Mystic Belle is a 32bit styled platform adventure game for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam. The story is set at the Hagmore School of Magic. You play as Belle Macfae a young witch that has been blamed for ruining a special potion called the Walpurgisnacht Brew and now she must collect the rare ingredients that are required to make a fresh batch, while trying to solve the mystery of who really caused the potion to be ruined. Get the items clear your name and save the day in this fun 2d action platformere.
Graphically the game looks like something you would have seen in 1996-1998 with big colourful sprites and detailed vibrant backgrounds Like Rayman, Gex, Astal and Hermie Hopperhead. These aesthetics give the game a nostalgic throwback to playing games on the Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation one with gameplay reminiscent of the Codemasters home computer games. The sound has a very 1990’s feeling to it with music that is reminiscent of the soundtracks produced by ocean using their trademark sound for the games they released on the Nintendo GameBoy and the home computers like the Commodore Amiga. The games cast feature tropes and references that throw you back to the games of the 16/32bit era with similarities to eccentric characters and games from decades past.
The gameplay style is MetroidVania with exploration and puzzles with backtracking like Castlevania Symphony of the Night and Super Metroid. The puzzles and exploration include collecting items and having to figure out what you have to do with them or go searching for one item to get another. The games level system is simple and it works well, the platforming and combat mechanics are similar to Megaman and other platform run and gun games. The controls are tight with platforming that is challenging and can be difficult. You have a minimap that shows you what is around you so you can hopefully find your way back when you have to back track. Chests are dropped around the map so you can store items that you don’t need at that time and come back to them when you need to. There are warps that take you along the games world but I haven’t found one yet in the time I’ve spent playing.
The difficulty is fun and balanced on the standard difficulty where death takes you back to the start of the room you died in and there is limited backtracking. But if you don’t care for warp chests or even your own sanity you can play the game set at Hard Mode where you are squishy and take more damage, you have no access to warp chests and if you die you are taken right back to the starting area of the map. Normal is recommended for all players but if you are a masochist then just take the punishment and play on hard mode.
I have been playing the game for a few hours on the standard normal difficulty mode and I am enjoying the adventure that is laid out ahead of me. There are plenty of abilities and attacks to find I just haven’t discovered any yet or the special items I have come across I have no idea how to get to. I did attempt to play the game on hard but it became frustrating and punishing whenever I made a little progress I died right away giving it more of a 90’s feeling with being pushed all the way back at the point of death.
The game is vast and I have barely scratched the surface of it the adventure ahead is grand and I am looking forward to experiencing it. i will be publishing a video review on my Youtube channel so stay tuned for that.
I give this game 8/10 and I recommend this game to anyone who loves a good 2d platform adventure pick it up however you can and have lots of fun.