Red Column has finally released the second and third chapters of their Wii U exclusive, 2D Puzzle Platformer: 3Souls. We previously reviewed the first chapter of 3Souls, which you can find here. It is advised that you read the Chapter 1 review first!
Does the complete game live up to the potential laid out in its opening chapter? Read on to find out!
The new chapters follow the same aesthetic formula of the first. 2D sprites on hand drawn backgrounds. It’s a rather unique combination and it’s pleasantly distinctive.
As established in the first chapter, the soul plays an intricate role in the gameplay. The soul is represented as a visible entity, in the form of a celestial light that bounces around centre of the character’s body. The light changes colour and speed depending on your surrounding environment. It tells you what your character’s current state of emotion is, whether they are projecting fear, anger, or intrigue at points of interest.
The game is divided into three chapters focusing on three different characters. Each chapter is further broken down into unique levels that require the player to complete puzzles in order to progress. There are a variety of puzzles offered, most of which use various features of the Wii U gamepad. This includes things like blowing on the gamepad to activate an in-game fan, or using the built in camera to scan for colours. After a while they become a little repetitive. New puzzles aren’t introduced nearly often enough.
Upon entering a new room, your character will hit a checkpoint. Though if you die more than 3 times in the level you have to restart in order to avoid losing the collectibles you’ve accrued in the process. It’s rather unforgiving, as your character can only take a single hit before dying. 4 of those hits and you’ve lost your progress.
Chapter 2: Nophes
In chapter 2 we are introduced to our 2nd of the protagonists. We follow our male lead Nophes as he, like Nelesa before him attempts to recover his lost memories.
This follow up dramatically shifts the tone from the first. The isolation established in the lunar prison is lost for a bustling city street in ‘Sleepless City’. Of which the main focus being a nightclub called the “Big Bang Fun Club”.
The music is more uptempo to fit, though honestly I much preferred the tranquil melodies of Nelesa’s chapter.
My biggest grievance with this chapter is how difficult it is. Not in the sense of puzzle difficulty, though they do seem more challenging than the prior chapter. Nophes chapter throws you in the deep end and expects you to know what to do without any real guidance. The chapter gives you far less direction than it thinks it does. It isn’t an issue that plagued Chapter 1, and it’s much to its detriment.
Chapter 2, like the other chapters should take about 30 minutes if you’re able to figure out what you’re doing. Though it took me just that to figure out where to start!
Chapter 3: Nidemon
Chapter 3 sees another new protagonist in the form of Nidemon. While Nelesa and Nophes were likeable characters in their own right, Nidemon is not so much. Part of the game’s appeal was understanding the emotion of the characters, Nidemon doesn’t show any emotion.
His lack of emotion is conveyed through his levels, as they contain almost no colour. The best thing about this chapter were the references to other games scattered throughout the puzzles.
After completing each chapter you are able to see the memories you collected from the game’s home menu. It also includes some concept art as well as a jukebox. Which considering the quality of the soundtrack was a pleasant surprise.
While the Wii U is effectively a dead system, 3Souls use of the tablet controller is commendable. Overall, 3Souls adequately provides players with a unique experience and is well worth it’s price.
I commend Red Column for trying to diversify the settings and characters, but ultimately it falls a little flat after the first chapter.
|+Good visual presence||-Lack of direction for the players|
|+Enjoyable soundtrack||-Repetitive puzzles|
|+Good use of Wii U gamepad|