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Review: Toki Tori 2+ (Nintendo Switch)By Adam Riley At 07.03.2018 20:32

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To start with, it has to be said that this is a beast of an adventure. Seriously, do not be fooled by how cute the Toki Tori 2+ screenshots look. This is dastardly in so many ways! At first, it lures gamers into the experience by making them feel like it is a simple puzzle-platformer. As progress is made, and the world opens up, though, suddenly it becomes apparent that there are hidden depths; depths so deep that most will instantly drown. Other than shuffling around, Toki Tori only has two moves available: slam the ground and whistle. Thankfully, the whistling comes in five different tune forms. More on that later, though. The key thing to note is that after an initial release in 2013, the vanilla Toki Tori 2 has been polished to near perfection after plenty of user feedback. It was always a game with gorgeous visuals and a beautiful soundtrack, but now has far more streamlined gameplay that helps to make it much better than ever before.

Toki Tori 2+ seems so rudimentary in the initial areas that it could be imagined the adventure would be breezed through with the greatest of ease almost before it has properly begun. Oh no, no, no. Not long after flitting around a couple of stages, playing around with Toki Tori's ground-pound and whistling moves, suddenly the little chick gets stuck in what seems to be a dead end. Such poor game design! How is this possible? It must be because it is based on the crusty old concept of a Game Boy Color game. *Rage quits* Wait, wait, wait…you can whistle and regenerate at the previous checkpoint? Ah! A solution! Okay, but that is not exactly ideal, right?

Well, okay, it certainly is not, and will indeed grate for some folk, no matter how long they play for. However, this is not for absolutely everyone, just as Two Tribe's RIVE also did not cater for the entire populace. This, as with the fantastic shooter mentioned a moment ago, is tailored to a specific audience that wants to embrace the tough task at hand, relishing the intricacy of the world around them, basking in the glory of all the lovingly crafted locales, appreciating the attention to detail poured into making this as deceptively in-depth as possible.

As the adventure continues, it also becomes apparent that whilst Toki Tori is very limited on the moves side of things, he can actually still deal with enemies and obstacles in a variety of ways, be it splashing into water to store it in his feathers and drizzle it around to frazzle electrically-charged critters or make grass grow to hide him from pesky birds trying to fly him to their nest, or slamming down onto shaky ground to gain access to new areas, luring monsters onwards with a quick whistle only to then let a Toki Tori-activated barrier drop down on them or even get them to fall into holes that he can then safely wander across, and even angering previously docile beasts to get them to charge around and butt into, and move, certain platforms. These are just some of the special moves that can be triggered; just a taste of how Toki Tori 2+ cleverly builds up extra layers onto the gaming onion. On the surface, it may not look like there is much in the way of substance, but that could not be further from the truth.

Then there are the obelisk-type structures that can be triggered in various places that seemingly plonk random beams of light onto a world map. Further into proceedings, it becomes apparent that these are handy warp points for easy world traversal when extra whistle skills have been learned. Calling for a large bird to fly down and grab Toki Tori in its talons allows for stages to be quickly revisited, plus once there, mole hills start to increase in availability, meaning that in-stage shortcuts are also usefully present, allowing specific tricky objectives to be bypassed.

The 'plus' aspect in the game's name really is about making this appeal to a wider base than before. As mentioned previously, it can be extremely arduous for those thinking it will be a gentle stroll in the park, but after taking on feedback, Two Tribes has given the ability to create user-defined checkpoints now to ease matters somewhat. Slowly working through one of the extraordinarily delicate brainteasing scenarios towards the latter stages of the game and banging your head against the wall because of constant failures?

Well, it will still be a point of contention for some, but it is now not quite as painful as in the past because you can pause at every step of the way. There are some inherent design choices made when first creating Toki Tori 2+ that mean the difficulty could only be fixed for all-comers by offering the special flight ability - that only comes into play at the end - via the options screen right from the start. It would not harm the adventure for those wanting to play in its purest form, but it would also allow others that get really stuck with certain ridiculously complicated chain-event sections to not become frustrated and disheartened in the long run. Two Tribes has almost made this perfect, and it is indeed fantastic in so many way, but there is that extra tweak that could unlock this for the masses so they could truly appreciate the delight that is the world crafted by such talented developers.

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Final Score
Some may look at [i]Toki Tori 2+[/i] and immediately embrace it or dismiss it because of its cute-looking nature. Both parties need to understand, though, that this is in no way a simple platform adventure. Instead, it is a gruelling puzzle-adventure, with so much hidden depth and challenge that hardcore gamers will rejoice from the rooftops. It is the game that just keeps on giving, and with tweaks to perfect the formula, now is the best time to pick it up.

8

/10

User Comments
#1 Adam Riley (News Editor) - on 13.03.2018 at 22:32

Rudy, I'm intrigued to hear your thoughts on this... I've suggested to the team that it should include the ability to fly earlier on in the game for those that want to use it when stuck. Personally, I started to get a bit frustrated towards the end of the ancient frog hunt when I had to create loads of bubbles to transport around the frogs and little creatures that make bubbles. It became very awkward in places, to the point where I just wanted to stop playing completely.


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