Blog:Floating Runner (PlayStation)
Hey, it's a 3D platformer that came out before Super Mario 64 and before analog control became standard on consoles. That's something, right?
In Floating Runner, you lead either adorable bounty hunter Lay or adorable priestess Cress on a journey to find seven crystals to save Crystal Land. As adorable as this game may be, it's marred by a lot of annoying little things, and they're not all attributable to the growing pains of the genre. Let's list them... (Plain old paragraphs are so cliché.)
- 1a) Your default weapon shoots in an arc, and you have a projectile limit. If too many fall over the edge of a platform, you have to wait a second or two for those to dissipate before you can shoot more.
- 1b) Other weapons are available, but you actually have to find them at their particular location in one of the worlds. And they also shoot in an arc. And they use gems that enemies leave behind, which you lose when you die, which is often.
- 1c) You can also stomp on enemies, but they tend to move around a lot.
- 2) You have but two camera angles that you can switch at will - an overhead angle and a slightly higher overhead angle, which is only useful in maybe a couple situations.
- 3) When you continue, you only have half your health, and there aren't too many health potions around. (Yet the first stage has five!)
- 4) The stage layouts can be disorienting. (The camera might play a role in that.)
- 5) Jumping from platform to platform can be tricky.
- 6) The game just feels tedious after a while.
But it's not all bad. The stage select system is unique - at the end of each world, the crystal cycles through different colors representing the other worlds. The frame rate is brisk. On a personal note, I find the game charming, despite its faults, and I don't have any desire to get rid of my copy. It's an interesting historical footnote. The music is nice, and I like the mix of flat-shaded and texture-mapped polygons.
Just who developed this historical footnote of a game? If you dig around the disc, you'll find a T&E Soft copyright and credits (none for sound, though). These don't appear in-game, and there's no other mention anywhere that the average player would see. The staff names suggest this was done at T&E Soft Osaka (which was computer game company Xtalsoft once upon a time), where Red Alarm and Blaze & Blade were also made.
Finally, let's take a moment to look at the Western packaging, especially the inside of the case. Yuck! At least someone had the good sense to use the Japanese art on the disc and inside the manual (see right).
P.S. I don't pay much attention to Games Done Quick stuff, but I was impressed by this speed run.