Dust: an Elysian Tail is a 2-D arcade game that also fits into the action role-play category. You can play it on the computer or on the Xbox live arcade. It had releases for the different platforms between 2012 and 2013. Dust was almost completely made by a one-man team! Humble Hearts, the creator of the game, is essentially the pen name of game designer Dean Dodrill. Beceause of this alone, the game was a success as well as popular among sites like Kotaku and Joystiq.
In Dust: AET you play as Dust, a name that was given to the main character by the magic talking sword that finds him unconscious at the very beginning of the game. The reason why he’s given a name is because he has amnesia. Ahrah the flying magical sword tells Dust that he has a great destiny ahead of him and that he must help him go through with it. Fidget, a flying furry creature (apparently her species has the name of nimbat) has no choice in following the both of them because she is Ahrah’s guardian. Her job was to watch over the sword and protect it until the chosen one meant to wield it to change the world arrive. Let’s just say, Fidget wasn’t convinced Dust was that very chosen one for awhile.
(Dust, Fidget and Ahrah)
I had a lot of fun playing this game. The story is pretty good, with a decent pacing. It reminds me a lot of Japanese cartoons (as in Animes) for that and its looks. It plays well and even the attacks you start with look over powered!
Another interesting part of this game that charmed me is all the references to what seems like plot holes or weird things about games that don’t really make sense. Like how the main character’s face is mostly masked or how ridiculous some character’s habits are. Even the title is a sort of pun. Instead of writing the last word as Tale like Humble Hearts should have, he spelled it as Tail (Get it? Because all the characters are humanoid animals. Which means they all have tails)
This is only a half spoiler, but as an example to what I just said, you find out not too far in the game that many of the monsters you have to kill are sentient and live in another part of the world in peace with their own civilized culture. The universe Dust: AET is set in has warm blooded folk, like Dust and Fidget, and cold blooded ones. Most of the monsters and bosses are that second kind of people living in the world of this game. In other words, this game has a ton of references to the many problems on race that have existed in the real world through time, some still existing in the present.
The game overall was alright. It’s impressive that one person worked on almost the whole thing, and the story and puns are very compelling. I found however that the monsters, including many bosses, were too easy to defeat. I think that the powers might have been just a little too overpowered from the start. And some of the skills you can put points in when you level up were easy to determine as not very important to upgrade.
Okay, maybe that last part isn’t exactly true, I did have trouble with my health when I stopped . But otherwise, I was overkilling many of the normal monsters.
In conclusion and revision, This game is pretty cool. You have to live with some problems, but it definitely doesn’t degrade it.
For a better look at Dust: An Elysian Tail, take a look at this epic trailer for it!