Game Review: Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD (PS Vita)

Floating Cloud God HD PS Vita

Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD is a twin stick side scrolling action adventure game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS Vita. This is a HD remake of Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims, which was one of the most popular games from the PSP minis range released in 2012 with various improvements and brand new features across the board.

The game has had a number of improvements over its PSP minis counterpart with some tweaking to the balance of the original PSP minis version in regards to the difficulty level of the game. Meanwhile, further improvements have been made to the HD remake including the addition of trophies, a new twin stick control scheme and improved HD graphics and audio.

The game sees you controlling a God that floats on a cloud as you attempt to protect pilgrims from various enemies as you guide them to the end of each level, hence the perfect name of the game Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD. When you kill enemies to protect the pilgrims, they shower you in love which can be collected by flying into love icons that radiate from the pilgrims. The love icons are important as they provide you with more powerful weaponry after you have collected a few of them, which also places even greater importance on doing your best job of protecting the pilgrims and killing your enemies. In the case that all of the pilgrims die, then you have to restart the level you had reached from the beginning as the pilgrims are essentially your life system within each level. However, a pilgrim will be waiting for the pilgrims you are protecting to join him at the end of every level, resulting in the potential increase of the number of pilgrims you will be protecting, providing that you are able to keep all the pilgrims safe on a level by level basis.

There are seven worlds set amongst backdrops such as a clear bright blue sky; the night sky; hills with trees; snow capped mountains; and various other beautiful environments. There are two things that every one of the seven worlds has in common and they are that all of the enemies will be trying to kill or capture the pilgrims and there is a boss at the end of each world. The end world bosses range in their size and frame, but they all fire projectiles or make them rain from the sky to attempt to kill you and the pilgrims you are attempting to protect, so the end world bosses can be quite hard, despite actually remaining very enjoyable to play.

There is a strong assortment of enemies to encounter including: various types of demons that fire different projectiles such as flames and some demons even attempt to capture the pilgrims; various enemies that roll along the ground that the pilgrims are walking on that will kill any of the pilgrims they come into contact with; vultures that attempt to peck at the pilgrims; plants that fire projectiles into the air; a woman’s face with white make-up and red lips that blows fatal kisses; and many more besides.

The controls are easy to master as they are well mapped to the analogue sticks and face buttons. The controls consist of pressing X or changing the direction of the right analogue stick to fire; O, L or R to thrust multiple shots fired from beneath the floating cloud at enemies below you; changing the direction of the left analogue stick or using the d-pad to manoeuvre the floating cloud God around the screen, away from enemies and into love icons to strengthen the power of your weaponry; and start to pause the game. There are no options for alternative control configurations, such as the touch screen or rear touch pad, which is rather surprising, although the twin stick control configuration is excellent and is perfect for a side scrolling action adventure game.

The graphics have been improved with a HD makeover in contrast to the original game and while the graphics in the original PSP Minis version looked great as they were already, these graphics look even better as they now display in the Vita’s native resolution, which really highlights the vibrancy and colourful tones of the almost psychedelic nature of the graphical art style, even more so than the original.

The presentation of the game is solid with a great user interface with navigation available via the left analogue stick, directional pad and the face buttons across various menus such as the main menu and instructions menu, although it lacks any ability for navigation via the touch screen, rear touch pad and right analogue stick. The background of the menu screens looks very colourful and vibrant as they contain a drawing of a pilgrim surrounded by flowers and clouds, which really helps to capture the essence of the game even before the adventure begins.

The audio has been upgraded in comparison with the original PSP Minis release and contains oriental music, which really connects with the graphical art style and premise of the game. The sound effects have also been remastered with some great sounds, such as the amusing sound effects from the pilgrims as they cheer your protection of them when you kill their enemies; the lively sounds of your weaponry firing at your enemies; the sounds of your enemies firing projectiles at you and the pilgrims; and more besides.

The trophy list includes thirteen trophies with nine bronze trophies, three silver trophies and one gold trophy. You may not necessarily find the trophies easy due to how difficult you may find certain areas when there are a lot of enemies on screen simultaneously attempting to capture or kill the pilgrims you are trying to protect and it is that level of difficulty that makes it uncertain as to how many trophies you will earn during your first playthrough of the game. The trophies are mostly aimed at defeating all seven of the end world bosses without losing any of the pilgrims during the battle. This is not as easy as you may initially believe as each of the end world bosses have their own dangerous attack that rains down on the pilgrims at various paces in which if any of the flames, stars or objects from the bosses attacks hit any of the pilgrims, then the pilgrims that were hit will die and you will have to restart the level against the end world boss to attempt the trophy again. The hardest trophy is certainly the Saved the Pilgrims gold trophy for saving all of the pilgrims without losing any of them across the entire game. I would estimate depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take around ten hours to 100% the trophy list.

There are no difficulty levels, but the difficulty of each level is defined by the amount of enemies that are within reach of attacking the pilgrims simultaneously. It can be a serious problem if you let too many enemies close in on the pilgrims’ location, as you need at least one pilgrim to survive throughout the level or you will have to restart the current level from the beginning.

There are no online multiplayer modes or online leaderboards, which is a bit disappointing as Dakko Dakko’s previous HD remake The HD Adventures of the Rotating Octopus Character had online leaderboards, which added to the replayability of the game. I could imagine there being online leaderboards for the best times set for each level and the best overall times set for the entire game, alongside the highest amount of pilgrims to be saved across each level and overall across the entire game.

The replayability of Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD is clear from the charm the game possesses from its graphics, audio and gameplay. The premise of protecting pilgrims throughout every level spanning across eight worlds provides danger through every step of the way and supplies a level of importance to the game that will definitely have you coming back to save the pilgrims that you were unable to save on your previous attempts.

Overall, one of the most loved PSP minis of 2012 has been overhauled with brand new features and a HD makeover. It surprisingly does not take advantage of the potential touch screen or rear touch pad control configurations, although the new twin stick controls via the left and right analogue sticks are perfect for the game. If you are a fan of the original PSP minis version of Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims or you are a fan of side scrolling, action or adventure games then you must buy this game and at a cost of only £2.99 it makes it even more of an essential purchase, especially for a game that has such charm and a great premise that will keep you entertained for quite some time. I personally enjoyed my time with the game even more than Dakko Dakko’s previous HD remake of their first PSP minis game The HD Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character and the fact that the two games are so diverse shows a lot of imagination and craft. I am excited for any announcements and to play Dakko Dakko’s upcoming projects, which I am sure following on from these two amazing releases will certainly be making their way to the Vita.

Jason Bonnar

At A Glance

  • Title: Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims in HD
  • Publisher: Dakko Dakko
  • System: PS Vita
  • Format: PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: No
  • Cross Play: No
  • Online Multiplayer: No
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 84Mb

 

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