[PS Vita Review] htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary
htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary is a very interesting game on the Vita. It manages to create a unique and compelling way to use the Vita making us wish that we had more games using it to its fullest potential.
In the depths of a labyrinthine ruin, a young girl named Mion rises from a deep sleep. Lost, alone, and with no memory of how she got here or where her parents are, she is greeted by two fireflies — one composed entirely of light, and another who lurks among the shadows. By shifting between a world of light and a world of shadows, these two fireflies must work together to recover Mion’s memories and lead her out of the ruins, where voracious shadow beasts, ancient machines, and treacherous traps lie in wait to bar her path. But what secrets do Mion’s lost memories contain? What is the connection between her, the ruins, and the fireflies lighting her escape? The answers may reveal a deeper darkness — one that must be faced from within…
htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary | PS Vita
This is a double review for the Vita version for htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary. Both versions were played by the_nmac & EdEN. This review presents what they both had to say.
htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (which has one of the weirdest names I’ve ever seen for a video game) is a gorgeous looking 2D puzzle/platformer starring Mion,a girl who has lost her memories for reasons not clear at the start of the game. In order recover her memories, Mion must follow a fairy of light in the light world, as she desperately runs, jumps and hides from danger. But there is more to the game than just guiding Mion through each area.
There is also a dark fairy that will allow passage into the dark realm, where shadows are all that can be seen on screen, but which also opens another clever avenue for puzzle solving since the dark fairy can move around said shadows as time remains still in the light world. As you can imagine, juggling controlling the light fairy to let Mion know where she must go while also considering that every shadow in the game might be used as part of the solution to a particular puzzle is a bit of a handful, but the game balances this just right in order to make it a very enjoyable (if hard) experience.
In order to control everything that happens in htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary, players will be required to use the touchscreen to move around the light fairy, and the back panel of the Vita to go into dark mode and move around the dark fairy. There is also an option for switching things around here and there, and you can even select a special mode so that you can use the analog stick and buttons to move around the fairies and enter/exit dark mode.
Overall, I had great time with htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary and hopefully everyone else does as well because this is the type of games we need: a new IP where you can see that a lot of care went into developing the game for a specific platform in order to let it shine. Playing with the light shined by the light fairy in order to stretch shadows so that the dark fairy could reach other shadows that are slightly out of reach felt great!
The game has a unique art style that is hand-drawn, something you simply don’t see in games these days. The game almost looks like it’s a watercolor painting with it’s characters. The way the lighting works is quite beautiful as well. As you move your Lumen around the screen the way, the shadows that are cast look great. The game reminds me of Child of Light visually in a lot of ways. The game also has an odd 8-bit look in between levels where you control, however they seem to be more story focused. This is an interesting mechanic.
The game’s sound is beautiful. It has a unique sense in that the background music definitely adds to the experience when playing. It will often sound sweet, yet eerie at the same time, making you wonder what is coming up next. This is one of those times that you want to have your headphones on when playing, so you don’t lose anything from the experience.
There are 25 trophies in the game including 6 Gold, 12 Silver, and 1 Platinum! This means that around 76% of the trophies are NOT bronze, which is great if you are looking to increase to your trophy level. Most of them are fairly attainable, especially a couple that requires you to die several times, which isn’t hard to do in this game.
The game is really cool, and as I said earlier in my review I wish we saw more Vita games take similar trajectory and use the front and back touch screens more. That being said the controls did seem odd not being able to use the touchpad for control and focusing exclusively on your Lumen on the touch screen for her to follow it. Once you get over that though you have an excellent puzzle platformer that is a great and worthy addition to the great Vita library.
pros=”Excellent hand-drawn art
Clever puzzles” cons=”Might feel a bit slow for some” score=90]
PSN Game size: 634MB
You can purchase htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary from the PSN store
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