I am the Editor/Voice Guy of Original-Gamer.com and I all but handed in my resignation two weeks ago. I had become burned out having spent the last two years and change reviewing games, editing and writing articles about games, voicing over videos about games, going to game-related events, and actually having to PLAY a bunch of games. Video games had become work, and I had become sick of them to the point where even the Wii U announcement during E3 had failed to excite me. What little joy I could muster from videogames came from playing 3DS titles. Mighty Switch Force and Final Fantasy Theatrhythm were two recent titles that I had actually enjoyed.
I wanted videogames to be fun again, and so I told OG that I was done. That was it. Game Over. No mas. Bueno, bye. I would wrap up the games that were currently on my plate and be completely done with the site. I reconsidered it over the San Japan weekend and decided that I would stick around, but would no longer review games. This is part of a greater desire to cut back on ‘side projects’ so that I could concentrate on my writing.
I was happy to be getting a break from videogames. I only had one or two more to finish before clearing my plate of everything that I ‘had’ to play and then I could get back to playing games that I wanted to play. One evening while chatting, OG mentioned Dust: An Elysian Tail (or simply Dust). He said that he was enjoying it and that I probably would like it, too.
At first, I wasn’t sure that he was being serious. OG and I know each other well enough to mess with each other and I thought he was being all “you’ll like it because ITS FURRY LIKE YOU HURR HURR.” But no, he said: “it is pretty damn good, and it looks amazing,” which is pretty high praise, especially coming from him. I read up on the game, got excited, went to Ye Olde Electronics Store for a Microsoft-moon-money card and downloaded it the next day. I was curious to see if it was really as good as he had made it out to be.
It was. My socks were completely knocked off. I cannot remember the last time I have been blown away by a game like this, but I should mention that yeah, I have missed out on a lot of excellent games these past two years. Nearly every moment of Dust has been a joy to play so far: I have been laughing at the dialogue, gritting my teeth as I fight my way through enemies, marveling at the game’s beautiful world as I explore it and enjoying the story.
I think Dust has restored some of my faith in gaming. Its not that I’ve been playing nothing but bad games as part of my role at Original-Gamer. Far from it,. I have played games that were fun and that earned high scores for being fun, but they haven’t crossed that line from ‘this is fun’ to ‘this is AMAZING’ the way that Dust has.
Except for being (as far as I know) one of the few mainstream ‘furry’ games to emphasize its story, Dust really isn’t anything new. It is a 2D hack-and-slash ‘Metroid-vania’ game with RPG elements. That said, everything in Dust that I have seen so far has been executed very well: the art, animation and music combine to make a beautiful game to see and hear, the voiceovers have been very well done, the gameplay makes me feel like the mighty warrior that Dust is supposed to be, and the story is starting to suck me in.
At a time when everything seems to be recycled, rehashed or rebooted, it makes me feel good to know that a game can still come out of nowhere and move me the way Dust has. I haven’t finished it yet, but from what I have played so far, I can only hope that Dust ends up being only the first of many Elysian tales that I get to enjoy.