Entwined Review

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Title: Entwined
Developer: Pixelopus
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 862 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download

Indie Games have been increasingly important to the gaming market, especially on the PC front and the PlayStation ecosystem.  These games, built by smaller developers, have been given a focus, as of late, on several systems.  If you take a look on Steam, there will be loads and loads of Indie games for really cheap prices.  From huge games like Minecraft to smaller games like Thomas Was Alone, Indie Games are gaining a lot of traction in the gaming market.

The PlayStation Ecosystem has also gotten a large part of the Indie Game Movement.  The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita have gotten many Indie Games, both brand new games as well as upgraded versions of Indies on other systems.  From games like Terraria to games like Rainbow Moon, there has been a lot of Indie activity on the PlayStation systems.

Even more are games embedded into the PlayStation Ecosystem.  Games like Flow and Flower are around for the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita and incorporate the Cross-Buy system, which lets you buy one version of the game and get the others for free.  Just recently, a new Indie game has hit the market, exclusive to PlayStation systems as well as launching on the PS Vita.  Having been shown off at E3 2014, here is our official review of the Indie Game, Entwined!

Story

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Donning the quote, “Always together, forever apart”, Entwined is a story of two souls in love with one another that strive to be one with each other.  One soul is represented as an Origami-like Fish and the other is an Origami-like Bird.  Their goal is not only to be together and be one with one another, but to do so forever, so they may spend several lifetimes together.

The game plays out with you taking them on a journey through 9 life-times to be able to completely be one with one another.  It isn’t going to have any dialogue or any huge emotional scenes filled with tears and emotions, but it will show them traveling through colorful life-times as they merge themselves and evolve into an entirely new life-form.

Gameplay

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Defining this game as a genre is difficult, as I have never played a game quite like this before.  At its most basic level, you could call this a 3D Flying Adventure Game.  When you take control of the two souls that are journeying through their lives together, you will be flying them through large tunnel-like environments, along with moving together and in sync with patterns that the environment sets in motion for them.

You will be thrown into a 3D tunnel, where the Fish will be moving on the left-hand side of the screen and the Bird taking up the right side of the screen.  These two will not be able to cross sides, though they can meet at the top or bottom of the tunnel they are flying through.  The main goal of the game will be their positions to gain energy from moving in sync with the environment and being able to come together.

To do this, you will need to match patterns.  As you play through each of the nine life-time stages that the game features, you will have to pass through patterns correctly.  These patterns will have Red, Blue, and Green objects in them.  Your goal is to pass the Fish through one of the Orange/Red objects and the Fish through the Blue Objects, or both of them through the Green Objects.  These will steadily increase in difficulty and, if successful and you don’t miss any of the objects, you will be rewarded with energy for one or both of the souls.

Collecting this energy will increase the energy bar of your two characters, while not getting a pattern correct will lower the energy bar, needing you to recollect energy to get back up.  Once both Energy Bars are filled up, you can tap L and R to enter the Fusion Sequence.  This will increase the speed at which your characters move and will begin the sequence where they will fuse and evolve into a new creature.  Successfully moving through patterns will move them towards fusing, while not correctly passing through them so many times will take you back to almost-full energy bars on your characters, requiring you to collect some more energy to get back into this sequence.

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Once you complete the Fusion sequence, the two souls will merge into a single entity and leave the tunnel-like environment and into a large open environment, where you have free-roam to fly wherever you wish.  In this sequence, you can fly around structures and landmarks to collect more of the energy you collected in the tunnels.  Once you collect enough, you can start flying faster throughout the sky, leaving a trail of light and color behind you until you find a portal that will take you to the next life-time.

The Story Mode takes you through 9 life-times, each with a different environment and setting, though in essence, you’ll be doing the same thing in each one of them.  You will be flying through patterns, collecting energy, fusing, and ending in the open environment.  Each one is very much different, but in a way, the same.  After you’re finished with that, there is also a Challenge Mode that allows you to go through elemental environments and play for a High Score without losing a limited number of Health that goes down when you mess up a pattern.

With these two game Modes, the game is a short-lived one.  The Story Mode should last you about 1-2 hours in total as well as another hour or two to work on and unlock all of the stages in Challenge Mode.  While this isn’t a whole lot of content, considering the game supports Cross-Buy and you’re getting all three versions of the game, it isn’t a bad deal for the $9.99 Price Tag.

Controls

Controls for this game are very simple.  While players of this game might think back to the PS Vita version of Flow, you will not need to work about using Tilt controls.  No version of Entwined will use the Tilt mechanics for controlling the game.  You also won’t need to worry about using the touch screen, though you can use that for navigating the menu before you start up a game session.  You will not be using the touch screen to control the two souls on the screen.

Aside from using the X and Circle buttons in the menus, you will mostly be using the two Analog Sticks to play this game, just like the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game use.  Moving your Fish character will be done with the Left Analog Stick and the Bird is done with the Right Analog Stick.  You will also be using L and R together to fuse but you will be using the Analog Sticks for 90% of the game’s controls.

The controls transitioned over to the Vita pretty well.  Controlling the two souls works well, if not a little more sensitive than with the PS3 and PS4’s Analog Sticks, no doubt due to the fact that the Vita’s Analogs are smaller in size than of its console brothers.  It’s a very easy control setting to learn and the game explains it to you well in the Tutorial section.

Presentation

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This game’s presentation is really where the game soars, no pun intended.  While the game doesn’t have as smooth and flowing of a frame-rate as the PS3/PS4 versions of the game, the game looks gorgeous on the Vita’s screen.  Every environment and the way the game progresses looks beautifully colored and has a very soothing feel to it.  From the tunnels to the open areas, Entwined is a visual spectacle.

Apart from the visual presentation of the game, the game also plays as well as the console versions.  The game has some fair load times, taking about 15 seconds to load each life-time that you play through.  This sounds like a good bit, though those load times are the same amount of time it takes the PS3 version of the game to load a life-time.  Apart from the Load Times, the game flows well, not including the freezing issues that plagued the PS4 version of the game.

The music also adds to the mood and feel of the game.  Along with the colorful environments, you will have soothing and calming music to go along with it.  The music isn’t quite like the lullaby music of Flow, but every moment of it will bring a smile to your face and will make each stage enjoyable.

Overall

Entwined is a beautiful and soothing Indie game.  If you can look past the short amount of time that the game will last, you will find a game that will draw you in with its charm and increasing challenge.  Throwing in the fact that it runs better than the PS4 version and you will automatically get the PS3 and PS4 versions when you buy it, this is a game that is definitely worth the purchase.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates Entwined an 8/10

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