Freedom Planet 2 (Nintendo Switch)

When I think about my history with Freedom Planet, it brings back memories of middle school when I used to browse through the Sonic Fanon Wiki in my free time. I stumbled upon a character called “Lilac the Hedgehog,” which was clearly inspired by Sonic. This inspired me to delve deeper into the Sonic fandom and explore how fans design characters. The Sonic inspiration in the first Freedom Planet game was unmistakable, but how does it manifest in this sequel? Let’s find out.

Before delving into Freedom Planet 2, it’s crucial to play the original game first as it references past events and characters. The sequel takes place three years after the first game, and you can choose one of the four protagonists to play as.

Sash Lilac is a courageous protagonist, a hybrid water dragon with a special boost move that allows her to speed through levels effortlessly. Carol Tea, a spunky wildcat, wields a three-bladed disk for attack and can summon her motorcycle by collecting fuel tanks. Milla Basset, an adorable hush basset, possesses alchemy powers for blasting energy or shielding and a Yoshi-like flutter jump. The newest addition to the roster is Neera Li, the disciplined adviser of the Royal Magister of Shang Tu, armed with a Cryo Staff that produces ice for powerful attacks and allows her to double jump.

As for my favorite character, Milla stands out to me due to her charm and air of mystery. I personally relate to Carol for her independent and spirited nature. While I enjoy playing as Lilac for her speed and elegance, Neera falls short in terms of characterization and gameplay.

The gameplay in Freedom Planet 2 is both enjoyable and challenging, particularly during boss battles. The vast stages feature puzzles and creatively designed enemies, sometimes making it easy to get lost if you’re not careful. The addition of hub worlds allows players to purchase potions and enhancements to ease gameplay, such as life-absorbing physical attacks and enhanced jumping capabilities. The Battlesphere Arena offers challenges to earn crystals and artifacts, essential for the game’s progression.

The overarching plot revolves around an antagonist seeking revenge against a race that wiped out their people. While the premise is intriguing, the story lacks depth and leaves much to be desired in terms of development. It feels like the plot is building towards a significant revelation that never quite materializes, leaving the narrative feeling incomplete.

Despite the catchy music, stunning visuals, and engaging gameplay, the shallow character development and simplistic storytelling detract from the overall experience. The antagonist shows promise in terms of complexity, but I wish there was more depth to the characters and plot as a whole. The dialogue often feels predictable, and moments that could evoke genuine emotion fall flat, such as a scene where a character is injured but then behaves drunkenly for comedic effect.

Freedom Planet 2 is a delightful and creative release, albeit with room for improvement in terms of writing and narrative depth. Priced at $24.99, it offers an expanded experience compared to its predecessor and is worth considering, especially if available at a discounted price.