Review: Freedom Planet 2 goes way beyond the Blue Blur

freedom planet 2

Some say that plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, but to say that Freedom Planet 2 is somehow aping Sonic the Hedgehog, it would be a huge disservice to this smart and extremely fun platformer developed by GalaxyTrail since by all means, it far surpasses anything that Sega’s mascot has ever attempted in 2D. 

That’s right: even though at first glance it might look like a rip-off, Freedom Planet 2 is a superior game to Sonic in every way, thanks to its fun and varied characters, clever level design and retina-burning colors. If you somehow missed the game the first time around, do yourself a favor and grab it now!

A sequel to the Wii U era platformer that ranked among that system’s best games, this one amps what was already so good about the first go around. It only took 8 years for that to happen, and now, a couple more throw into the mix, and it’s finally time for Switch players to see what the fuss was all about.

Playing once again as either Lilac, Carol or Milla, it’s now the turn of a potential new villain to try and mess things up for those who live in the now peaceful world of Avalice, following the events of the first game. But it’s not as simple as bad versus good, given that Merga, a water dragoness soldier who reawakens from a long slumber has a lot in common with Lilac, and the struggle between her friendship and finally meeting another member of her long lost species serves as the premise in which the game orbits around.

freedom planet 2
Go go GO!

Each new character has their own unique suite of skills, and frankly it can get a little complicated if you’re only used to two-button platforming such as Sonic’s. And in Freedom Planet 2, there are even more, given that now you can also guard, which combined with all the other powers makes gameplay quite varied among the three protagonists. 

Carol, for instance, shot up the list as my favorite because of the motorcycle she can summon and ride around with. But very other character has their own quirky way of quickly moving, so whichever you end up going with, you’re bound to enjoy the speedy movement of the game. The world is populated by enemies that you can defeat in a number of ways, not just jumping on them, even by ramming them as you zip around past.

This helps in keeping the momentum going at all times. Granted, much like our blue pal’s games, there are moments where you have to deal with more complicated level layouts, and in that Freedom Planet 2 continues to impress by having you explore and find alternate pathways among other secrets, always keeping you on your toes for clues to them at every screen. 

There are two ways of playing the game. In Adventure mode, you’ll experience the story through cutscenes and other interactions, moving from level to level as usual, while Classic works much more like what you’d call Arcade in other games, where there’s little to no fuss, just pure platforming goodness. If you’re in a hurry to play and are looking to speedrun, Classic is the best way to go, even more so if you don’t want for the story to get in the way of the action.

freedom planet 2

Honestly, the only thing that if I could change about Freedom Planet 2 would be how that narrative is presented. All things considered, it’s good for what it is and I’m sure fans are more than happy to see their favorite heroines coming back for another go, but man, sometimes it does get a little too wordy for me. Still, there’s something to be said about the great character designs in the game, which are still one of its highlights.

As I said at the beginning, Freedom Planet 2 is an evolution of the classic Sega platformer design, and it ends up surpassing its inspiration in many ways. It doesn’t try to hide it in any way, and it’s all the better for it. I get a kick at how well it implements the speed and tries to do more with it than just quickly getting you from point A to B, and how it’s way more creative than anything Sonic has ever been in. 

Then again, that’s not me poo-pooing on Sega, but man, what I wouldn’t give to see them taking a cue from GalaxyTrail with whatever is next for their mascot. Designer Sabrina DiDuro’s creation is a force to contend with and it’s incredibly good at providing a balanced dose of difficulty and fun. What began as a Sonic fangame with the original quickly evolved into what it is now, and boy, it’s really good.

Freedom Planet 2 takes what worked in the first game and leaps to greater heights, offering a visually pleasing, dexterity-challenging, and what’s most important, a rewarding time for those who dig exploring every nook and cranny in search of secrets. You are bound to find a few in this gorgeous game which I’m glad it’s coming back for a second most deserved outing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *