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Hoa - Gorgeous hand drawn puzzle platformer coming to Switch/PC in April, PS4/PS5 in July


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From a Vietnamese game dev. Check it out:

 

 

The PS5 version is also getting some DualSense features:

 



For the PS5 version of Hoa, these DualSense controller improvements help to better imitate the immersive world around you:
  • Hoa can fly for a limited time, which you activate with a press of R2.  Thanks to the adaptive triggers, as Hoa gets closer to her flight energy being depleted, the trigger will be harder to pull.
  • The DualSense wireless controller’s haptic feedback will mimic actions and events over the course of the game. 
  • You’ll hear the grass and trees rustling via the DualSense controller’s speaker. 

These DualSense features will provide a richer experience for every player on PS5 as they explore the world around them.

 

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I picked up the physical copy of this last week on PS5. I was not aware that there’s a double and a half physical tax when I did since the game was $39.99. Whereas you can buy it for $15 physical. I’ve always been a person that doesn’t assign value on game length but given I both finished and got the platinum in one sit down session that lasted under two hours - the physical price is rather ridiculous to say the least. I would likely have held off on a sale knowing what I know now. That’s on me for not looking at how brief this is, though. Not the game.

 

That’s not to say that the game is bad as it absolutely is not. It’s very much “babies first platformer” so don’t go in expecting any level of challenge here. This is Studio Ghibli inspired and a very serene experience. It’s a perfect “palette cleanser” type game for when you’ve finished a more involved title, really. I enjoyed it in that regard. It’s lush and beautiful and the music is obscenely good. I’ve read some reviews that say the music is overbearing and gets old and to that I say…go pound sand. How in gods name does this get old?

 


The setup here is very simple. You are tasked with finding five butterflies in each area along with awakening a few engravings to wake up an creature to aid you by either giving you a new skill (double jump, smash, etc.) or opening the next area. The platforming feels tight and what puzzles there are are very basic but work well. The only challenge there is manifests itself in the last level and I’m not entirely sure I agree with their design decisions there. I won’t ruin it but it just seems out of place with the general feel of the game up to that point. There’s also a chase scene near the end of the game that’s pretty much just a watchable sequence. All I could think to myself was “Why can’t I play this?!”…

 

Outside of its gameplay, the game does have some minor technical issues including stutters and pauses when dialogue scenes load or during scene transitions. It makes the game feel unpolished. Also, for as good as the music is, it plays as a simple loop and nothing is done to hide that. So, the music will simply end and you’ll hear nothing until it starts up again. It’s just sloppy for what is an otherwise quality presentation.

 

I enjoyed this. I won’t knock its simplicity too much because there’s room in this hobby for these types of games. Im happy to own a physical copy but $40 is an obscene amount to ask for considering the content on offer. At $15 or less? Yeah, it’s worth your time. The Switch version apparently has some ugly framerate problems so I’d avoid that one if I were you.

 

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