Whether it be Oz or Rivendell, Avalon or Shangri-la, or Wonderland and Atlantis, we have always been captivated by hidden places. Mystical lands full of magical creatures offer an escape that we crave in our mundane lives. But if you were to ask Alice or Dorothy, at the end of the day there is no place like home. Ghost Parade is a tale of a short-cut gone wrong in a foolish attempt to make it home on time. The main character Suri decides to travel through the Svaka forest after oversleeping and missing the bus home. However, something is not right in the woods, and she quickly becomes lost. But she is not alone, as allies appear in the various ghouls and goblins living in the forest who can help her find her way. This modern take on Alice in Wonderland offers unique gameplay and charming graphics.
Ghost Parade is a unique and entertaining experience that combines a 2-D platformer with several classic RPG elements. Whether it’s the ability to upgrade your character, unlocking unique Metroidvania style abilities, or crafting unique items from found materials, this hodgepodge style has a little something for everyone, but at its core, this is an action platformer. Which, unfortunately, makes the locked key-mapping all the more frustrating. At the point of this review, there is no functional control support, and the standard controls are cramp inducingly difficult for most players, if not impossible, for the casual gamer.
Graphics are beautifully animated, with a fun, almost anime style. The dark forest in which you travel combines elements of Wonderland and high fantasy to make a captivating world to explore. The humor injected into the various cutscenes and characters create a sense of lightness and brevity to what could have been a depressing tale. That being said, not everything is positive. Like most animated 2-D games, characters and enemies look as if they are lying on top of the world rather than a part of it. As well as the fact that movement looks unnatural and is accompanied by repetitive exclamations that quickly become annoying. However, outside of those outcries, the rest of the music is quite enjoyable.
Ghost Parade could easily be outstanding. It has all the elements it needs to offer a novel and enthralling experience. Unfortunately unless customizable keymapping is added or better yet full controller support, it won’t be able to compete. That being said, there shouldn’t be any reason why this option can’t be added in a future update. While the price tag might cause you to hold back it’s definitely worth playing, especially if you can work with the current key-mapping setup.
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