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Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Heyo, folks, I'm Will.

< - And that's SuccinctAndPunchy.

And we've played way too much Freedom Planet!



Developer: GalaxyTrail
Platforms: PC, Wii U, PS4
Initial Release Date: July 21, 2014
Genre: Action Platformer
This is a voiced, co-commentated VLP.

Freedom Planet is an action-heavy platforming game that takes clear inspiration from a variety of classic SEGA Genesis platformers, such as Gunstar Heroes, Ristar, Rocket Knight Adventures, and Sonic the Hedgehog, with a tightened focus on combat and a number of more modern approaches to game design that, in my opinion, put it well above the games it draws life from, as well as most of its contemporaries. It was developed largely by one guy: Stephen DiDuro (who we'll mostly refer to by his Internet handle, "Strife"), with the help of Leila Wilson (a composer who wrote most of the soundtrack and orchestrated all of it) and an awfully large voice cast.

Freedom Planet follows the adventure of three fast-moving critters, Sash Lilac (a dragon*), Carol Tea (a cat), and Milla Basset (a dog), whose homeworld has just been invaded by a scary green dude. That's the story.

*yes I'm serious

Succinct and I have collectively dumped about 1000 hours into this game (him, over 800, and me, over 200), and we figured we ought to use our knowledge of Freedom Planet, both inside and outside of the finished product, to present the game we love(d?) so much in a variety of lights. We'll be taking you through the full game two separate times: a casual runthrough with Lilac (on Hard difficulty), and a speedrun (also featuring Lilac), with a few extra tidbits on the history of FP and Strife here and there.

You're free to discuss spoilers (although there's not much point to talk about plot points until they're pertinent, frankly) - otherwise, all we ask for post content is that you try to keep things on topic. For the sake of having as few videos as possible and keeping things simple, I'll be including the gameplay and cutscenes together, but the latter will (almost) always be stuck wholly in the second half of a video, so as to let people tap out when they feel the need.

Now, without any further ado....

Episode List
Series Playlist
Episode 1: Dragon Valley
Episode 2: Relic Maze
Episode 3: Fortune Night
Episode 4: Sky Battalion
Episode 5: Jade Creek
Episode 6: Thermal Base
Episode 7: Pangu Lagoon
Episode 8: Battle Glacier
Episode 9: Final Dreadnought (1&2)
Episode 10: Final Dreadnough (3&4)

Episode B1: GalaxyTrail History
Episode B2: Jade Phoenix
Episode B3: Super Ecksdee Panic

Ultigonio fucked around with this message at Aug 29, 2017 around 01:22

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Samovar
Jun 4, 2011

me irl


Ok, Major/Minor has one advantage over this - it isn't voiced.

SuccinctAndPunchy
Mar 28, 2013

People are supposed to get hurt by things. It's fucked up to not. It's not good for you.


Samovar posted:

Ok, Major/Minor has one advantage over this - it isn't voiced.

I don't think the two have even remotely enough in common to be worth comparing. One's a VN, the other's an actually pretty drat good platformer with a kind of lovely plot.

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


And I believe that other game mode basically removes the cutscenes or something? I think I read that anyways.

I have heard this is a good Sonic game and that the voice acting is at least hilarious so honestly I'm going to be there for both.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Yep, the no-cutscene mode is called "Classic Mode," and we'll be seeing that in our second playthrough of the game. A few incidental cutscenes still appear in this mode, but it's otherwise totally free of them. Besides that, cutscenes are also skippable, and single lines can be skipped by tapping A.

Whether or not you'd consider Freedom Planet to be something you'd enjoy as a "good Sonic game" depends mainly on what you get out of Sonic games. If the joy of Sonic games for you is memorizing layouts and beating your best times, then yeah, you'll get that. If you like fast-paced levels with varied pathways, then you'll get that, too. Freedom Planet starts to break off from Sonic when it comes to combat, boss fights and moment-to-moment platforming, though (for example, Sonic's challenge lies in its stages, where FP's challenge is usually more in its bosses). Comparisons to Sonic are still worthwhile (and we'll almost certainly be making them), but Freedom Planet's heart lies just as much with other Sega Genesis classics, and this'll become gradually more apparent as we move forward.

but yeah the VA is kinda' whack

Ultigonio fucked around with this message at Mar 21, 2017 around 07:58

SuccinctAndPunchy
Mar 28, 2013

People are supposed to get hurt by things. It's fucked up to not. It's not good for you.


Kibayasu posted:

I have heard this is a good Sonic game and that the voice acting is at least hilarious so honestly I'm going to be there for both.

I'm of the opinion it's good because it's nothing like a Sonic game. It's actually got half-decent combat and boss fights for one.

VA is wack. VA will forever be wack.

ModeWondershot
Dec 30, 2014

Portu-geezer


Huh, didn't see much of this game apart from the Steam Greenlight campaign and thought it was someone's fan project. That it has so much VA work and varied design in its levels is kind of surprising.

I actually kind of like the fact that the VA quality is at about the level of a second-string PS1 game or a cartoon from the 90s nobody watched, it makes it seem a little endearing in that sense.

Samovar posted:

Ok, Major/Minor has one advantage over this - it isn't voiced.

I am quite certain that the story won't be that bad, especially given we don't already have a profoundly unlikable deuteragonist to follow.

The plot thread is kind of confusing, though, between the villain appearing in two completely different contexts in consecutive scenes and our hero's attempt to save someone in a crashed plane suddenly derailing into a snake fight.

I liked the gag right at the end.

SupSuper
Apr 8, 2009

At the Heart of the city is an Alien horror, so vile and so powerful that not even death can claim it.


Oh hey, finally a Let's Play from someone actually good at the game! Looking forward to learning a lot more about the mechanics that the game never clearly conveys.

The plot does get pretty bad, but it's less furry-fanfiction-bad and more my-original-character-bad.

SupSuper fucked around with this message at Mar 22, 2017 around 14:34

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 2: Relic Maze

I hoped you enjoyed those cutscenes in the first episode 'cause we're in it for the long haul, now.

Ultigonio fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2017 around 14:55

ModeWondershot
Dec 30, 2014

Portu-geezer


Yeah, that is a LOT of cutscene. I remember seeing a look at this game where the player actually skipped the scene after Milla showed up and I had no idea that it would have taken that long otherwise.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 3: Fortune Night

Coming off the back of Relic Maze, Fortune Night is level that feels straightforward in platforming but has a lot of vertical openness. It also has a couple great boss fights! And still a lot of cutscene.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 4: Sky Battalion

In this episode, Punchy and I have finally become so exhausted with the game's cutscenes that we're at a loss for words.

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


Well so far this game can be undeniably creative in its levels, endearingly cute in some of it's dialogue, and... I'm not going to call the rest unbearable but unnecessary I guess?

Also, really, the voice acting itself isn't nearly as bad as I figured it was. Granted there's a couple of jerks talking over a lot of it but it's still pretty okay for a smaller game's effort.

Mr. Highway
Feb 25, 2007

I'm a very lonely man, doing what I can.

I'd say the voice acting is mediocre, so far. I haven't heard anything horrible, but they do have a lack of inflection. Just about every line is delivered the same as every other line so far. It's like the voice actors focused on having unique, cartoonish voices but hadn't developed them fully.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 5: Jade Creek
Now, we're in Jade Creek. This is one of the game's better levels, especially if you're interested in going fast. In fact, Punchy follows his speedrun muscle memory for the first 10 seconds of gameplay.


Mr. Highway posted:

I'd say the voice acting is mediocre, so far. I haven't heard anything horrible, but they do have a lack of inflection. Just about every line is delivered the same as every other line so far. It's like the voice actors focused on having unique, cartoonish voices but hadn't developed them fully.
It's a bit hard to hear over me and Punchy talking, but other than the acting itself being decidedly mediocre, a major detriment to the VO is the way that several characters have totally different mic qualities. I won't bang on about this too much since I seem to be wholly unable to keep mic quality for myself and Punchy consistent across this LP (due to the fact that we don't have a fixed distance that we sit from our microphones), but it's pretty jarring in a video game.

Ultigonio fucked around with this message at Apr 18, 2017 around 05:50

Katsuma
Sep 12, 2007
For All Brave Silpheed Pilots

This whole game has some fantastic music, but Jade Creek's level themes really stand out to me, and are far and away my favorites. Leila Wilson does some great work.

Love the LP, too. For all of Freedom Planet's faults, I have an inordinate love for the game; it's great to see it appraised so thoroughly by commentators who are actually pleasant to listen to.

SuccinctAndPunchy
Mar 28, 2013

People are supposed to get hurt by things. It's fucked up to not. It's not good for you.


Katsuma posted:

Love the LP, too. For all of Freedom Planet's faults, I have an inordinate love for the game; it's great to see it appraised so thoroughly by commentators who are actually pleasant to listen to.

Thank you! We try. I think it's a genuinely interesting game where a lot of the stuff that would be fun to talk about gets drowned in talk about the story, which kinda displeases me a bit. Part of the reason I've wanted to do an LP of this game for a while was to try and inspire discussion about the game in a way that wasn't laser-focused on its largely inconsequential plot.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 6: Thermal Base

Where the level's good and the plot doesn't mean anything - this is the essence of Freedom Planet.



Katsuma posted:

This whole game has some fantastic music, but Jade Creek's level themes really stand out to me, and are far and away my favorites. Leila Wilson does some great work.

Love the LP, too. For all of Freedom Planet's faults, I have an inordinate love for the game; it's great to see it appraised so thoroughly by commentators who are actually pleasant to listen to.

Yes! I respect Woofle's work a lot. She's got a recognizable but very cohesive style, good use and reuse of melodic motifs, mixing abilities that are easy on the ears.

And I'm glad you're enjoying the LP! We deliberated on its creation for at least a year, it's good to see that passion, knowledge, and handsome voices sell an LP as well as ever.

ModeWondershot
Dec 30, 2014

Portu-geezer


Ultigonio posted:

And I'm glad you're enjoying the LP! We deliberated on its creation for at least a year, it's good to see that passion, knowledge, and handsome voices sell an LP as well as ever.

I will absolutely agree that you have delivered on this LP, as I am finding it quite fun.

With that in mind, I will agree that today's end-stage cutscene is indeed terrible and should have not been there. Why they opted to cut out a level but leave that in is a mystery for the ages.

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


Electrocution is basically the Saturday morning cartoon torture anyways so that didn't really phase me but the mutilation thing was a bit

Section Z
Oct 1, 2008

Wait, this is the Moon.
How did I even get here?

As my last normal playthrough was with Carol, I'm getting reminded again how Lilac is basically easy mode by comparison by a large margin. Any and all "Actually, Carol is more efficient when-" tends to involve way more button inputs and having to bother with timing. Or, you know. Just sitting with your thumb up your rear end waiting for even some of the easy bosses to come within Carol's attack/wall jump range in the first place

Kibayasu posted:

Electrocution is basically the Saturday morning cartoon torture anyways so that didn't really phase me but the mutilation thing was a bit
What's it say about how botched the writing is when I think the Magister is still a bigger rear end in a top hat than the guy torturing you giving the stock 'Maybe it is YOU who are the assholes? hmmm? DEEP'. I guess it's because he's supposed to be an rear end in a top hat, while the Magister and Panda cop are still talking down to little miss BBQ face washing up on shore half dead like she was caught shoplifting. But have that whole "No, he's supposed to be the noble smart authority figure " vibe to the writing.

Like, with so many logics from the Magister, I entirely forgot about "How dare you lie to us, by agreeing with us that you were lying about space aliens existing?" bit in particular.

Section Z fucked around with this message at Apr 26, 2017 around 04:52

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Section Z posted:

As my last normal playthrough was with Carol, I'm getting reminded again how Lilac is basically easy mode by comparison by a large margin. Any and all "Actually, Carol is more efficient when-" tends to involve way more button inputs and having to bother with timing. Or, you know. Just sitting with your thumb up your rear end waiting for even some of the easy bosses to come within Carol's attack/wall jump range in the first place
Yeah, Carol's a bit gimped and a large number of bosses simply aren't balanced around her moveset. This is especially unfortunate because it means that, even at higher skill levels, she still can't outpace Lilac for the vast majority of fights. Compare this to Milla, whose moveset (no free invuln) and small health pool definitely makes bosses a bigger threat than they are with the other two, but has incredible damage output at higher level play that allows her to take out some bosses faster than the other two can.

Carol's Wild Claw does help to shrink the gap a fair bit, but this is a move that most people will either find out about well into the game by pure accident or never discover at all (though I can't think of a way to "fix" that).

quote:

What's it say about how botched the writing is when I think the Magister is still a bigger rear end in a top hat than the guy torturing you giving the stock 'Maybe it is YOU who are the assholes? hmmm? DEEP'. I guess it's because he's supposed to be an rear end in a top hat, while the Magister and Panda cop are still talking down to little miss BBQ face washing up on shore half dead like she was caught shoplifting. But have that whole "No, he's supposed to be the noble smart authority figure " vibe to the writing.
With respect to Brevon's doofy "it's your fault" speech, this does actually get addressed/half-lampshaded later on. Strife does know about these clichés, but it seems like there was some conflict on whether Brevon should be a villain with actual purpose and backstory, or just some evil guy having fun being evil - either of these things are okay, but they're a bit odd when mixed as they are in this game.

In addition: for what it's worth, the first trailer for Freedom Planet 2 teased that the Magister may not be as pure as we're lead to believe in this game. Whether this is intended through FP1's writing or not is anyone's guess, but it wouldn't be the only instance of plot points probably being added with the sole interest of expanding upon them in future games (which we'll be seeing a bit of in the next video).

Ultigonio fucked around with this message at Apr 27, 2017 around 07:11

Section Z
Oct 1, 2008

Wait, this is the Moon.
How did I even get here?

Ultigonio posted:

Yeah, Carol's a bit gimped and a large number of bosses simply aren't balanced around her moveset. This is especially unfortunate because it means that, even at higher skill levels, she still can't outpace Lilac for the vast majority of fights. Compare this to Milla, whose moveset (no free invuln) and small health pool definitely makes bosses a bigger threat than they are with the other two, but has incredible damage output at higher level play that allows her to take out some bosses faster than the other two can.

Carol's Wild Claw does help to shrink the gap a fair bit, but this is a move that most people will either find out about well into the game by pure accident or never discover at all (though I can't think of a way to "fix" that).

With respect to Brevon's doofy "it's your fault" speech, this does actually get addressed/half-lampshaded later on. Strife does know about these clichés, but it seems like there was some conflict on whether Brevon should be a villain with actual purpose and backstory, or just some evil guy having fun being evil - either of these things are okay, but they're a bit odd when mixed as they are in this game.

In addition: for what it's worth, the first trailer for Freedom Planet 2 teased that the Magister may not be as pure as we're lead to believe in this game. Whether this is intended through FP1's writing or not is anyone's guess, but it wouldn't be the only instance of plot points probably being added with the sole interest of expanding upon them in future games (which we'll be seeing a bit of in the next video).
Yeah, of course trying to highlight even that much around launch was generally met with "Well, I'm an OLDSCHOOL GAMER! So therefore any changes are dumbing the game down!" reactions. Even if you pointed out you could sleep walk through the bosses as Lilac, and the Developers themselves said "Hey guys, we've noticed death spikes in the literal hundreds at these areas. Helps us fix that". Nope, it's clearly just because people can't handle oldschool Sonic games (What? Mercy invincibility was in real Sonic games? Well, gently caress you anyways).

I should do another replay to see if half my carol death count are due to one specific endgame boss again (that took me about 20 seconds with Lilac), since I know they did eventually dial stuff back but I haven't really played since. The game is super loving fun despite nitpicks, even before it got improvements.

What's that? The guy with no visible face isn't on the up and up in the sequel? No way.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 7: Pangu Lagoon



This is the first time I have ever bothered to google the meaning of this word. It makes sense.

Section Z
Oct 1, 2008

Wait, this is the Moon.
How did I even get here?

Yeah, that boss drags enough as it is. So the fact I kept getting nickle and dimed to death by stray shots deciding they would hit me directly rather than trail whenever I dashed to the right didn't do my first playthrough any favors

Pollyanna
Mar 5, 2005

?



800 hours is near unfathomable for something that isn't on the level of WoW.

SuccinctAndPunchy
Mar 28, 2013

People are supposed to get hurt by things. It's fucked up to not. It's not good for you.


Pollyanna posted:

800 hours is near unfathomable for something that isn't on the level of WoW.

877, according to Steam.

Sounds about right. I did play it super solid for the better part of a year.

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


Pollyanna posted:

800 hours is near unfathomable for something that isn't on the level of WoW.

I mean I guess it's at least on some level of WoW because its an RPG but let me tell you about my Mass Effect 2 time played... (BOY THAT WAS SURE WORTH IT, EH ME3?)

Also this isn't really a complaint because I do like seeing the levels just get destroyed but your map knowledge combined with the enemies that aren't threats until they actually attack makes things go super quick. I think the bee enemies are the first ones in a while I've gotten a good look at, and even that is via aggregate, not because I was able to see one for a while

Thotimx
Jan 22, 2017

And that's the way it is...

I have nothing profound to say here, but I am enjoying this well-done LP. I've never played Freedom Planet, but both the level discussions and the commentary on the plot has been entertaining so far.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Kibayasu posted:

Also this isn't really a complaint because I do like seeing the levels just get destroyed but your map knowledge combined with the enemies that aren't threats until they actually attack makes things go super quick. I think the bee enemies are the first ones in a while I've gotten a good look at, and even that is via aggregate, not because I was able to see one for a while
Fair point - I've got an idea for how we might be able to address this before we get into an even faster playthrough of the game.

Thotimx posted:

I have nothing profound to say here, but I am enjoying this well-done LP. I've never played Freedom Planet, but both the level discussions and the commentary on the plot has been entertaining so far.
Thank you! Freedom Planet is an excellent game for this particular video format because both sides of it are very dense with things to talk about.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 8: Battle Glacier
Another week, another FP video - we're just about to get into the final stretch of the game.

If you'd like to listen to the cutscene track that plays at the end of the video in isolation, you can do so here: https://galaxytrail.bandcamp.com/track/snowfields

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


I think I'd be constantly dodging the shooting the background if I was playing this level for the first time.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 9: Final Dreadnought (1&2)

We're now at the penultimate episode of our casual playthrough of Freedom Planet. Enjoy!

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


If this is a casual playthrough I have to wonder what a... hardcore? playthrough would look like.

That kind of boss makes me twitch, bringing back memories of similar bosses I couldn't ever beat in childhood... and adulthood (Plague Knight )

Section Z
Oct 1, 2008

Wait, this is the Moon.
How did I even get here?

Kibayasu posted:

If this is a casual playthrough I have to wonder what a... hardcore? playthrough would look like.

That kind of boss makes me twitch, bringing back memories of similar bosses I couldn't ever beat in childhood... and adulthood (Plague Knight )

It's a lot more forgiving that it looks for Lilac. Double jump height letting you hover above/between most of his attack and all that (Not that I've finished my Hard difficulty attempts ). Now imagine fighting that boss without the extra leeway of being able to easily hover above half the boss's attacks like in that video.

Though yeah, this is the point of the game and onwards where at launch the Devlopers outright stated "So we've noticed death spikes in the literal hundreds. Help us fix that".

If you've read my previous , you can take a guess what the average reaction to balance concerns was

Kurui Reiten
Apr 24, 2010


Two big problems I have with this game: The story is basically overflowing with characters who are completely useless, only exist to fill in lore that is not even necessary and in fact completely distracting, and look like terrible furry OCs. Also, for a game that has so many influences from old Sega platformers, they didn't include even one character who can kill enemies by leaping on them without using some sort of external attack. We get it, it's trying to separate itself from its beginnings as a Sonic fangame, but give us SOMEONE who plays like Sonic.

Also they could have included a loving tutorial/how-to-play section in the menu that would tell you poo poo that is, instead, buried away in a digital manual the vast majority of people don't even know about.

Section Z
Oct 1, 2008

Wait, this is the Moon.
How did I even get here?

Kurui Reiten posted:

Two big problems I have with this game: The story is basically overflowing with characters who are completely useless, only exist to fill in lore that is not even necessary and in fact completely distracting, and look like terrible furry OCs. Also, for a game that has so many influences from old Sega platformers, they didn't include even one character who can kill enemies by leaping on them without using some sort of external attack. We get it, it's trying to separate itself from its beginnings as a Sonic fangame, but give us SOMEONE who plays like Sonic.

Also they could have included a loving tutorial/how-to-play section in the menu that would tell you poo poo that is, instead, buried away in a digital manual the vast majority of people don't even know about.
You mean like, a character with mercy invincibility?

Also, I admit I spent way too long not realizing you could angle Lilac's super dash. Diagonal lines of gems are not as much of a hint when you didn't work out you can zoom diagonally

SuccinctAndPunchy
Mar 28, 2013

People are supposed to get hurt by things. It's fucked up to not. It's not good for you.


Kibayasu posted:

If this is a casual playthrough I have to wonder what a... hardcore? playthrough would look like.

I mean, it's No Death Hard mode so it's not exactly casual, but a hardcore playthrough involves going really really fast.

Ultigonio
Oct 26, 2012

Well now.


Episode 10: Final Dreadnough (3&4)

And with that, our standard playthrough of Freedom Planet comes to a close. We're still pretty far from done, though. Coming up next is a dive into the history of the game's core developer, Strife.

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Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010


For how talk-y this game gets not having any dialogue at all during that boss fight with the dog was really... awkward? Like I expected something overly dramatic with a whole lot of "Don't worry about me!" or "I won't do it!" but instead it's just wordless animations and everything is over in less than 30 seconds. I guess I shouldn't complain but it's still weird to go the entire game in one style then switch over to another in what is supposed to be the most dramatic point.

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