Monday, January 3, 2011
suteF - Review
suteF is the direct sequel (once called a remake) to Fetus, and is the third game that tells the tale of Aramas in the Abyss. Like Fetus it revolves around him and his dead self Bob talking revenge upon Fetus, I assume for bringing him to the Abyss, by killing him. This time around the visuals, puzzles, story, horror atmosphere, and mechanics have been expanded and improved. Another aspect of the game that I saw as an improvement over Fetus is the number of denizens of the Abyss that you interact with, and all of them interesting and unique characters. The game is advertised to take about two hours to complete, which I think if anything is more of a minimum which could grow to be somewhat longer if you get stuck for long periods of time on any of the puzzles.
One of the best improvements over Fetus is the gameplay. The added abilities really lead to better and more challenging puzzles, and some real brain teasers. In suteF you still have the ability to wrap around the screen when you move off of it, change gravity's direction when stepping on the special platforms, and move boxes around to block lasers and activate buttons. Additionally, you have gained the ability to jump/climb up platforms directly beside and one to two levels up, and even to grapple boxes and walls to pull then to you or you to them up too three squares away. These two new abilities actually come and go with the loss and the gaining of the grapple and with the breaking of your leg in a fall for the jumping, which prevents jumping two squares up but leaves the single square height still attainable. And some aspects of the world are even different, for example some puzzles will change while you move around; Which might seem like it could make the puzzles simply impossible, but it seems like a lot of care and thought was given to make then still completely possible and yet still complicated and fun.
One of the most interesting aspects of the game to me were the interactions with the various different incarnation of yourself; Whether they were from the past, the future, or simply alternative presents I do not know, but they added a lot more depth to the story, and added a level of cooperation and partnership and to an otherwise empty and hostile environment. These incarnations also manage to add an additional level of horror to the game. Because instead of simply seeing corpses, in suteF you are often show the death of a fellow incarnation and even get to interact with an incarnation of yourself that has been driven mad by the Abyss.
The gameplay is very similar to Fetus, but with the noted additions. It is at its core a physics platformer, were the goal is to make it to the single large TV (visionometor) to be transported to the next area, while sometimes having to turn off the smaller TVs along the way. This is accomplished for the most part by using the wrap around effect of the edges of the screen and by switching the direction of gravity for you and any other objects you push into the area of the gravity switchers. Additionally, their are lasers you have to avoid and buttons to turn on and off platforms.
All in all I think it is a great game. It takes the great atmosphere from Fetus and fully realizes it. It takes the already good puzzles from Fetus and just ups enjoyment and the challenge. It takes the already great minimalistic graphics and makes them better. And most of all it takes an interesting, although convoluted, plot and characters and adds more depth. So for all of these reasons, and a few others, I will say that suteF is hands and feet above Fetus, an already good game, and well worth a play-through.
suteF can be downloaded here.