I came into this game with the thought that it would be just another a spin off 'Zelda-esque' game, but hell was i wrong, indeed there are elements of the game bringing Zelda to mind, this game refuses to be seen as a spin off imitation.
With good reason of course, combat in this game never seems tedious, repetitive or linear, the games makes sure that there is a bunch of versatility through the stages in the game, this is achieved ultimately by giving you the various and diverse tools to be used throughout the game, ranging from a stun-lock slingshot, to a bomb in which takes precision accuracy to achieve maximum potential in damage, these tools perfectly coincide with your primary weapon, as the slingshot allows you to fearlessly approach melee based units with the insurance of safety or the bomb to be used tactically in range or as a battlefield addition. Additionally the game makes you utilise all these tools as all bosses in one way or another must be destroyed using a specific tool, almost forcing the player to be versatile throughout the game, and makes sure that the player is given a good reason to practice and get better using the tools in advance.
Although the game may look like a easy plat-former, do not be fooled by the looks, this game is gruelingly difficult, from puzzles to bosses this game forces the player to stop, think and study his/her surroundings, although challenging this game is not tedious in this respect, challenges may seem close to impossible by glance but when you begin to actually study move sets, area's of weakness and points of interest a picture begins to take place, and thoughts of victory start to become reality, this sort of gameplay ensures players feel full satisfaction and actual pride and sense of achievement when victory is achieved, this sort of satisfaction is extremely rare in gaming today as Phoenotopia does not hold your hand (like almost every other game) and forces you to take the form of a maverick.
Although the story of the game is linear, Phoenotopia doesn't ever feel that way, the game forces players to interact with NPCs and rewards them for reading and understanding what the NPCs have to say, because sometimes exceeding a characters dialogue may let you into a hint or tip off on how to further the story or discover bonus areas which will grant you rewards such as gold and other necessities. This meta means that players are rewarded for curiousity and willingness to discover lore and story, this is great because the lore and story do not fail to deliver, I myself was extremelly captivated by progressive story and going on's within the major cities.
Furthermore i like to give Kudos to Quells for making sure that all characters had individual personalities, each character gave me a different vibe some intimidating some comforting and this being achieved by 2-4 dialogue boxes is really a achievement, and another great aspect of character development was the choice of not giving our Protagonist Gale any real speach boxes, this allows us the player to judge how we view our hero not forcing us to feel a certain way about her, and i can't praise enough on how brilliantly this was went about.
Overall from story to combat this game does not fail to deliver, a refreshing take on a classic style this game is one for the mile stones, and quite easily the most captivating and enjoyable browser based game i have played. The brilliant use of ambiguity and subtly allows the story to bloom and effectively makes the twist and turns of the game seem authentic and although the game holds a dark undertone character personalities make this game feel light hearted yet able to grasp sentimental value, these are also expressed in a amazing set of musical scores, always able to capture the atmosphere and make the gaming experience feel enhanced. Well played Quells you've created yourself quite the masterpiece and have definately become a fan of your works, waiting for your next triumph.