Eternal Daughter is an excellent platformer from Blackeye Software, the wonderful folks who brought us outstanding freeware titles like Snowbrawl and Diabolika.
The game casts you as Mia, a young girl born into slavery under the evil Dungaga race. You must escape and defeat the greater evil that controls them, and discover who you really are in the process. Hackneyed, maybe, but it's the execution that matters, and here the game truly shines. Eternal Daughter is unlike most other platformers in which the story serves only as a convenient backdrop, a justification for the mayhem, to be completely ignored once the action begins. In contrast, the story of Eternal Daughter is very well integrated into the game, and unfolds little by little as you play, similar to what Delphine did with Out of This World.
The graphics, as you can expect from Blackeye, is top-notch. Anime-style characters are very well-designed and smoothly animated, and the platform engine is precise. The level of detail in the game is astounding, including many subtle and not-so-subtle references to gaming classics, both console and PC. Similar many Nintendo platformers of yore, the game is very difficult - it took me countless tries to beat the first 'boss' monster alone, and I must confess I die quite a lot. Eternal Daughter must be one of the most difficult 2D games ever made, but the incredibly addictive gameplay and surprises will keep you glued to the screen, hoping for the next 'save point' to come along (yes, the game uses a typical console system that prevents you from saving anywhere you want). Unlike most platformers, the game is largely non-linear - there are many paths you can take, and some completely optional areas that you don't have to explore to finish the game. This makes the game highly replayable, although given how difficult it is you'll probably need to give your fingers a long rest before booting it up again ;)
The Blackeye team spent over 2 years on the game, and the result is well worth the wait. Simply put, Eternal Daughter exemplifies what action gaming should be all about: intuitive controls, smooth gameplay, innovative and varied challenges, tough enemies, and above all - thoroughly addictive. It's a true labor of love, and Blackeye deserves all the applause for crafting a wonderful game that retains all of the 'old skool' atmosphere, with extremely high production values that exceed many commercial titles. It's an extremely difficult game that even expert gamers will find challenging, but it's a 'good' kind of difficult - the kind that makes you grit your teeth and mumble 'hmph, let's try it one more time!', not the kind that makes you uninstall the game in disgust. If you like platformers or love classic NES/SNES games like Metroid, Eternal Daughter is simply a must-have.
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