When I downed the first boss of Ember Lilies on my second attempt, I felt really good… at least, I did until she transformed into a walking Eldritch abomination with unnaturally long limbs and hair that looked like it came from The Ring. After she killed me, I expected a moment signaling that it was an unwinnable battle, but nope. I woke up on a bench outside of the boss room and it was time to try again.
Great, Beyond A Shadow Of Doubt
HIGH Great graphics, great controls, fantastic bosses.
LOW A few platforming sections require a little too much precision.
WTF Wait, how long have I been able to swing my sword upward!?
Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.
The subject of this installment: Drawn to Life: Two Realms available on Nintendo Switch, Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS, developed by Digital Continue and published by 505 Games.
Retro Inspired Frustration
HIGH Great-looking levels and bosses.
LOW Having to replay entire levels after dying at the boss.
WTF Unreasonably large hitboxes during a late-stage boss.
Crawling In The Dark
HIGH Thick and cold atmosphere.
LOW Having to close all windows to see something on the screen.
WTF Dying at a fight 15x in a row only to win for no clear reason.
New? No. Tasty? Well…
HIGH Shooting Sligs while impersonating one.
LOW Dying ten times in a row because of wonky throwing controls.
WTF Seeing advertisements for other games in the Oddworld factories.
Blisters On Me Fingers
HIGH Finishing a 30x combo.
LOW Getting hit right before finishing a 30x combo.
WTF Waiting hours to unlock basic mechanics.
A Few Tricks, A Few Treats
HIGH Getting the sword and gun.
LOW Muddied visuals on a Switch Lite. The overall feelings of repetition.
WTF This game might have helped me face my fear of crows.
HIGH Great background art.
LOW The bosses.
WTF That story basically came out of nowhere.
A Crash To The Past
HIGH A perfect return to form for one of gaming’s best mascots.
LOW Oh boy, am I bad at this game.
WTF Does falling in love with an alternate-reality version of yourself count as incest?