Game review: Dust: An Elysian Tail, Xbox 360

THIS artistic platform beat-em-up follows Dust, a skilled warrior who has lost his memory, as he fights to rid an ancient land of demons. The game follows a similar format to Nintendo classics Metroid and Castlevania, but with an emphasis on combat.

By hammering the attack button, Dust can create combo chains in the hundreds with his sword, or execute a spin attack that racks up hits further. Dust’s helpful – but incredibly annoying – sidekick Fidget can unleash weak projectile attacks that, when combined with Dust’s spin attack, sparks a tornado of brutal fireballs.

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The risk-reward is fantastic, as Dust’s spin attack will seriously hurt him if you keep it held too long, so caution is the key to winning bouts. The higher your combo chain by the end of an enemy encounter, the more gold you find on the ground.

Fighting aside, you can explore towns and accept side quests from civilians, or buy items from traders to enhance Dust’s performance. There are tons of quests and fighting arenas to really push your skills to the limit.

Where this game excels, however, is in its art style. The hand-drawn visuals are fluidly animated, matching Japanese fighting series Blazblue in terms of quality. Exploration is also inviting, as the more skills Dust acquires, the further he can venture into this rich world. It’s a fun game that boasts a well-structured universe and solid combat mechanic – just try to ignore Fidget’s voice.