By: Derek Yu

On: January 22nd, 2012

Dustforce, by Hitbox team

The levels in Dustforce aren’t long or particularly difficult, but my progress has been really slow. This is due in no small part to the results screen, where, if you’re like me, you’ll likely spend an inordinate amount of time checking your ranking, checking your friends’ rankings, watching replays, and formulating plans to improve your run. Case in point, I probably replayed the tutorial level a dozen times alone before I was satisfied enough to move on to the rest of the game.

I’ve seen Dustforce compared to Super Meat Boy as an “ultra-hard platformer”, but the point of both games seems different. The challenge of Dustforce isn’t so much to beat each level as it is to beat them well, achieving S ranks in both completion (debris cleared) and finesse (number of deaths), and doing it as quickly as possible. This point is driven home by the climbing and dashing mechanics that are based around speed, and the fact that enemies end combos and slow you down, but never outright kill you. You also get keys for SS ranking that will unlock more levels in the hub world.

The controls feel great (gamepads supported) and the levels are designed well around the game’s purpose and your character’s moveset. Watch the replays of the highest scorers and you’ll see some amazing precision, but even with just a little practice you TOO can feel like a ninja! The graphics, which are stylistically too close to free Flash web games for my taste, nonetheless animate extremely fluidly and support the acrobatics nicely. No complaints about Terence Lee’s soothing soundtrack, though, especially “9-bit Expedition”, the song that plays during the tutorial.

Aside from a few interface issues I ran across, I’m having a wonderful time with Dustforce. It’s a great release to ring in the new year with.

TIGdb: Entry for Dustforce

  • Sss

    cool i like the style

  • ThatDude

    An old demo / prototype version they released awhile back ran at 24fps (BECAUSE MOVIES DO IT SO IT MUST BE GRATE). Thing gave me a headache, and the game seemed laggy. Hopefully they realized that making it run at 24fps is retarded, but from how vehemently the dude argued for this decision, I kinda doubt it, so I doubt I’ll be slapping down $10 for it.

  • Anonymous

    hmm — movies have motion blur, which makes 24fps not look like 24fps. maybe with motion blur 24fps in a game could be okay, but it’d still have some input lag that way

  • iffi

    Reminds me more of N than of Super Meat Boy, which I see as a good thing.

  • Lifeformed

    The new version is 60 fps

  • Rory Hart

    Played it a bit over the weekend and enjoyed it muchly. Need to hook up a gamepad however as the keyboard is not an ideal controller for it.

  • Bikdiponabus

    finesse is decided by how high your combo meter is at the end.

  • guyfawkes

    i like how there’s a whole nonviolent environmental feel in the game, like how the enemies are all just animals or people covered in leaves/dust.  i wish there were more fun games like this that both play well and not have violence, because it can really appeal to many different audiences that way.

  • Anonymous

    I was expecting dustforce to be nonviolent. Beating up (even if they call it “cleaning”) things just seems like a letdown from the early art reveals I remember. Spikes too.

  • Mrmad

    I was blown away by this game. It was a big surprise for me.
    I think I got hooked only by watching the intro. I was also impressed with the amount of polish and details each level has. You can really feel the speed as you flash through the levels. I’ve always wished for this kind of stylish platforming game.

    Looking forward to the level editor.
    All those user made levels I can’t wait :3
    What surprised me the most though was the music.It has the same feeling as the music for Donkey kong Country 2.Something calm, soothing but with a touch of melancholia.It give a great vibe to the whole game and adds maybe a message about polution.Maybe I’m reading too much into it.Anyway Great job Hitbox I’ll be following you closely from now on.

  • Daid303

     To bad that don’t really explain that somewhere… or I couldn’t find it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/reardon Jonathan Reardon

    Don’t really like playing platformers on the PC. Think I’ll wait and see if it comes to XBLA

  • Blodyavenger

    Must have ^^