Review: Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams

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Who remembers The Great Giana Sisters for Commodore 64? Or Giana Sisters for Nintendo DS? Guess what? They are back and this time they are kicking butt more serious than ever! The sisters return to PC, thanks to Black Forest Games and the support of backers on Kickstarter. Giana is more ready than ever, this is her story.

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Platform: PC
Release: October 2012
Publisher/ developer: Black Forest Games
Controller: Gamepad from Gametech

Story
Giana and her sister get sucked up by a vortex, transferring them to her dream world. Not too long after, a big fat nasty red dragon kidnaps Maria. Giana embarks on her journey platforming her way through dangerous landscapes. This time she can manipulate her dream changing the environment around her while gaining new abilities. It is up to her and her twisting powers to bring her sister back to safety.

Gameplay

I am playing the game with a controller, connected through the USB port. The controls in this game are spot on! You can also play the game with the keyboard.

The gameplay of Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams is amazing. You take on the role as Giana, stuck in her nightmare. The key to this game is the ability to twist or transform from ‘Cute Giana’ to ‘Punk Giana’. This time the whole dream transforms with the character. Punk Giana is stuck in a beautiful colourful rainbow-like world while Cute Giana is stuck in a spooky version of the dream. When Giana transforms, so do her abilities. Cute Giana can twirl around in the air while Punk Giana turns into a fire ball smashing anything in her path. If you try to use the twirl form as Punk Giana or fireball-ram-attack as Cute Giana, the dream and character will transform! Combine these skills to help you along the way.

Thanks to the real time physics engine, you can use the fireball attack to propel off walls like a pinball. If you attack an enemy, the skill resets, giving you another go at reaching heights.

Not only the world changes, but so do the platforms, enemies and traps: Be careful! Veteran gamers rejoice! Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams is no easy game. It is a hardcore platforming game. You will die a lot in this game, but don’t worry! This game offers enough checkpoints and infinitive lives to help you through. Keep an eye out for power-ups, they can offer you an extra hit before you die which is a huge relieve.

While you try to reach the goal in the game, try to collect all diamonds you see. Yellow ones are only available to Cute Giana, while red ones only to Punk Giana. Blue diamonds are available to both forms. Keep a lookout for big blue diamonds, each level has them hidden around. They are worth collecting!

After you finished a level, you get a summary of how many diamonds you’ve collected, how many blue giant diamonds you found and how many times you’ve died. Get it perfect and you are awarded all five golden stars. The golden stars are vital if you want to unlock the final level of that zone as well as unlocking all the bonus material.

Every level in every world is different and comes with castles to climb, mines waiting to be explored, water areas to swim through. Combine your wits, platforming skills and speed, to find hidden areas. Keep your eyes open at all times as this game isn’t for the faint of heart!

Boss battles are very fun, but challenging, use the environment to help you defeat the bosses. But watch out, they won’t show you any mercy!

Sound
“Chris Hülsbeck’s” classic soundtrack seamlessly transitions to “Machinae Supremacy’s” rock! The music changes when you twist dreams. Reminds me a bit from the good old Commodore times, until it suddenly transforms into a real rock version of the music! The music in this game is amazing. It suits the environment very well and if you are bored with one tune, you just twist the dream to listen to the other version instead. You may choose in the options that the music won’t transform with the world.

I got easily hooked up with the music. Chris Hüelbeck and Machinae Supremacy did a wonderful job. The other sounds in the game are very fitting as well. Everything from picking up a gem to Giana’s cute little screams.

Graphics
This game is insanely detailed all from foreground to background visuals goodness! The developers did an amazing job with the graphics. Each stage is beautifully detailed and the scene has a certain immersive effect on the player. The enemies are hilarious and Giana herself is well animated as well. But that’s not all. The transformation from objects when twisting dreams is amazing.

First you see a cute mushroom house that suddenly get’s morphed into a sinister crypt. You can clearly see the objects morphing dynamically with a sort of jumpy animation, fitting each dream perfectly. The transition from morphing objects is very smooth and amazingly detailed. When I say the world transforms, it really transforms everything from background, foreground, enemies, platforms and traps! The developers have also added dynamic shadows, dynamic lightning and special fog to backgrounds to make the main objective (Giana) come out clearly. This game is pure eye candy!

Good Points:
Beautiful detailed world.
Twisting between the dreams gives a brand new experience.
Game is a real challenge.
Lots of secrets and plenty of unlockables.
Fantastic music.

Bad points:
Because of the high difficulty it can be frustrating at times.

Conclusion
Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams is a jewel of its own kind. The gameplay is difficult, but this should please the veteran gamers! The music and the graphics are well done. You can clearly see that a lot of work and love has been put into this game. There are enough hidden areas throughout each level. If you finished the game you can always try to beat hardcore or über hardcore. If not, than try time attack or score attack. There are enough unlockables to keep you busy. However there are times the game can seem frustrated due to the difficulty, but it is not the end of the world since you have infinitive lives and enough checkpoints to help you out.

I recommend this game to all gamers big and small, new and old. Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams is a welcoming game in my gaming collection!

Earlier this week I made a gameplay video of the first level and I played it 100%, meaning I collected all diamonds and didn’t die.

Check this video here:

Game on!

The Game Mistress

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