Graphics:
9.1
Gameplay:
8.9
Sound:
8.7
Control:
8.5
Replay Value:
8.0
Overall Rating:
8.6
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Atlus
Developer:
Frozenbyte
Number Of Players:
1-3
Genre:
Action/Adventure


I’ve said this before but I must reiterate: although I figured some downloadable games would eventually become good options for casual gamers, they would never be anything I’d purchase. But it didn’t take long for me to eat my words, as the likes of Wipeout HD , echochrome , Shatter , Flower , and even Magic Ball have all surprised me with their wonderful polish, extremely high fun factor and equally high level of playability and accessibility. Now, when I see a game like Trine pop up, I do question the $20 price tag and ask myself, “is it worth it?” Then, I remember the many great games I’ve downloaded off the PSN and immediately become encouraged; I went into this new title with that same optimism and once again, I wasn’t disappointed. For those of you who never played Trine on PC, I’m here to tell you it made the transition very well and without much of a stumble; it’s a beautifully designed side-scrolling action/adventure that will test your wits and your reflexes.

Visually, this is one of the best-looking downloadable games you will ever see. In fact, artistically-speaking, it may be the best, although one could make solid arguments for Wipeout HD and Flower . This beautiful 2D world is alive with vibrant colors, gorgeous lines and environment depictions, and a very impressive level design. Each of the three characters look great as well; they’re nicely detailed and enjoy fluid animations, so Trine is definitely a joy to behold. The only drawback centers on the enemies, which are little more than generic skeletons and a few bats here and there. They don’t appear to be anywhere near as polished and accomplished and in all honesty, I never liked to see the skeletons show up because they’d instantly mar an otherwise pretty graphical presentation. Even the brief cut-scenes that only include still-frame photos look like paintings and blend nicely with the gameplay visuals. Really, I have every confidence you’ll smile when you see Trine .

The sound is good, too, but I once again have to complain about the lack of a stellar soundtrack. The music fits the atmosphere, certainly, but it’s just not brought out enough during our adventure and it’s also far too repetitive, although you probably won’t notice. I say you won’t notice because the gameplay is guaranteed to keep your attention, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The effects are clear and accurate, although there’s a slight balance issue as the Thief’s grappling hook always seems louder and crisper than just about anything the Wizard can do with his magic. These minor complaints aside, the narrator is fantastic and adds to the fantastical, fairytale flavor, the voices for each character are good (although not heard often), and overall, there’s nothing to get into a twist about. Trine sounds almost as good as it looks, and that’s all you really need to know.

At first, if you’re not familiar with the game, you won’t be too enthusiastic by what you first see when you start. You lead three separate characters in the same general direction and while you might correctly surmise that each section is a mini-tutorial of sorts, you might not realize that all three characters will be used at once when the trio comes together. This is the crux of the gameplay: there’s a Knight, Thief, and Wizard, and each character has his or her own special skills and abilities. The Knight has a sword and can easily deal with most enemies, and he can also cut ropes and pick up small objects. The Thief has a grappling hook (uber-helpful throughout) and a bow, which she can aim on the fly in a full 360 radius. The Wizard can use his magic to move objects around and he can even draw boxes in thin air and transform them into solid objects, which is another very useful skill. On the flip side, all three have the exact same platforming/jumping ability; they can all leap the same height and distance.

Well, at least I think they can. I keep thinking the Thief is slightly more agile but I could be wrong. Anyway, each level, which is set up with an old-school, 2D side-scrolling format and you must find a way past the variety of obstacles, puzzles, and foes that lie in your path. The Thief can easily swing across a gap, provided there’s a piece of wood above that can act as an anchor for her grappling hook, or the Wizard can move a box for the Knight to leap atop of and clamber up to the other side. There are any number of ways you can tackle a certain problem, and switching between the characters is as easy as pressing the R1 button. Each character has his or her own health and magic bar so if you get nailed as the Knight, you might want to rely more on the bow of the Thief. The gameplay mechanics are excellent and because you aim the Knight’s shield exactly as you would the Thief’s bow (with the right analog), you can block in any direction. This adds some substance and depth to the battles.

Of course, it’s not really about the combat. You will really only face two large boss-type enemies in the entire game, and neither prove to be much of a challenge for the worthy Knight. This is a bit of a downside, though, as are the spawning skeletons that can prove annoying and tiresome in certain areas. Furthermore, and speaking of those two bosses, I noticed some definite collision detection issues with the giant skeleton; whether or not his big sword actually hit me seemed random (even if I had my shield up). So if you only care about hacking at monsters, don’t bother with this game. If, on the other hand, you want a great adventure experience that makes you think and rewards you for your ingenuity and dedication, you’ve come to the right place. The levels are so ingeniously designed, you almost never do the same thing twice; the developers definitely take advantage of the three distinct skill sets available to the player. Best of all, it just never seems to get old…the progression is surprisingly addictive.

Your goal will be to nab as many green experience potions as possible. Enemies will drop them but you’ll find a great many scattered around the levels; some are easy to get to while others will require you to use your noodle. The good news is that it doesn’t matter which of the three characters picks up an experience potion (unlike the health and magic potions; obviously, you’ll want to nab those with the characters that need them). The experience is distributed equally, which means everyone will basically level up at the same time. You will earn new abilities as you go – and enhance them with acquired points – and if you can nab some treasure chests, you’ll be able to equip some nifty accessories, too. In this way, combined with the relevant stats, there are role-playing elements sprinkled in with the side-scrolling adventure/platforming format, and it all gels together very, very well. Oh, and if you lose a character, he or she will automatically come back at the next checkpoint.

Oddly enough, even though three players can team up and go through the adventure cooperatively, it’s actually more rewarding as a single-player experience. This is because that with three players, each one has to work past an obstacle without the help of any other character; so even though the Wizard can’t just swing around like the Thief, he still has to find his way across. This slows things down and makes the game a bit more tedious. Furthermore, I think it takes away from the hidden genius of the game: being able to switch between each of the three characters on the fly and have access to each skill set when attacking obstacles and puzzles is great . It's what makes this game so much fun to play; the options you have and the way your brain works when it considers all three. It’s too bad that the co-op isn’t quite as good but hey, at least the multiplayer option is there if you want to give it a go. But really, you gotta play it through by yourself, even if it’s not very long.

The only other issue is the game’s longevity. There’s just not much of a reason to go through the game again once you’re done, which may pose some question as to whether or not it’s worth the $20 for some people. Please take this into account when making your purchase decision but for my part, I think it’s well worth the price because it’s both a unique and engaging experience, and one that is – with only one play-through – quite satisfying. I had a hard time putting the controller down. And although you might worry about the Wizard because you used the mouse on the PC to move objects around and draw boxes, using the right analog stick to do this doesn’t pose much of a problem at all. I think the grappling hook and swinging mechanic for the Thief is just a trifle wonky but beyond that, I have no more complaints. Trine is fun, the atmosphere is amazing (especially if you’re a fantasy, magic-and-swords, D&D fan), and the technicals are very “wow” for a downloadable title.

In short, this one is well worth a try. There are plenty of ways to spend the money in your wallet on the PSN, but few are as pretty or as uniquely rewarding.

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Squirreldriver
Squirreldriver
11 years ago

Ah, I've been waiting for this review. Thanks, now I know I'll wait for a price drop or sale. Does not sound like there'e much replayability (is that a word?) for the $20 price tag.

therabbitkinge
therabbitkinge
11 years ago

Well im all about multiplayer so my buds are chipping in to help me buy this one if they wanna play it ^_^

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Sure was a great Spell in FFVII

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
11 years ago

lol. wtf

therabbitkinge
therabbitkinge
11 years ago

TOTALLY UNRELATED: sorry psxextreme T^T

Hey ya'll im dropping a ps3 code for the tenacious d guitar weapon for brutal legend! Go to bens review on brutal legend a while after this is posted to check for when I've posted it ^_^ just figured I'd give back to the gamers that make me laugh every damned day ^_^

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

you took the game back didn't ya?

Diggity Dan
Diggity Dan
11 years ago

I'm excited to play this one, but not $20 excited. I'll wait for price cut. I assume there are trophies too?

Squirreldriver
Squirreldriver
11 years ago

Yep, even a platinum!

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

It looks beautiful and sounds intriguing; but I will wait for a price drop!

Q!

"i am home"

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
11 years ago

I'd pay 20$ for this game. Just that there are alot other games that 20$ would go to…Still i really need to get this game!

Frenchy17
Frenchy17
11 years ago

I got it and love it, it's very fun and addicting and it sure is pretty! Great review!

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

Played it on PC and just couldn't get into it.

Frenchy17
Frenchy17
11 years ago

That's because you are used to playing with yourself on your pc.

___________
___________
11 years ago

i never thought i would catch on to PSN games either but wipeout HD and fatal exteria FX are 2 of the funnest games ive played.
i miss operating vehicles and destroying others at the same time, the ps1 had heaps of those games whats going on?
i need my vehicle mayhem destruction fix.

psxjunkhead85
psxjunkhead85
11 years ago

If anbody wants to share trine add me my online name is slapahoe08. I will share it for marvel vs capcom 2. Add me or send me a message if interested.

furbiesmustdie
furbiesmustdie
11 years ago

once sony releases those ps store cards i'll be picking this up along with a tonne of other titles. hell i might even buy a couple of things on home.

robinhood2010
robinhood2010
11 years ago

My friend bought this a while back on PSN, and we completed it the other day. I have to say, I loved it! It would get so frustrating when we couldn't get past a particular puzzle.

And I disagree with Ben's point about multiplayer. I think when you are playing with someone else, it makes it harder, as you need to find a way for everyone to get across. You can't just swap to the Thief and grapple across, which is usually the solution in single player. I think this is well worth the price. SO MANY TROPHIES!

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

A while back?

It only game out this past Thursday, not even a week ago, so how does that qualify as "a while back"?

Frenchy17
Frenchy17
11 years ago

It has been on the Euro Store for a while now.

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

My bad. I was thinking U.S. store.

LowKey
LowKey
11 years ago

Thats funny, I started d/lin Trine then came here and POOF theres a review for it. Talk about coincidence eh?

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
11 years ago

Great review, thanks, Ben. I'm kinda a trophy whore, though. Didn't the platinum add some replay value?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Well, I guess. But Trophies are in every game for the PS3 so I didn't feel it needed to be mentioned.

Naga
Naga
11 years ago

Wow a price drop for a full game no way, if Warhawk was worth its price then this is too!!

Buckeyestar
Buckeyestar
11 years ago

I was considering this game but if you're forced to play as all the characters, then I'm out. I don't like it when games force characters on you that you don't want to play as. I want full choice or I'm not on board. I watched a demo video and liked how one character played, but not the other two. Oh well, I have plenty of other games demanding my attention.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

I'm with you on the character thing – I hate that in RPGs – but this is entirely different. What you're ACTUALLY doing is using one character and just sort of switching between his abilities on the fly…it just so happens that when you use different skills, you see a different character in front of you.

That's the best way to explain it, really.

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

I'm buying this, and Topatoi, as soon as I get a chance to log onto the PSN.

I don't get you guys, really.

You all want the PS3 and PSN to succeed this gen; to do that Sony needs games on the PSN. So, if the majority of us wait for a price drop for just about every major PSN game, and initial sales suffer for it, then why would developers bring their future projects to PSN instead of Xbox Live. Think about it. The same goes for PS3 games.

For crying out loud, order off the McD dollar menu for a couple of weeks instead of gorging yourselves on those Big Macs and you'll be able to afford a twenty.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

He's got a point…

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
11 years ago

I won't disagree with him at all but I tend to get games, that I am not normally interested in, at a lower price point because I have just enough interest to try them out. Now, some could say that I can rent the games but if I end up spending $20 or less, isn't that going to the game company rather than the rental shop? I am about to put in an order through Amazon for four games for a grand total of $80 and then will be getting a $40 credit to use towards another game purchase. My cheap a$$ is going to have some fun and use that $40 towards a newer release.

And I almost forgot, I will be getting Trine, as soon as I'm done with some other games. This game looks like fun. Great review.


Last edited by fluffer nutter on 10/27/2009 11:07:44 AM

Frenchy17
Frenchy17
11 years ago

Agreed!

bearbobby
bearbobby
11 years ago

I think people are much more willing to pay full price (i.e. $20) for a game like WipeOut HD that gets amazing reviews and is part of a series with a history, as it's a guaranteed good time and has a bit of nostalgia backing it up (the original WipeOut on the PS1 blew me away.)

I know I'm more hesitant to drop that amount of dough on a new IP that I have only a passing interest in, especially with several reviews agreeing that it has limited replay value.

I agree that the quantity and quality of PSN games is definitely increasing and that's a good thing, and I realize that they need our support to continue making these games, but the price has to reflect the value. Maybe an included level editor or free DLC?

Perhaps a short demo would inspire people to make that financial investment. Myself, I'm still with the previous posters, while it looks like an amusing title, I'll probably wait for a price drop as I don't need it at $20.

Willcome2Urf
Willcome2Urf
11 years ago

I first got hooked on Lost Vikings and have been a fan of puzzle games like this since. Nice review 🙂

chucknasty
chucknasty
11 years ago

Had this game released when it was supposed to have (June) it would have been big as there was nothing else coming out of real interest until August. I think releasing this now is guaranteeing failure since there are so many great games out. Add to this that they said they would release a patch to give online multiplayer if the game did well enough, well that doesn't look like it will happen, especially if most people wait for a price drop.

fundando
fundando
11 years ago

Well I went ahead and bought it. It serves as good quick fun between whatever other game I might be playing.

King James
King James
11 years ago

Trine's Out?! Damnit! Too many games to buy!!

AbsoluteZer0
AbsoluteZer0
11 years ago

trine's only $9.99 this week

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