Review: Fox n Forests

Graphics
+ Beautiful and relevant 16 bit pixel art that is almost indistinguishable from a late era Capcom SNES Game.

+ Bosses are big and well drawn.

– Would like additional resolution or screen options so that it’s not just a small box on my TV. But I understand that could interfere with the sprite art.

Sound

+ Much like the graphics, the devs modeled the music and sound design on some of the best that the SNES had to offer. Music is fitting for each stage, and when you switch seasons the music changes appropriately. My wife and I heard tracks and sound effects that reminded us of games such as Ghouls N Ghosts, Actraiser, Aladdin, and 7th Saga. These guys know 16 bit audio.

Story

+ Story is standard 16 bit platformer fare. The Season Tree’s (think Deku Tree from LoZ) 4 pieces of magic bark have been stolen. The theft ended up creating a “5th Season” which is causing chaos and must end to restore balance. Rick the Fox, a rogue-ish guy who’s up to no good, is about to eat Patty the Partridge, she convinces him through his greed that if he helps the tree find it’s pieces of bark that he’ll be rewarded with treasure. He gets a “Melee Crossbow” to help him on his quest ,which is exactly what it sounds like, and he sets off. You’re not getting Mass Effect story telling here but that’s not the point of a 16 bit platformer is it? What’s there is good and fits the gameplay just fine.

+ The quipping between Rick and Patty is cute. Patty is very reminiscent of Kazooie from Banjo Kazooie. The characters are likable.

Gameplay

+ Platforming is both challenging and well balanced. Less brutal than Ghouls N Ghosts but you’ll definitely be needing to “git gud” in some areas if you want to progress.

+ The upgrade system keeps you coming back to the stages, which in turn helps to open up more stages. You constantly get reasons to revisit previous worlds in a way that doesn’t make it tedious.

+ Stages have multiple pathways to get through ala Sonic the Hedgehog which will make you want to revisit them to see if you missed anything.

+ The season control is a unique gimmick that isn’t done very often (and the last time it was done successfully was probably Zelda OOS.) It’s a unique idea for a platformer and it works well. You’ll want to see what every area looks like in each season that you switch to just to see if it changes anything.

+ Boss battles are balanced and make good use of the seasonal change.

+ Rick has a plethora of moves at his disposal over time as you purchase upgrades. Some of them are essential in getting through difficult areas.

– Rick’s controls can be fairly stiff or clunky at times. Nothing game breaking, but there are times where you wish he would be a bit more responsive when you’re trying to act fast in either combat or platforming segments. Could use a bit more polish.

– Sometimes the enemy respawn rate can be too fast which can make certain difficult areas unnecessarily more difficult, but not impossible.

VERDICT

I enjoyed Fox N Forests very much. As a huge fan of the 16 bit games it aims to emulate I felt right at home. The graphics are bright and colorful, the music harks back to the best of the SNES era, and in general it’s just a fun and challenging game. People who’ve been gaming as long as I have will find plenty to get nostalgic over when playing it. People who are newer to gaming will have a good example of what made that era so special.

My criticisms with the game are minimal. I’d like if there were some screen settings, and I think Rick’s controls could be polished a little more, but all in all it’s a great game.

 

DPad Experience recommends that Monster Hunter World is a game you should…

   PLAY NOW!   

 

REVIEW PHILOSOPHY

Here at DPad Experience we pretty much hate review scores (You can check out the episode 7 topic of the show to hear us to into detail). We feel that review scores put an arbitrary number on games, and gamers will decide to pass on anything that receives anything below an 8. There are a lot of good games that earn scores ranging between 7 and 8 that don’t get played as much as they should, because when you see that 7, it primes you to think it’s not worth your time. We feel that today there are too many critics, and people are forgetting what it means to be a gamer. We believe it’s OK for a game to just be fun. You don’t need to pick a game apart for what it’s not, and you should enjoy it for what it is. That being said, here is how we have decided to review games.

PLAY NOW – This is the game that is at the top of it’s class. If you are a fan of this specific genre, you should either stop what your playing and play this, or make sure it is the next game you play.

PLAY – Believe it or not, a majority of the games released do deserved to be played. A game doesn’t need to be perfect to be fun. This is the type of game that if you are a fan of this specific genre, you should keep on your radar. If you’re looking for something to play right now, or maybe you see it on sale, don’t be afraid to pick these games up.

PASS – These games are fundamentally bad. Either the gameplay is boring, the story isn’t anything special, or the game is just broken. These games are pretty much not worth your time, and should only be played if you’re a die hard fan of the series or genre. Honestly, you probably won’t see a lot of these scores from us since we usually only play games we know we will like.

That’s it. Three tiers of reviews; Play Now, Play, and Pass. We want to keep it simple. We will also break down some categories (i.e. Graphics, sound, gameplay, story, replayability) and give you pros and cons. We want things to be simple, because at the heart of it, as long as a game is fun it’s worth being played.

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