• Atlus has been taking in many games from Western indies as of late, and the latest game to join the family is Daydreamer: Awakened Edition. But maybe this game should have spent more time in the dreamworld before awakening, as it just barely goes above being average.

    The game’s story is about a nameless woman, who is apparently trapped in a dreamworld and is sent to free humanity from their enslavement or whatever. It doesn’t make much sense, with the scant story details only laid out in the intro and very brief cliffhanger ending. But after naming the protagonist, the game runs you through a tutorial, where you learn the controls. The game plays like an action platformer with shooting mechanics seen in many games in the past like Contra or Metal Slug. Only this game doesn’t quite play like those classic franchises. The various shot-types do seem to imitates those found in the game’s I mentioned above, with a basic shot, a 3-way shot, a laser beam, a flame-thrower, a homing shot, and a nuke. All but the nuke have unlimited ammo, but you do have an energy meter which can can be recharged by finding pickups, or wait for it to recharge over time. This actually is a bit reminiscent of Alien Soldier. There’s even a shield you can activate to prevent damage for a few hits, which also recharges over time. If things get a little too hectic, you can even slow down time. You can also dash through enemies, which can also be used to traverse tricky jumps. You do have a health meter, so this isn’t one of those one-hit kill types of run and guns. There’s also various animal helpers you can summon to do passive things like letting you recover health over time. These animal friends will consume your PSY though, which is needed to buy things at the stores.

    All of this sounds a really good recipe for fun time, but the only problems lies in just how bland the game looks and how janky some of the controls can be. The characters and backgrounds are pretty drab, with the monsters you fight being generic robots and various grotesque, yet similar looking things. And these are exactly the same enemy types you’ll run into for the whole 14 levels this game has. The real highlights would be the boss fights. The fights themselves are pretty easy and average, but the designs are interesting. You might want to play on the hardest difficulty to get a real challenge. Especially the rabbit boss, who throws Easter Egg bombs that look photo-realistic, but is very easy to find a few spots from. The music sometimes has some interesting beats, and was actually done by the composer who did the score for Hotline Miami 2. The real issues I saw with his game come from the sometimes flaky controls. You have a jump kick and attack, but there’s no way to crouch and shoot, or shoot in mid-air while moving. The shots fired from your gun while jumping from a default position will have kick-back, which might cause players some trouble if they are in a precarious position. Another move in the daydreamer’s arsenal is the ledge-grab. While it’s appreciated that the game has such a move, it feels arbitrary in how and when the game decides to activate it. Along with the also including wall grabbing and jumping. Failure can lead to falling in a pit, meaning that you need to play the entire level over again, as it’s stingy with checkpoints. These checkpoints come in the form of hotels, where you can rest to regain health and weapon energy.

    Perhaps if the game had a longer time to get polished up, it would have turned out better visually and technically. There’s also an extreme difficulty where one death ends the game, and this mode even has a recording feature that lets you upload footage of your attempts to Youtube. This version of the game is an update from the original PC version, so to see it still fall short is a disappointment. And the game has a cliffhanger of an ending, and then credits. It seriously feels like a lame fake-out ending from the NES era. The game is ten bucks, so it’s not a bad way to spend your money.

    Daydreamer: Awakened Edition - Review
    A above average shooter that's right for the price, despite a few foibles.
    Our Score6.5
    Positives
    • The game has some nice beats for it's soundtrack.
    Negatives
    • The ledge grabbing feels arbitrary.
    • The game has a rather lame ending.
    6.5Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
    0.0

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