Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings
Positive: 2 out of 2
Mixed: 0 out of 2
Negative: 0 out of 2
Sep 16, 2013In a surprising turn of events for a series that started out as a shameless Super Mario Bros. clone, Giana Sister: Twisted Dreams is one of the most unique sidescrollers I've played in a long time.
You'll play as two separate versions of the title character: Punk Giana can transform into a fireball to destroy enemies and reach high places, whereas Cute Giana has a spinning helicopter jump not unlike Dixie Kong's ability in the Donkey Kong Country series. You switch between the two at the simple press of a button in order to solve puzzles and overcome insanely challenging platforming levels; as you do so, the world around you also changes from a lush utopia to a nightmarish wasteland. It's all very easy on the eyes, with superb graphics that transform seamlessly. The music is another highlight, with memorable tunes that switch from poppy versions (on Cute Giana segments) to throbbing heavy metal arrangements (for Punk Giana). An important complaint is the lack of richer tone diversity bewteeen the game's worlds; as beautiful as the graphics are, they end up blending together, which dampens the sense of progression a bit.
As I hinted above, Twisted Dreams is a very, very unforgiving platformer, and as such it's definitely not a game for the weak-willed. The level design is extremely tight, challenging both your puzzle-solving skills and your fast-action reflexes in breathtaking fashion. Segments often require you to time your character switch at precisely the right moment in order to succeed.
To get 100% on a stage, you need to achieve three goals: collect a majority of the small gems located throughout the level, locate and collect all of the big crystals (which also unlock art in the game's gallery), and die as few times as possible. The dying limitation is a fine way to offer some balance to the fact that you have unlimited lives, but it can become annoying pretty fast thanks to the sheer lenght of the stages, especially given the enourmous challenges most of them offer. A shorter median stage lenght would not only make the game more accessible to beginners in the genre, but also make replaying the levels (something you will absolutely HAVE to do in order to fully complete each of them) feel less of a chore.
While the flaws do hinder the enjoyment from time to time, the game is still gonna be quite entertaining for platform masochists such as myself. Fully completing one of Twisted Dreams's hellishly difficult stages is a great feeling. There are plenty of good ideas on display here, and it definitely feels like more can be done with the world-switching mechanic. Hopefully, if we ever get a sequel, the designers can go the distance to transform a pretty good game into an amazing one.
Rating: 7.5 (rounded up)… Full Review »
Feb 10, 2014Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams does a lot of things right and a number of things wrong. For starters, the visuals are absolutely amazing. The transitions of environments as you switch between the adorable world of Punk Giana and the frightening world of Cute Giana are flawless. This gives the game great aesthetic appeal for those who are willing to give any game a go. But be warned: as appealing as this game is aesthetically, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is a hell of a tough game. It is almost a requirement for you to be a platforming enthusiast or genius, otherwise you'll find your money may have been better spent elsewhere, such is its difficulty. Even on Easy mode, this game is a tough challenge, and will make you cry a little bit if you aren't up to said challenge. To add to your woes, you may find yourself getting stuck inside walls, forcing you to reset the entire level. "Oh, well", you would think. But the sheer length of each of these levels means that your "Oh, well" will be more like an "Oh, no..." as you try to clamber your way back through the level. Difficulty and glitching aside, there is some really promising gameplay. It involves switching between Punk Giana and Cute Giana and using their special abilities -- a dash attack and a spin jump, respectively -- in order to solve puzzles and progress through the game. There are lots of hidden areas in every level, giving you a real sense of adventure as you try to collect every last diamond and gallery artwork in your travels, making it tantalising for completionist gamers. At the end of the day, if you're in the mood for a game with gorgeous visuals, worthwhile replay-ability, and gut-wrenching difficulty, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams will be able to satisfy that hankering with no problem at all.… Full Review »