Giana Sisters: Dream Runners a Review

Round and round and round we go, where we stop... well I've got no idea.

 Giana Sisters: Dream Runners is a 2D multiplayer looping racing game spin off from Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, brought to us by Black Forest Games.
 The idea behind it is a pretty good one. Pitting up to four players (or AI bots) against one another on a looping stage. The goal of the game, to collect stars and win the round. You do this by making sure you stay in front and try and make the others fall off the screen behind you. Collect gems to fill your speed booster, use power ups to knock out other players and claim victory!

The first thing you notice when getting into a game is the stunning visual style. Giana Sisters is beautiful and brightly coloured making everything in the world pop. Character models are a bit cutsie for my taste but they fit into the world well. Taking a cue from its Twisted Dreams counterpart, you can change the landscape into Giana's twisted dream state and while it changes the overall theme, the underlying artistic style and beauty is still there. The musical score is good, if not a tad generic, and is well timed to the pace of the game.

The mechanics of the game itself take a bit to get used too. The tutorial will give you a good understanding of getting around but as for what to do and what the specific power ups do, well you're on your own there.
Getting your timing right is where there is a bit of difficulty here. Jumping, spinning, shooting fireballs, little sprints and more help you manoeuver around, getting the timing wrong or do the wrong thing, and you slow down. Do it on an up section and you will fall behind and most probably, hand the win to another player. Again, time is one of those things that will get this working right for you.

 Put all that aside and let's focus on the core issue of this game. The ability, or complete lack thereof, to play with other people. I have spent about 3-5 hours in this game, and am yet to get online with anyone else. This opens two questions, is it broken? Or is there really no one there? Either way, what would be the main draw of this game fails at the first hurdle.

I really wanted to enjoy this game more, but found myself getting slightly raged and I was only playing against bots.
 As a four player couch racer it could work. Being able to have friends next to you and that social competitiveness, I could imagine there would be a few laughs, as well as a few dummy spits. It has potential to be a lot of fun, but not for long.

 Giana Sisters: Dream Runners is currently $14.95 on the PSN store, If you like the look, style and the platformer game play, throw an extra $8.00 and get the Twisted Dreams game. It will have more longevity.    

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Pat (Snoogans)

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