Freakyforms first impressions: Wow. Buy this thing!

Infendo

My wait for Mario’s upcoming game just got a little more bearable, because for the last two hours I’ve been unable to tear myself away from Freakyforms, a brand-spankin’ new Nintendo property that just hit eShop for $6.99.

It’ll be a little while before I can write a review, because this is the kind of game that starts you off with limited options and keeps growing the more you play. At this point, however, I can tell you it’s good. Really, really good. If you’re a fan of Animal Crossing, and you love to create, buy it.

The online videos don’t do it justice: this thing has all the polish, fine-tuning and expert pacing you expect from a Nintendo game. It runs at 60 FPS and bursts at the seams with charm and humor. What makes it fly is how well the character creation and the platform game work together to create a solid, addictive experience.

Basically, it goes like this: You’re given a planet to name, and are given the task of populating it with creatures from your imagination. At first, you have limited parts to work with. Once you’ve created, named, and given a voice to your new citizen (the voice-picking feature is worth the price of admission), you take it out onto the planet, which resembles a fairly generic platforming world (it’s up to you to customize it). You control your character with the stylus, and jumping is accomplished by pulling down and releasing, slingshot style. The cartoony physics here feel just right.

You have limited time to explore: the clock is your nemesis. So, you race around the environment, uncovering secrets, opening chests, accepting quests and challenges, and eating to produce colored eggs full of coins (you crack them open after the time runs out–and, yes, even the egg-cracking is well done). The more you explore, the more options you unlock for creating characters. The more you create, the bigger the world gets.

I’m hooked. I think Nintendo’s got a winner on its hands. I don’t know how much depth this game will turn out to have, but I’ve already gotten my money’s worth, and I haven’t even unlocked half the options yet. Full review coming soon.

One last thing: I don’t usually make remarks about other site’s opinions, but IGN’s reviewer just….didn’t…get it. He calls this game “befuddling,” doesn’t see the point, and apparently didn’t get the character creator to really sing: Believe me, once you’ve unlocked all the options and really played around with it, you can create almost anything, including people and living vehicles. You can even create a decent Freakyforms Mario! I’d show you a picture, but I haven’t unlocked the photo option yet…

I think the IGN review is worth mentioning, however, because: yes, this game is not for everyone. If what I’ve described above sounds awesome to you, buy it. If you think it sounds ridiculous, then it probably isn’t your cup of tea. As for me, I’m freaking out in a good way.

 

11 Comments

  1. Does the racing against the clock aspect get annoying after a while? Because being timed in games is always a huge turn off for me. Other than that it sounds great.

  2. @cmdg:

    In this case, I think it works. The platform world is fairly simple, although it keeps getting larger. Having a timer counting down turns it into a frantic race to collect as much stuff as you can; it almost has a “game show” feel to it. You have to keep making priority choices about whether you want to find the treasure, get eggs, carry out a task, or just collect coins, and characters you meet keep giving you additional options. So far, I’m really enjoying it, although it can be frustrating when the clock runs out when you’re 3 feet away from reaching a treasure chest.

  3. I waited up until 2am to download this game this morning. So desperate for new games for my poor 3DS. And it was worth it. I stayed up until 6am playing it and unlocking alot of stuff. Replayed with some of my favourite Formees. I’m not the artistic type but I do love my weird and wacky little fellas I’ve created. And I was very surprised that it was $9 here in Australia. I was expecting $12 like other high prices DSiWare but it was certainly money well spent. More interesting software like this please Nintendo!!

  4. I’m pretty sure I’m going to pick this up, but it does kinda piss me off that it costs $11.25 here in New Zealand. That’s US$8.75. I know it’s only another buck 75 but when all games cost more for no apparent reason it starts to get you down…

  5. Glad to see Infendo loves this game as much as I do. And yes, the voice selection screen is by far the most valuable feature in this game. I’m enjoying this much more than I anticipated, which is saying something since I went out and bought a 3DS points card just for this title (but of course I bought Links Awakening with the leftover funds).

    When I read all of the previews of this game, I too couldn’t help but make an Animal Crossing comparison, and I think that’s a pretty spot-on way of determining who may or may not like the game.

    My only problem with the game is the control scheme, but only to an extent. It does work well, though sometimes when the clock is winding down I find myself frantically going for the A and B buttons and the Directional Pad out of habit; however, I only think I dislike the all-stylus control scheme because it reminds me of walking and fighting in the Zelda DS games. Woof.

  6. Bought the game and I’m enjoying it. Well worth the money.

  7. At first, I was a skeptic of this game, and I voiced my concerns about it.

    I tried it, given that $7 is still a relatively small amount of money for a game, and I would like to support the downloadable scene on 3DS, and I love it. Creating these creatures is occasionally hillarious, and is a lot of fun socially, and the voices for them really add personality.

    Personally, I would love button control over this–touch control rarely serves to be anything but a nuisance, especially when it is simply an adapted version of button input–but it’s not a big deal, and it works OK.

    I highly recommend this game.

  8. All you had to say was “Animal Crossing” to get me interested!

  9. I don’t like Animal Crossing. Or more honestly, I just don’t get it. Played the DS version and it seemed really dull to me. But I do love this. I’ve made some creepy looking things. Love the voices. The excited one always makes me smile.

  10. This is a game that needs a demo, written impresions don’t put me on te spot enough to buy it. If i could play a demo i think ill buy it. It still is a fairly pricy game for a downloadable titel.

    I tink it was stupid of Nintendo not putting a demo in the store first day it came out, what would a demo cost…

  11. @Nintendoblog.nl:

    They can’t provide 3DS demos yet, but that feature’s included in an upcoming firmware update. I agree, Freakyforms should have a free downloadable demo; it could help sell a lot of copies.

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