Giana is back!
Giana is a graceful, sweet, wild and incendiary girl, lost in the world of dreams. The legendary Giana has returned 25 years after her birth with a new 2D platform adventure that retains the same spirit that characterized the original title, but also incorporates new features that are sitting really well with this great game.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, is a platform game developed by Black Forest Games for Windows, Xbox 360, PS3 and soon for the Wii U. It is the successor to the 1987 Commodore 64 title The Great Giana Sisters and sequel to the 2009 re-imagining Giana Sisters for the Nintendo DS. The game was funded through fan donations on the Kickstarter website, reaching its goal of $150,000.
The desire to bring to life old glories of the past is long, but the story of the legendary The Great Giana Sisters and the problems that its developers found the last 25 years provide, at a minimum, to shoot a thriller . Not only because of the controversy surrounding the original title, which was considered a plagiarism of Super Mario Bros., which motivated its withdrawal from the market, but also its sequel was not completed by developers as expected because of this same controversy. And this has been the never ending story until today.
Two Sides of Giana, Two Opposite Worlds, One Great Adventure
Thanks to the desire of Black Forest Games and support from the user community who funded the project, this eagerly anticipated sequel was released last year to great fanfare and success on PC. Now you can also pick this game up on Xbox Live Arcade for 1200 MS Points and PSN for $14.99.
Does this game do justice to the memory of the original? I think so. Not only is Giana Sisters an outstanding 2D platformer that respects the essence of the classic, but it also is a title with personality that has managed to make its own way, relying on a level of difficulty that we have been missing in this genre of games.
Caught in the dream world because of the evil dragon who has kidnapped her twin sister, Giana has been without the support of Mary, with whom she shared adventures in the original title. However, this woman is not helpless to take up arms against the dangers that await you in Twisted Dreams. She is agile, acrobatic and now also has a split personality that you will use in certain situations between two worlds.
From a sweet and graceful girl of golden curls to a powerful and intimidating young Punk Giana who’s personality can change in seconds, you gain a number of unique abilities with which you can avoid the dangers that await you on your journey. We have seen gameplay similar to this in other titles of a similar structure, though admittedly the end result of this game is very satisfying. The big reason for this is because this duality does not result only in a simple change of character, but the entire world around us will also change its appearance. As you play through, you will jump between playing in a Beautiful World with Punk Giana to a Dark World with Golden Giana.
Yes, Giana can turn into a fireball in the snow
The kind Giana with blonde locks will stroll through a nightmarish environment, while the badass version of the character will intervene on a more greatful and colorful, but no less dangerous world. There are more than just aesthetic changes that take place here. Moving from one dimension to another also involves meeting with slight variations in the structure of the 23 phases of the game, including changes in the presence of alternative paths. Each level is designed to include challenges that can only be overcome with one or another version of Giana: challenging her skills and putting the player to the test by quickly changing her personality to dodge obstacles and change the course of certain platforms. Add that with certain unique abilities that are discovered later in the game and you’ve got a game that has its own identity that was missed in both of the original Giana titles.
For everything else, this is a real playable old school game which includes all the elements of a good platformer, adding to the formula a difficulty level well above what we are used to today. Not surprisingly, this is one of those titles where the slightest mistake is paid with death and I assure you that you will lose at least ten lives through the course of this game. Fortunately, unless you are playing on the highest difficulty level, save points will allow you to follow the action continuously, thus being able to learn from all the errors and enjoy yourself.
What’s missing from this game is a more precise control system. There were a few times when I felt that something was wrong in controlling Giana. Not that the game had malfunctions, but given the level of demand that we are asked to demonstrate in order to pass through sections of a platform game, handling the character could have been more precise.
Angry Barney? Punk Giana will have control over him
Also, despite having a handful of additional challenges and a couple of desperate battles against the bosses of the world, I feel that the Black Forest Games team has only scratched the surface of an idea here.Undoubtedly, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is a great 2D platformer, but there comes a point as the game develops that it seems like the challenges do not change anything related to each other, minus certain appeal in the final set.
Fortunately, the striking and colorful level design invites us to further explore this dangerous world of fantasy to the beat of a quality soundtrack. The only issue I had with the soundtrack was that it was very limited in regard to the number of available themes. A real shame considering that the musical composer involved in this game was responsible for the original title, Chris Hülsbeck, who accompanies the group Machinae Supremacy. The result is truly spectacular, mostly because when you change the personality of Giana, the world around her changes in real time, as does the musical accompaniment. This creates a striking effect for the listener, which would be amazing to see with even more music, if the soundtrack was larger than what it is.
Go Giana! Grab all the diamonds you can
On a visual level, as mentioned, the game looks spectacular, thanks largely to curvy and colorful designs in each and every one of its scenes. A special mention has to go to the transitions between the world of nightmares and the world of dreams. It is the most striking of the genre and at some points weakens against other similar cuts, but there is no doubt that this game retains all the charm of the classic games of the Giana series.
Overall, Surviving the expectations of the fans of the classic The Great Giana Sisters was not easy, but Twisted Dreams has accomplished that here. This title has given true personality to a 2D platform adventure, but it also has given gamers a challenge and presents some original design elements into the action. Twisted Dreams does have some faults, but you will definitely enjoy this fun adventure.
I give the Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, a 4.5/5. This is a great game to pick up when you have a weekend at home with nothing to do. Try this game and you will be pleasantly surprised!