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First impression

Watching trailers of Effie took me by surprise. The game reminded me of old platformer games from the 90’s, but with completely renewed. I can’t explain how positive I felt after seeing all the footage. I was eager to play it and for a long time, I felt like some nostalgic energy was building in me.

As I started Effie, it began just as I was hoping for; a simple tale of a man and evil witch and saving the land from her grasp. Everything was uncomplicated and nothing nowdays extravagant was pushed into it. Effie seemed a good game already and I hoped the good energy would last the whole playthrough.

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Story

Effie starts with a tale of a young man Galand, who ignores to help an old lady in need. The old lady was a young witch Melira in disguise and she cast a curse on him as a lesson, turning him to an old man. Galand realizes his mistake and begs for mercy, but the witch won’t hear his plead. He comes to terms that his life being almost over and he haven’t done all the things he wanted in his life. He goes to seek help from the ancient ones and they tell him the curse is revocable, but only if Galand shows his goodness. They give him a mission to release the cities of Oblena from under evil magic of Melira, and so he goes to his adventure.

I’m with this story completely. It’s not complicated and very basic to adventure platformer. The story progress as I went to the cities and freed them from Melira’s power. The plot is about lesson and goodness, and maybe about second chance, too.

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Gameplay & Controls

It was easy to jump into the gameplay system. The weapon player gets is not a sword stuck in a stone, but a shield. Galand uses the shield as a weapon and protection, getting upgrades and new moves to it along the way. The shield can be used like a hoverboard to travel the vast land of Oblena. The fighting system was easy and Galand wasn’t stuffed with countless of moves, it was kept simple enough, having everything necessary.

Every city has its own theme that is taken to the nth degree like some 90’s 3D platformer, making the levels interesting and jovial. Even though the game was vast I didn’t have problems navigating around (the shield could be used to show your next destination) and levels were mostly linear, but sometimes I had to find my way to proceed.

To level up Galand, player get points from defeated enemies, collecting runes and, of course, breaking vases all around the places. The runes lied everywhere like some Banjo-Kazooie notes to really bring back the nostalgic. Galand had health and stamina, but I rarely ran out of both, but still I kept close eye on the meters.

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Graphics

effie-game-galand-3D-web2Not the most realistic and not the most synthetic either. Effie has personal look in it, having a style of looking like those PS1/N64 games, but with much better quality (obviously). As the developer describes having inspired from games such like Yooka-Laylee, Zelda, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot it shows in the overall style, making surroundings look familiar and nice. I tried to take good screenshots, because I found many good spots for it, but sadly the camera won’t allow much of movement and getting close to objects or Galand, they disappear. Photo mode would be nice and some tweaks with the camera, as well.

 

Sound

I loved the background music and there’s no denial how much it resembles of Banjo-Kazooie. With the music, everything turns into this child-like excitement and jolliness. Effie is voice acted, but with certain characters only. The story is told by a narrator, voiced by an older man, giving a bit serious tone to the story. The voice acting was not the most serious or best one, it was also having child-like performance, suiting the game’s style well.

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Difficulty

Those places where one drop into the lava or water kills, were somewhat hard. I’m good with platforming and jumping around like a Mario, but if player hasn’t used to this, then it might get difficult. Timing was the most important in many of the places and managing to jump correctly, too. End of every city I had to fight with the witch and beat her differently every time. It took some tries to take her down, since fighting with her usually took one sip to the waters and I had to start all over. Checkpoints could’ve been more often, but with this kind of little ‘harshness’ in the gameplay, just turns up the old-school volumes.

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Last impression

Effie just hit me totally. I’ve played many games in recent years that promised old-school nostalgic, but they really didn’t have any affect on me. I don’t know what is it, that makes me like this game so much, wanting to play it again. I think there weren’t any situations that I ‘hated’ to do, turning up the replay value. Effie had something that seemed ‘missing’, such like a comprehensive menu of Galands stats. It wouldn’t make any difference to the gameplay, but it would’ve been nice to just check things clearly. The settings could’ve also been more expansive. That is the only negative what I have to say and I hope some future update fix them. I know I’ve made references to certain old games, but as a reviewer, I try to give the reader the best picture of what I felt, experienced and wanna say.

The main character isn’t a cute bear, Italian plumber or bandicoot, but it didn’t lower the affect of going to a magical adventure.

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RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2019
GENRE: Action / Adventure / Platformer
DEVELOPER: Inverge Studios
PUBLISHER: Factoria Cultural Gestio, S.L.
PLATFORMS: PlayStation 4
Microsoft Windows

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