Before I start this review, I want to thank Atlus for their generosity in sending me a review copy of the game. To be clear my review on this game will not be influenced by this fact. I would never tell you a game is good if its not, that would not be fair to you. Honestly I was a bit nervous, what if the game was terrible, I would have to tell you it was. Thankfully this is not the case. Daydreamer is a side scrolling sprite based platformer reminiscent of classic games like earthworm Jim and Gunstar heroes. For a gamer such as I this is a real good thing.
I love the H.R. Giger inspired visuals. It feels like one of his paintings come to life. Everything from the backgrounds to the toothy looking villains was like one of his paintings come to life. The sprites look great as is to be expected from an Atlus game. The weapon effects were cool as well, everyting from laser guns to flamethrowers look great. It all has a very clean old school look to it, even when things blow up it reminds me of Gunstar heroes. Just a great looking aesthetic all around.
The world has been taken over by toothy aliens in a distant future riddled by civil war. As the main protagonist Olivia you set out to save your brother from said Aliens. Its a pretty simple premise, done very well. Lets face it though, we really don’t play these games for their story. How many times did you save the princess from the castles? Still very well paced and it kept me going.
The controls in Daydreamer are spot on. I never died because of a control issue. I did however die because the game is difficult. This is one of those games that could have you throwing the controller at the T.V. I actually was having so much fun that I never went into Gamer rage mode. It helps that the checkpoints are reasonable, I say reasonable, because there is some backtracking if you die. I would have liked the checkpoints to be a little closer. Honestly I think I got spoiled by the modern games where you spawn exactly where you last died. You also have pets that you can summon to help you out, like a turtle who helps heal you when you are dying. If you have played a platformer/run and gun game before you pretty much know what you are getting when it comes to the controls. You also know if the timing is not right it can be a frustrating mess, thankfully everything is really tight here. I enjoyed the variety of weapons from the machine gun to the homing lasers and flamethrower. They were all really fun to use and felt great.
Family friendly score 7/10
The creatures range from creepy to kind disgusting, could give younger players nightmares. The toothy grins of the enemies creeped me out. There is pixelated blood when you shoot the enemies. The story is also pretty dark. Otherwise there is not much else to ne concerned over.
Final Score 9/10
This is a game that was created by people who love the genre and it shows. The details that went into it, from the old school graphics and gameplay to the Giger inspired visuals, this really felt like a labor of love. If you want an old school challenge, you need to pick up this game. Check it out on PSN or steam if your a PC guy.