What started as a downloadable title in the 3DS eShop has now become a fully-fledged retail title. With a sparkly new â€śDeluxeâ€ť placed in the title, Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive! has been given not just a fresh coat of paint but also some extra features and an RPG-style dungeon crawl, amongst other things. With the original release no longer available (it was removed from the eShop to make way for the deluxe edition), are there enough new features to warrant the $50 price increase?
Freakyforms Deluxe is a hard game to describe; while the main game mechanic is a basic platformer, the game really only exists because of the Formee creator. The creator works in a similar fashion to a box of Lego: youâ€™re given a selection of pieces and you can do whatever you want with them - as long as you give your creation a mouth. While you start with a rather meager supply of body parts and accessories, as you progress through the platforming sections youâ€™ll start unlocking what feels like an infinite amount of new shapes and items.
After piecing together that latest creation - maybe itâ€™s a duck on a skateboard, or a half duck half skateboard hybrid - youâ€™re given the ability to truly bring it to life with a name, a catchphrase, and a selection of voices to choose from. Itâ€™d be easy to spend up to (and even over) 30 minutes creating one Formee to be just right, and youâ€™ll spend the last 5 minutes with a smile permanently smeared across your face. Itâ€™s an incredibly fun process that the game slowly forces you to dislike.
Every time you create a new Formee you get to explore the one world over and over again, each time doing your best to fulfil other charactersâ€™ challenges in an effort to unlock their building blocks. You get five minutes to walk, jump, fly, or swim through the environment collecting coins, eating food, or unlocking treasure chests that have been scattered around the world. Each of these mini-goals comes with the ability to either unlock new items, customisable parts of the world, or maybe just some eggs with bonus coins inside. Thereâ€™s always something to do while youâ€™re playing, but once your time has run out you may as well say goodbye to your Formee.
Itâ€™s not that you lose the ability to select previously used Formees, itâ€™s just that you arenâ€™t able to unlock one of the most significant pieces of the puzzle if you go back to a creation. Every time you build a creature and use them in your world, they enter the sanctuary and start wobbling about; get 5 creations into the sanctuary and magical things start to happen. Every 5 creatures you make and put into the sanctuary unlocks a new segment of the world, allowing you to meet new creatures with body parts youâ€™ll surely want to utilise.
What this ends up doing, though, is causing the creation you spent so much time perfecting to become one of many underutilised creations. When every 5 - 10 minutes youâ€™re back in the Formee creator you start putting less and less effort in, and, while youâ€™ll still enjoy the creation process, it just doesnâ€™t mean as much anymore. This is possibly the worst aspect of Freakyforms, as it really stops you from becoming attached to the most important part of the game. Should you decide to stick with your favourite creation, youâ€™re simply locking yourself out of the majority of the game. Inexcusable.
All is not lost though, as developers Asobism have put enough into the game to at least make going through with new characters worthwhile. Obviously, the abundance of unlockables is a good incentive to give it one more go, but the humour is what really sets the game apart from your average 2D platformer. The way characters with legs move about the screen screams low budget animation, but it works and to hilarious effect; add to that the numerous voices from different formees screaming at each other and youâ€™ll be hard pressed not to laugh when youâ€™ve been asked to squeeze out a poop for a challenge.
Asobism have also chucked in a semi-RPG dungeon crawler to help give gamers something else to do in Freakyforms Deluxe. While the battles are fought automatically, itâ€™s a smart way to get gamers coming back for more. The King has been kidnapped and itâ€™s up to your creations to get him back. Every dungeon ends with a boss fight and a win means the next dungeon will be that little bit harder, with the prize for finishing a dungeon being the body parts of the boss character. Itâ€™s a fun little diversion but it still ends up suffering from what is essentially Freakyforms biggest drawback: repetition.
The world you have from the start is only so big, and even with expansions as you progress youâ€™ll be doing the same thing over and over - just with different characters. No amount of coin collecting or completing of challenges will make you want to come back to unlock everything this game has on offer. Mix that with the fact that creating Formees is just a mechanic to unlock more stuff, and it becomes clear that Freakyforms just doesnâ€™t have the direction it needs to be a sleeper hit. It shows so much promise, and youâ€™ll love your first couple of hours, but it will become stale well before it should.
Freakyforms Deluxe would sit nicely alongside a $15 - $20 price tag but itâ€™s hard to recommend anyone pick this up for the new $70 fee. Itâ€™s downright insulting to see them remove the cheaper (less feature filled) edition from the eShop just to try and make a few more dollars. Wait until you find this on sale or in a bargain bin, as the first few hours are well worth your time.