenting the game with only minimal menus and little introduction to the story, other than a black smoke coming out of the ground and chasing Toki Tori's chick friends away, isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's cute and original in its own way, but it can be understood how it could belittle some people's early impressions of the game, which is why a demo would be most welcome. At time of writing, the level editor in this Wii U version wasn't available yet but this should bring even more value down the line and what remains on offer is still one impressive package of digital goodness. A puzzle-platform game well recommended to any fans of the genre! It may well be the best representative of the genre yet on the console.

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03.04.2013

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Developer

Two Tribes

Publisher

Two Tribes

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The difficulty is what I liked the most when I played it. The fact that it dares leaving you to find out things on your own is very old-school and reminded me of games of my childhood on Commodore 64, which I played without any instructions on what I had to do, so I figured out a lot of stuff on my own back then. It made me feel like I was 8 years old all over again XD.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Downloaded! Not had chance to try yet. Sounds great, though Smilie

( Edited 04.04.2013 15:13 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Any sign of the level editor in the final version?

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Nope, and Two Tribes didn't answer my question when I asked them via their Facebook page either, which makes me think it must have been scrapped. Or at least I'll continue to think it is until they finally break the silence.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Staff Member

RudyC3 said:
Nope, and Two Tribes didn't answer my question when I asked them via their Facebook page either, which makes me think it must have been scrapped. Or at least I'll continue to think it is until they finally break the silence.
It isn't scrapped, they confirmed that it wouldn't be in the final version and would instead come with an update in a couple of months or so. They wanted to iron out all the bugs and glitches before finishing the level editor. Pretty sure the level editor update is still coming... Smilie

Anyways, downloaded this today. Used my £5 redemption code from Nintendo Network Premium so I got it for £6.69. Not bad! Only played a couple of hours so far, but I'm really loving the changes they've made. It feels like a completely different game, which isn't a bad thing, surprisingly.. considering the first game was one of my favourite WiiWare games.

Really love how there's pretty much no tutorial (even in the virtual manual Smilie ) and you're never told what any of the various songs do, so like Rudy said, you basically have to work everything out by yourself. Whilst I haven't played much of the game yet myself, I'm definitely leaning towards a 9/10!

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Mush said:
It isn't scrapped, they confirmed that it wouldn't be in the final version and would instead come with an update in a couple of months or so. They wanted to iron out all the bugs and glitches before finishing the level editor. Pretty sure the level editor update is still coming...

Where and, most importantly, when did you read this?

( Edited 05.04.2013 23:45 by RudyC3 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I read that in the Official Topic over on NeoGAF today as well...

( Edited 05.04.2013 23:56 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Need to update the review then. wouldn't have needed to if they would have come out with a proper official announcement. What's the big idea? I looked at their own website for the info before I finalised my review and couldn't find any info about that on there. *sigh*

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Yeah, I only noticed it earlier when I was checking the OT on GAF to see if they could add a link to your interview with the team from last year.

Your interview's now listed on there now, under one by NL Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

'kay thanks. Edited the review too to reflect that piece of info which is new to me Smilie.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Staff Member

So, they're still planning on releasing the level editor in a future update? I read it a little while ago, so wasn't sure if it was still happening. Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Mush said:
So, they're still planning on releasing the level editor in a future update? I read it a little while ago, so wasn't sure if it was still happening. Smilie

It looks like it, the Neogaf thread references a siliconera article dated from February, so it's not so old news. It's just weird that it slipped below my radar completely. Even GoNintendo didn't pick it up, that's one of the first places I checked for info on the matter (but not the only one)

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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