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Freedom Planet 2 Review

Freedom Planet 2 Review

I made no bones about how much I loved the original Freedom Planet. It was an utterly tremendous platformer, with clear inspiration from the 2D Sonic games I spent a lot of my youth enjoying. Back in 2018, when I reviewed that title, there was a sequel due the following year. Thanks to events starting in 2019 that we probably all want to forget, that wasn’t to be. Finally, though, the sequel is with us, and as such, the long-awaited Switch port is with us too. Can GalaxyTrail bottle lightning twice? Let’s take a look and see.

Right from the first few moments of gameplay, you can immediately see that Freedom Planet 2 is a departure from its predecessor in a number of ways. There’s a little more focus on combat this time round, with an increased moveset, including a guard function, that makes you essentially invincible for a half-second in order to avoid enemy projectiles, lasers, and such things. That’s not to say that the core gameplay mechanics have been stripped out though; there are all the loops, grind rails, hidden areas, and warp-speed set-pieces that you might expect, it’s just added to with some more creative ways to dispatch enemies and a bit more tactical nuance this time. Think Sonic CD meets Earthworm Jim and you’re not far off.

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One of the few things that I found to be less than perfect in the first game was the overly long cutscenes. This is, of course, a personal preference, but I’ve always felt a platformer doesn’t really need a story. It’s a good story, if a little clichéd, but it’s still something that I think isn’t really necessary. Even as someone who isn’t a massive fan of stories in this genre, though, I did develop a fondness for Sash, Lilac, and pals, so I didn’t end up skipping all of them. Nonetheless, you can skip all the cutscenes if you prefer so it really doesn’t matter. If you do like a good story, then I’d recommend playing the first game if you haven’t already, as the story continues from there. 

The music, as before, utterly captures the sound you would expect from a ‘90s attitude-infused platformer. If you told me that the collection was a Wave Master creation from a canned Mega CD or Saturn game, then I would probably say “No it isn’t, this is the soundtrack from Freedom Planet 2. I just reviewed this, why did you think you could fool me?” However, if I wasn’t already familiar with the game when you said that, I would likely believe you. What I’m getting at is the soundtrack is amazing and I want to marry it — please don’t tell my fianceé, she’s bound to object.

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The other new feature that I found quite nice is the use of hub worlds and non-linear level selections. Very much like in the SNES era Super Mario games, you unlock levels in batches, and can often attempt them in different orders. This gives you the option to come back to levels that you’ve struggled with after completing an alternative. There are also power-ups that you can purchase with collected items, meaning that you’ve got a few different ways of flexing the difficulty if you need it. It’s a relatively forgiving game anyway, so this isn’t necessarily always necessary, but it’s lovely to have the option. 

Where I did find less forgiveness was with the game’s bosses. They’re certainly not up to Cuphead proportions, but they’re all pretty massive and creative, with some of them being quite tricky to master. It’s never difficult to the point of being frustrating, though, and I’ve not ragequit like I did with so many of the older platformers that Freedom Planet 2 takes its inspiration from. 

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With improvements all round, great music, beautiful graphics, and some fantastic level design, Freedom Planet 2 is honestly one of the best platform titles I’ve played in a very long time. It’s left behind the old “Sonic fan game turned full title” ethos of the first entry in the series, and it’s just a fantastic retro platformer in its own right. I honestly cannot find any fault in it, and would strongly recommend getting it.

10.00/10 10

Freedom Planet 2 (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)

Outstanding. Why do you not have this game already?

Freedom Planet 2 takes everything great about the first game, adds a bit of polish and some extra mechanics, and gives us an absolute beast of a game. I cannot praise it enough, it’s just brilliant fun!

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review

Gary "Dombalurina" Sheppard

Staff Writer

Gary maintains his belief that the Amstrad CPC is the greatest system ever and patiently awaits the sequel to "Rockstar ate my Hamster"

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