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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Games Review: The Great Tree

Games Review: The Great Tree

If you ask me what the deal with the faeries overload on my blog, I would answer that I have completely no idea. It’s just that I like pretty pictures and fantasy themed games; Reflexive’s The Great Tree has one of each.

The faeries thing was a coincidence.
Stop rolling your eyes. And stop doing that one too.

The game I’ve been playing for a while now is an action-type, a change from the tycoon-type and seek-and-find-type game I’m mostly fond of. The reason why I’m not always into action-type games is that I’m getting used to the managerial thinking and detailed observation instead of active hand-eye-mouse coordination.

Oh God, I’m getting old. I suppose The Great Tree is a great restart for me, get back those wrist muscles.

The Great Tree

You play a faerie; wings, pixie dust and all. Your mom and the rest of the elders had given you and peers a job of finding some rare flowers and collecting its ‘special-pollen’, a kind of power powder for (wait for it) ... The Great Tree.

This is because the Tree is hitting puberty but the hive of glowing-bumblebees that had done the pollen-collecting job is having some dark-magic bubble trouble. While the Swee bees have defenses against the other bloodthirsty insects, faeries do not.

But evil is afoot and it’s growing as high a yard by the hour.

A circle of elders hold a discussion.

If you’ve enjoyed Feeding Frenzy, this piece of wow-stuff follow the same kind of game play. You use your mouse to move your character around the screen and you grab these falling flower-dandruff and fill up your ‘transient star’ to full tank in order to complete the level.

For every pack of Swee bees you’ve set free, you get an attribute star to customize your powers.

Gameplay is challenging without being tedious, which I like. The attribute changing system allows a variety of strategies you can apply; either an agile faerie, dodging the bugs (one of the bugs got Bambi eyes, what the ‘f’?) or get into offensive mode as there’s a power-up chance for every bug you kill.

Your basic weapon is a mini-nuke called Ancient Fire.

Other weapons include this cool Deep Freeze (pun intended) ...

... But don’t think the enemies won’t fight back! This one sucks (also pun intended).

Graphics is no question; I loved it. The animation is smooth-running and the background is never static. I had to be careful to remember that there’s a camouflaged frog nearby that causes instant death should I fly too near.

Music and sound was very apt, very pretty. The game music had a good beat without being overdone like some magical bru-ha-ha whose programmers think they don’t have enough chimes in their magic music (I won’t name games). The sound effects too didn’t over power the music, but I wish my death sound effect has more drama than just ‘Oww’.

Storyline me-likey-alots. The voice acting was professional, narration smooth. You can really feel the rising dilemma along with the characters’ desperation. Even though the plot and the ending were hopelessly predictable, I liked how the game writers had played around with themes.

Although it didn’t blow me away, I say this game is an above-average and I recommend it to anybody who doesn’t have a lot of free time.

PS: Downloads for this game can be found in Reflexive Arcade. If you want the cracked version, ask me nicely.

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