Review by Real_Conchris
An okay game that performs quite good but leaves much to be desired.
Drawn to Life, a platformer game where YOU get to draw your own kind of platforms... okay, maybe SOME but not all. In a nutshell, it involves a lot of drawing, colouring, platformering (Is that even a word?) and searching to do in this half-decent game.
To start out, the story starts out like this, there was once a creator and he created stuff, he created the world, the forests and the Raposas themselves. In the intro and title screen, the player can sample themselves to draw some stuff, but who would resist drawing an inappropriate thing as their world? I did, but I think some might succumb though. After the intro is done, you are brought to the Raposa village, it's empty, it's gray and snowy and is dying out because the Book of Life's pages were torn apart. The creator, you, were called upon by the Mayor's daughter, Mari, to help Raposa-kind and what do you do? You call upon a wooden mannequin. This is where you get to start on your new hero that will save all Raposa-kind! You lazy creator you...
When you get to create your own hero, your only limits are your imagination and the borderlines, you can create a rather blocky character by filling all the parts, you can take the time to draw in detail a character or just use a guide and edit it until it is near unrecognizable. The limits are that easy to see and some characters you may be wanting to make may need to be crushed down to fit and it would be hard to see which goes where. When it is done, you can then start the game in which you are briefed through your mannequin's purpose and are taught on how to play, wonderful isn't it? But that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Later on in the game, you'll be able to create stars, rubble, statues, tiki heads and more. But anyway, let's move on.
The game starts to fall from here, the gameplay is rather easy to grasp. You've got your standard jump, melee attacks, a weapon (later on) and skills. The enemies are way too easy apart from the bosses, the bosses are a little bit hard but then becomes too predictable (don't all bosses?).
In other words, the enemies are all Goomba and Koopa-like, walking along their own paths before being crushed. But the shadows are a pain, the bat ones do, the bats fly towards you and gets increasingly annoying when it is situated near a jump, result? Many a cheap death. Balance your enemies next time 5th Cell!
So anyway, you've got 4 worlds to roam in, each with their own quirks. On one world, you'll be able to fly around with wings. On another, your fear of water (yes, you can get hurt by water in this game, did the shadows put any acid in them?) is suddenly gone and you dive down in snorkeling gear.
Along the way, you'll be able to make platforms (there's nothing stopping you drawing that inappropriate thing), flowers and the like. There are also some colouring book styled ones, not bad but it would've been cool if you were able to make a rocket ship yourself OR made the helicopter into a flyng horse or that surfboard is replaced by a bottle. But alas, we can't and we've 5th Cell to blame.
Asides from that, the difficulty curve in this game is rather hilly, it goes up and down and up and down with no end until the final boss, it's ridiculous it's not even funny. Some younger players may be having a sort of a hard time doing this but some veteran players whose first platformer was Super Mario Bros. or the like may be finding that the game offers cheap deaths. The bats are the main cause of cheap deaths and I want them to die.
Expanding on the weapons, you have FOUR, count them, four weapons to use, one in each world. Three of them are guns, so you can draw a gun shape or just stick with their outlines. One of them is a sword, it's a little less restricting (You could draw any stupid things like tongs or rulers but forget about that giant pole. But why not draw a baseball bat instead?) but still, it's still restrictive.
And we finally get to the last few aspects, the first one is the multi-card play. It's not much of a PLAY but it's more of a trade stuff with your friends who also have Drawn to Life! It leaves very much to be desired. Even New Super Mario Bros had a better multiplayer aspect. I smell lazy developers... (No, I don't smell lazy designers because this game is, Drawn to Life, it's about you drawing your own stuff for the game.)
Next is the replay value, well, considering the drawing, if you're very creative, you'll have a lot of replay value here, some others might not get as much replay value, completionists have a good sense of replay value before it dies on them, on which they'll start up a new profile and play again, there may also be some others who also will replay the game for the story because they liked it somehow, I dunno, I liked it.
Next is the flaws, the game is very restricting in the sense of drawings and you can't do everything, I also see a small bit of black pixels whilst playing and the character's pixels sometimes mess about, it's hardly noticeable but it's there. For any other flaws, I haven't seen much outside what I've seen. So the flaws are okay to get by albeit annoying.
Finally, the final summary, Drawn to Life is a good game brought down by its restrictive drawing for items, the story is different to other platformers (But it is a bit confusing in some ways.), and casual and young players may find this appealing. Those who like to draw may also find this appealing but those who have played many platformers could try it out to see if they like it. This innovative platformer tries hard to be, well, innovative, and while it may have done good, there are many things that are left to be desired, a proper multiplayer mode isn't in there. But the ability to get and listen to music from the game after playing through the game to collect tokens that unlock certain stuff is pretty good and the drawing is great but the restrictions...
So, to shorten the final summary, if you are a creative drawer or a casual player who is looking for a casual game, look no further, but feel free to keep looking if this doesn't pique your interest. Veteran platform players should rent this first to try it out. The game left much to be desired.
To conclude, Drawn to Life gets a 7 out of 10 from me for being a good game with flaws but still playable enough to feel fun for me, Drawn to Life is fun for the drawings that you could do, especially when you erase the starter title screen and start drawing a small picture from it, spending several hours on it to get it to be perfect.
Now, who wants to draw themselves the sun? Moon? How about we colour the lighthouse instead?
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Drawn to Life (EU, 09/21/07)
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