A great pixel art look gets dragged down by decidedly old gameplay sensibilities and aggravations
When I first got a look at Primal Light I was a bit excited with its potential, sporting a great and pretty colorful classic pixel look. But then I began to play it and things began to come apart at the seams for me pretty quickly. I suppose if any one of these factors were the only issue it may not have turned out so bad, but it’s the convergence of multiple layered issues that really make the experience aggravating. The worst offender is the old-school (and pretty cheap) game time extender, knockback on being hit. My lord, that has to be one of the features common in older games that I was most happy to see get phased out over the years but it is back here with a vengeance. Stacking the punishment of added risk on top of the damage from being hit in the first place, especially when jumping areas are so common, is simply a prescription for needless frustrations. Throw in enemies that generally feel far more hearty than your hero, controls that are at least somewhat sluggish, and no matter how good it may look, sound, or flow (all of which are generally solid) in principle, where the rubber meets the road and you’re playing it’s simply a challenge for all the wrong reasons, unfortunately undermining the whole experience.
Justin Nation, Score: