ITSP is a 2D side scrolling shooter, filled with eye catching art, deep exciting game play and a huge amount of exploration
ITSP is what I believe to be a story about a space ship that has been sent on a mission to rid a planet of its evil and twisted ways and yes the mission is definitely worth completing. Told using only short videos of animation and no words or talking are seen or heard.
There are 6 unique areas to explore on the Insanely Twisted Planet (Homeworld, Organic Zone, Ocean Zone, Ice Zone, Mechanical Zone and Electrical Zone) and 9 different abilities that are simple to use and located in different parts of the map. You will need to collect and use these in order to access and clean up the whole of the planet.
These include a scanner which enables you to scan objects and enemies so you can see what ability you are required to use, a gun, a grabber used to pick up and place objects, protective screen used for repelling enemies and their abilities as well as pushing through other dangerous situations, a blade saw used for cutting through rock, user controlled rocket, a laser, electricity and a wave emitter that allows you to push and pull yourself as well as moving and placing objects.
Most of these abilities are used for defeating enemies as well as gaining access to new and old areas previously unexplored.These are slowly introduced through the game as is the difficulty allowing you to comfortably get familiar with your surroundings, the abilities and what each of them do before moving you onto the next area.
At times you may not know why you are on this planet (I had a rough idea of what was going on but it was not until the end that I realised my purpose for being here) but you will always know where you are meant go thanks to a very obvious location marker on the map and the scanner ability.Getting to some of the locations is not always simple though.You will often need to use 1 of the above mentioned abilities to gain access to paths or points of interest but will not always have the ability needed.In order to explore the whole of the shadow planet you will have to back track to an area you were previously at earlier in the game.
This is not a bad thing though as not only do you get to see the brilliant art again, you also know that when you arrive and unlock the area you will be rewarded with either an artfact (that sometimes plays a short story video), some cool concept art or a power up such as better armour or an upgrade to better the effect of an ability for your ship.
ITSP has very responsive fluid controls similar to "“Shadow Complex"” in that you control the space ship with the left analogue, aim with the right analogue and hold RT to use it. The inventory menu is also similar to “"Shadow Complex"” as you hold RB or LB and select the ability you require by pointing the right analogue in the direction of it and release RB or LB to accept the choice.
You can hotkey up to 4 abilities to each of your face buttons and I recommend you do this for quick access in the trickier parts of Shadow Planet. Another similarity is the map layout, you can see the whole of the map but can only explore certain areas if you have the ability to do so.
The only thing that annoyed me in the game was the opening and closing of the map e.g. You press the “"back"” button to open and view the map but have to press the “"B”" button in order to close it.If whilst you are in the map you try to resume your game by pressing the "back" button again you are taken to the pause menu.I know it is a simple thing to get to grips with but it really did throw me on nearly every occasion.
Now for the Multiplayer side to the game.
ITSP supports up to 4 players online or offline capabilities in a co-opetitive mode called “"Lantern Run”". The idea of this mode is for you and your friends to each carry a lantern as far as you can without it being extinguished or you dying.Whilst doing this you will encounter an enormous tentacle ridden, multiple eyed monster that is constantly on your tail following you as well as other annoying enemies and obstacles.
There are upgrades and abilities throughout the run like in SP but not everyone gets them.From what I saw there is only ever one ability or upgrade to pick up on the screen and its first come first served.Although the game is competitive you need to remember that the co op side is hugely important if you want to succeed.
Although I only had a small go in this mode due to the game not being released yet I had great fun. The pressure is always on due to the obstacles you encounter and little amount of time you have due to the monster following you which makes for a great “"I want to improve my distance travelled”" game mode.
This is one of those games that proves you do not have to go to a shop in able to play brilliance.You cannot put a price on a game this beautiful and exciting. I believe that 1200MSP is a steal for this game and that anyone who enjoys exploration, puzzle solving and insanely twisted planets will not even realise let alone care about the price tag. This game has plenty of replay ability for those that like to grab all collectibles and going through the planet again will definitely not feel like a chore.
If you put "shadow complex", "limbo" and "asteroids" into a blender and added some very special ingredients ITSP is what would be produced.This is a good thing!
The art style is sometimes strange but always nice too look at and the music and sounds are some of the best I have ever heard in a video game.
I cannot think of any reason as to why this game would deserve any less than