Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (Wii U eShop) Review

Review for Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is the latest instalment in the Giana Sisters franchise, which originally started out with Great Giana Sisters, a clone of the first Super Mario Bros. game. After Nintendo pressured the developer, the game was withdrawn from sale. This latest instalment in the franchise has now gained its own original footing, thanks to Black Forest Games; a team made up of former members from the now defunct Spellbound Entertainment, which worked on the DS instalment. Cubed3 takes another look at this beautiful platform title after looking at the PlayStation Network edition originally, to see how the Wii U version fares against the other formats. Was it worth the wait?

In Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, players take on the role of Giana, a girl who possesses the special ability to travel between dreams. When travelling between dreams, Giana's appearance and abilities also alternate between her "Cute" and "Punk" forms. The Cute form allows her to float through the air by twirling, allowing players to avoid large gaps and death traps. Her Punk form gives the ability to charge through various obstacles, destroying them on her way and can also be used to bounce off walls, reaching previously inaccessible areas.

As well as changing the appearance of Giana when transporting between dreams, the visuals, soundtrack and dynamics of the level also change. For instance, a gate that is not open when in the "dark" world will open up when players switch to the "light" world.

Screenshot for Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Considering The Great Giana Sisters was almost a complete copy of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros., it's kind of funny that this mechanic makes Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams one of the most unique 2D platformers to be released in recent years.

Levels start off fairly easy, with the game slowly introducing the different mechanics to players and preparing them for the harder, rage-inducing levels that pop up later in the game. Thankfully, there are regular checkpoints throughout the level, making the game less annoying than other difficult platformers. Also scattered throughout these levels are large blue crystals that can be collected to unlock new artwork in the game's gallery. Whilst these aren't required in order to finish the game, it is a nice addition to be able to view the various gallery items.

Screenshot for Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

When traversing through the various different levels in Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, players will come across three different coloured gems that are scattered around. Blue gems can be collected by using either of Giana's forms, whilst the red and yellow ones must be collected by Punk Giana and Cute Giana, respectively.

After each stage is beaten, players are then given a rank that is indicated by stars. Depending on how many gems collected and how many deaths, players are awarded a certain number of stars; with five being the best rank. In order to progress further into the game, revisiting previously completed levels is required as there is a star requirement for each one. Going through the earlier levels and progressing can be done quite quickly, until getting to the third world that is, where going back to the early levels and beating the rank is necessary.

Screenshot for Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Whilst the game is fairly short, consisting of only three worlds; players can tackle the levels again in the Score Attack and Time Attack modes. For those who aren't really fussed about beating personal scores and would much prefer harder difficulties, do not fear! Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams features two harder difficulties that become unlocked upon clearing the game on previous settings. Hardcore and Über Hardcore are two unforgiving modes, with the former eliminating checkpoints entirely and the latter sending the gamer right back to the beginning upon dying. One thing's for sure, these difficulties certainly live up to their names!

If there is one bad thing to say about Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - more specifically this version of the game - it's that when playing in Off-TV mode, no audio is played through the GamePad's speakers. The developer, Black Forest Games, is aware of this issue, though, and will hopefully be releasing a patch in the near future.

Screenshot for Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams on Wii U eShop- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Although Great Giana Sisters was a shameful - yet great - clone of a NES classic, this latest instalment in the franchise is perhaps one of the most unique platformers released in recent years. Whether it's twirling majestically through the air to cover large gaps or aggressively charging into enemies and bouncing off the walls to reach new areas, everything about Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams feels like something that's never been done before. Manipulation of dreams is a fantastic game mechanic and the controls are tight and accurate, just like a 2D platformer should be.

Graphics

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams features some beautifully crafted levels, with each of them having a different look and feel, depending on which form the player is currently playing as. When in Giana's Punk form, everything surrounding her is cute and colourful, even the appearance of the enemies change to friendlier looking creatures. When playing as her Cute form, the world changes to a dark and evil world.

Sound

Like the visuals, when changing between dreams the soundtrack also shifts between a "Cute" and "Punk" soundtrack. The cute soundtrack is an original composition and the punk soundtrack is Swedish band Machinae Supremacy's rendition of it. Players can choose to only use one of these soundtracks if they wish to, but the change between music is fluid and works surprisingly well.

Value

Whilst the game itself is fairly short, it also offers Score and Time attack modes where players can try to beat the par time for each level to obtain trophies. The game also includes two challenging difficulty modes, which should keep players busy for quite some time.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is an original, fun and challenging platformer with game mechanics that won't be found in any other 2D platformer. It's nice to see Black Forest Games taking a franchise that was established as a Super Mario Bros. clone and turning it into something completely original. The only disappointing aspect about the game is that when played solely on the GamePad, no audio is heard from the controller's speakers. However, don't be put off by such a minor issue as this game is definitely worth checking out, especially for fans of challenging platformers - and a patch is being worked on to solve the matter anyway.

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01.09.2013

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Developer

Black Forest Games

Publisher

Black Forest Games

Genre

2D Platformer

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 TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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Another one?!
Wiiu has got to be the best console for 2D platformers in the history of consoles, wow!

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