Blue Fire is a title that snuck up on me, it wasn’t until I stumbled across a stream that I found this game even existed. What is it I hear you ask? The press release says Zelda meets A Hat In Time, so is it Flame on? Or Flame off?.
Well to be quite honest the press release didn’t lie but it feels like there is a little more inspiration here than it lets on. Blue Fire puts you behind the cracked mask of the protagonist as they explore and discover what has happened to the world of Penumbra. The game slowly explains what happened and gives you lore drops slightly more frequently than Dark Souls does but still leaves ALOT up to gamers to discover or ruminate on.
Graphically Blue Fire manages to nail a minimalistic cel shaded look, cartoony but also nails the atmosphere and isolation of the game. The levels ooze a certain ambience and despite the almost “childish” look of the character it really wouldn’t look too out of place in a Souls style game.
Performance for me was top notch remaining at a near solid 30fps at all times and fortunately I never came across any of the crashes that I had heard reported. Button input was buttery smooth and looked great Handheld and Docked.
A special little shout out to the soundtrack of Blue Fire, spoiling what is left of my review but the game is fantastic so believe me when I say the soundtrack is another level entirely. A beautiful set of ambient tracks which slowly weave into the levels here and once they hit you almost feel enraptured in them. Genuinely in love with the soundtrack here and it was my first indication that “yeah, this game is special”.
Blue Fire plays like Zelda had a baby with A Hat In Time/Super Luckys Tale which was then infused with some “Soulslike” DNA and birthed in an Ico/Shadows/Guardian birthing pool, lazy description aside this game is as unique as it is carried by inspirations.
You have these giant hub worlds to explore and figure out what exactly is going on, within them you have challenge “dungeons” so to speak. The main loop of the game is find an upgrade or flick a switch which allows you to further your progress, for the most part the dungeons are “optional”.
The “Dungeons” are like obstacle courses containing collectables, completing these gives you more health and mana, the also offer in my opinion the most fun of the game.
Blue Fire while it has combat, it is very basic with block and basic attacks outside of magic attacks, nothing offensive but nothing ground breaking either. Now as you progress through the tale you’ll get more abilities for movement, here the game takes on its true form as a 3D platformer and really really shines.
As mentioned the inputs are buttery smooth and controls simple enough to see you flying across these “dungeon” areas like Mario or the Prince of Persia himself, it looks fantastic and once you attune to the nature of 3D platforming it feels it too.
The atmosphere, the music and the gameplay managed to absorb me mere minutes into the game and kept me through the 15 or so hours of gameplay it offered me. I honestly couldn’t have enjoyed the game anymore if I tried and was very fortunate not to experience any of the crashing issues I’d heard about!. So would I suggest Blue Fire? 100% unequivocally yes, it’s my first major gaming surprise of 2021 and has put all the other releases on notice!
An utter hidden gem and one platformer fans and adventure fans should lap up
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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.