Sunblaze (PC) Review
Adjustable options for all level of players
Be prepared to witness lots of dad jokes
Replayable for multiple times
Very hard puzzles can drain your patience
Collectible data cubes have to be recollected if died before completing a level (which adds a little extra difficulty)
Sunblaze is a precision-focused platformer with nearly 400 levels (in normal mode) inspired by Celeste. It features pixel art designs with head-scratching puzzles for people who are up for a challenge or people who just want to relax. Like every platformer game, playing via a controller is more than necessary as every level of the game demands fast actions and high reflexes from players using various mechanics.
As a 2D platformer game, there are not many selling points in the plot department. But for a game of this category, it sure does have a good story to keep you pushing. And, I got to give it to the developers for humorous and witty dialogues. The game follows Josie, as she enters some sort of superhero training simulator after her accomplished superhero dad reluctantly agrees to let her do the training. It all happens in their house where Josie, her dad, and Ms.Pryde live. One of the best features of the game is that you can pet the kitty, Ms.Pryde.
The game is divided into six different chapters where Josei is expected to overcome the obstacles and solve puzzles to move on from a level to another. Each chapter has 40-70 level stages with one proving to be more difficult to crack than another. Throughout the game, you will be required to adapt diverse forms of puzzles. From flying drones to speedy blocks that could squash Jodie into pieces, you will need accuracy, timing, and effective use of the limited moves to guide Josie in becoming the ultimate superhero. Josie is a full-of-life character who has an innocent father-daughter relationship with her dad who never fails to embarrass her with dad jokes, so if you don’t want to watch this amiable character bleed as she gets crushed by the moving blocks or blown up by TNT, you can always turn off the option to show blood.
And death is inevitable, in fact, countless numbers of deaths. To help you keep track of how many times you have died, an in-game death counter is there. In addition to that, there are also cool features like Game Clock (displays your total game time) and Chapter Clock (displays time you spent on a chapter). And since one little wrong move could easily cost a life, you might find yourself dying a million times in a level and get stuck for hours. If that is the case, you can use the accessibility options that allow you to tweak and ease up a little bit. There are options to unlock infinite jumps, dashes, higher single and double jumps. If those aren’t enough, turn on invincibility for undead experience and speedrunning, although that is not how it’s supposed to be played.
Controls are simple and game logic is easy to get a hold of. Use the analog stick to move side to side, press A to jump, press it again to double jump, and press B to dash. One thing I can’t seem to figure out at first was how movements are put together, specifically how the dash works. There is an interval for the dash to recharge, and I was not seeing a regular pattern for it. I can use three dashes at a time, and all of a sudden I can’t use more than once. But it didn’t take me long to figure out that I can use as much dash as I want when I am on a surface. Moves can be executed in any order. For example, you can do jump > second jump > dash, or jump > dash > second jump etc. To get around an obstacle, you will have to think about the combinations of the moves in a precise manner, which is for me very hard to execute. And if you don’t feel challenged by the levels in normal mode, you will also be able to collect data cubes in each chapter, and collecting all data cubes will unlock the hard mode for that chapter.
Or if you are the type to sit back and enjoy the gameplay, Zen Mode is there to give you that experience. It has all the story as the normal mode and everything, but fewer levels and easier challenges. Long story short, Sunblaze is the game for anyone who is interested in classic jump-and-climb platformers and it is customizable for everyone of any skill level. Whether you take pride in beating the highest difficulty in the shortest time or want to have a balanced experience of solving puzzles and enjoying the narrative, it’s definitely a game worth checking out.