“Talent Not Included is a game that has all the perfect foundations for a stellar platformer, but falls short.”
Hey guys! It’s Kiki here, back with another game review for the Buttonsmashers. This week I had the absolute pleasure of playing a game known as “Talent Not Included” that was made by a small indie studio known as Frima Originals. An indie platformer game set in medieval times, you take on three actors in their quest to “put on the best show possible” by facing obstacles such as monsters, mechanical weapons, and flaming set pieces.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing Talent Not Included. The design of the game is seamless and beautifully colored making it eye-catching to anyone who hops on. The levels are constantly changing and adjusting so you do not become robotic in playing, but still maintains a consistency that doesn’t seem too overwhelming. However, despite my enjoyment, I did encounter several areas that could have been improved upon that would transition it from an average so-so platformer, to a stellar must-play that I had hoped the game would turn out to be.
Right off the bat, the story of the game is hidden within the opening sequences, blended in with the studio titles, so it is easy to brush over and bypass. For someone who depends heavily on the story, I began the game with no knowledge to the story, simply because of my error in skipping over it in the opening credits by accident. This lack-of-story affected me heavily, simply because I wanted to know about why we were set on a stage; what the point of the obstacles were, and why there were characters working against us (us being the player/s). When revisiting the story, it is fairly vague in its explanation of the overall arch. It is meant to tell a story of how the profit of a play will fund a videogame, or something of the other. In short, you are to play three characters to put on a play, and you fighting against the number of obstacles is made to provide entertainment for the audience. You control a warrior, a rogue or a wizard, and you hop from ledge to ledge, dodging obstacles to enemies, and inevitably reaching the end. Each level is identified by a “Scene” or an “Act” which ties heavily with the overall theme of theatre.
A few issues in the early part of the game are the tutorial levels. I played the game via steam, and generally use a controller to play my steam games (given they are compatible). The first few levels try to offer some tutorial as to how to play, however, it shows no accomodation for controller users. I had to figure out how to attack, dash and use special moves on my own, with no help in the “help” section or in the provided tutorial. Although not a huge downfall of the game, it certainly took away from my first impression. Other games I have played before that do provide controller compatibility, always offer some sort of tutorial or help section for those players.
My early playthrough of the game started rough. There was a delay in response when pressing the designated “jump” or “attack” buttons. It was only by a quarter of a second, or even less depending, but it made for an awkward first couple tries of the game. Whether that was from my own computer or from the game itself, its hard to say. But again, this issue wasn’t lasting and it was easy and quick to adjust. And then, after completing the first act and defeating the first boss, the second act was trying to load, and inevitably crashed. At first, the game stopped responding to both my controller and my keyboard, and when I tried to close out of the level and load back in, the game shut down completely. Having to force close the game and then reload it left another sour taste in my mouth towards my first impression, but again, it was hard to determine whether that was due to a computer error, or the game itself.
Once all the hardware issues were settled, I was left with a beautifully crafted game, with bright and eye catching colors, sided with a wondrous medieval theme. I found myself thoroughly enjoying it, cringing when I died at a difficult level and feeling victorious when conquering a hard level. It’s a game that can entertain anyone of any age. There isn’t much replay value once the game is complete, however, with some tweaking and adjusting to the story, it is something that can easily be fixed.
But find out for yourself if you found the game enjoyable; it is available on steam for $12.99 USD