Dust: An Elysian Tail was first released on the Xbox 360 in August 2012 as a Metroid-vania RPG and was a successful hit with many people. It has since had imports on PC and Mac as well as the Playstation 4 in the years 2013 and 2014 respectively. After a recent announcement Dust was released on the Nintendo Switch. But does this latest port of the hit Indie game hold up in current gen?
Does Dust: An Elysian Tail hold up in Current Gen?
On the 360 the hand drawn style of Dust: An Elysian Tail were a sight to behold. On the Switch the graphics were further enhanced giving it a sharper and more polished image. The characters look as beautiful as ever and the backgrounds have such sharp detail to them.
The combat is as smooth and fast paced as the original and is very easy to pick up and get into the flow of. Controls are easy to grasp with the first level even walking you through the controls as it did in earlier versions which means those who have played on another version of the game and those who are new to the game can pick up the controller and play without needing time to adapt to the controls.
Platforming sections of the game are still reasonable and fairly challenging without being completely unfair to the player. Due to this game being a port rather than being re-built from the ground up the game mechanics are still the same as earlier versions and for veteran fans there is still that familiarity with the platforming.
To truly test the game’s capabilities on the Switch I have played for one hour in console mode and one hour in handheld mode to see if the game could hold up and play well in both modes.
In handheld mode it’s very hard for a game to not have a detrimental effect on such a small screen. Either with tiny text at a crucial point, small button prompts, or hard to interpret enemy attacks that can lead to unnecessary damage. These problems are quite common in 3rd party games where the developer doesn’t always consider how the gameplay would be affected in handheld mode.
Dust: An Elysian Tail has none of these things, the developer has thought through how the game would play in handheld mode as much as they had thought about the gameplay in console mode. The text is as clear as it is in console mode and the combat is still smooth and enemy attacks are still visible which means the player won’t take any unfair damage. It is one of the rare games in my library where I can play without it having a negative impact on game play.
Conclusion on Dust: An Elysian Tail
Dust: An Elysian Tail does have something to offer to those new to the game but don’t have any of the other consoles as well as giving veteran fans a familiar experience without having to dust off their 360.
It is truly a treat to play in handheld mode and is just as fun to play in handheld mode as it is in console mode. Dust: An Elysian Tail would be a fun way to pass the time on long journeys and with its sharp graphics and smooth and easy to pick up controls it holds up just as well today on current gen as it did when it was first released.