Toki Tori 2 releases onto the Nintendo Wii U eShop in just a matter of days, and in the lead up I thought I’d take one last opportunity to give my two cents on the game before our review.
Once again, if you’ve never heard of Toki Tori 2, or are just thinking what a ‘Toki Tori’ is, let me give you a brief run down.
Dutch developer Two Tribes released their debut game Toki Tori on Nintendo’s GameBoy Colour back in 2001. Starring a delightful yellow chicken of the same name, the game was a puzzle/platforming packed full of platforming/puzzle goodness that made such excellent use of the GameBoy Colour’s hardware it’s now considered to be one the last best games on the handheld.
Following a decades worth of ‘for hire’ work and other projects – including bringing Toki Tori to almost every platform released since 2001 – Two Tribes finally started work on a true sequel to their first game, Toki Tori 2 a half and a half ago.
The term “true sequel” is possibly the best way to describe Toki Tori 2, as it retains almost nothing fans of the original may remember – save for Toki himself – and is quite literally an evolution of this adorable IP in every possible way.
For one, the rigid level based structure seen in the original is gone, replaced with what Two Tribes describe as a ‘Metroidvania’ game world that sees no artificial barriers or borders, meaning players are free to go where they like, when they like.
This is made possible thanks to the unique idea of ‘knowledge unlocks’. In my recent preview of the game I explained this as “learning how to use your environment and the creatures found within them to progress further”. Toki Tori 2 gives you only two abilities – Stomp and Whistle – and it’s up to players to decide how to best use them in order to solve the many puzzles they’ll encounter.
So at any point during the game you’re able to wander off of the linear path and instead explore things for yourself. See a ledge you want to get to? There’s a way to get there! The game is encouraging you to the move to the right side of the screen but you want to go left? You can do that too! It’s difficult to instil the same sense of wonder and amazement Toki Tori 2‘s game world imparts to its player, but it’s one that feels alive and teeming with possibilities, and you have control over it all.
Immersion is a word that’s thrown around quite a lot these days when it comes to video games, and in a very real way Toki Tori 2 truly excels at capturing a very Nintendo-like level of immersion that’ll have you playing for hours. Not only does the explorative gameplay and ‘Metroidvania’ style world do well enough to create this high level of immersion, but the graphical fidelity of the game is also something to behold.
And then there’s the GamePad and what that brings to the table, not to mention the integration of the game into Miiverse and the much-discussed level-editor Two Tribes have been teasing for the Wii U version for quite some time.
While it won’t be ready for when the game comes out on April 4, the team have promised to release it in a future update. Once this happens players will be able to construct their own stages using the same tools the development team used, and once you’re done – if Two Tribes have their way – you’ll be able to upload and share your levels over Miiverse.
I’ve gone on record to say Toki Tori 2 is shaping up to be the next blockbuster eShop title, and from that I’ve played, I appear to be right. While my final judgement is reserved for our review in just a couple of days, I urge all Wii U owners to pick this one up day one.
Aussie-Gamer‘s review of Toki Tori 2 will go live this Thursday.