Giant Bomb Review

44 Comments

Lucidity Review

3
  • XBGS

With an excellent visual style and middling gameplay, Lucidity tries hard to be more than average.

There's a comfort and warmth to the presentation of Lucidity. Initially, it's like being snuggled up in a warm blanket with a soothing cup of hot cocoa. After a few hours though, it's like being trapped in an uncomfortably warm blanket and ready to vomit if you have to drink one more damn drop of cocoa. Add some not-so-engaging gameplay, and you've got the equivalent of a safe, uneventful stay with your dear old grandparents.

 Life with Nana was freaking awesome.
The game revolves around Sofi, a little girl who adventures through dreamscape after dreamscape in a journey to make sense of the world now that her grandmother, Nana, is no longer around. It's never made explicitly clear what happened to Nana, but I like to assume that rather than pass away she got sick of Sofi's innocent charm and ditched her to join a rough-and-tumble biker gang.

At the top of each level you'll see one of Sofi's drawings, detailing her longing for life with her grandmother, and at the end you'll get a postcard from Nana reminding Sofi how great and strong she is. At first it's really cute, especially when combined with the excellent visuals. By the end though, you want nothing more than Sofi's parents to have a long talk with her about loss, before those therapy bills begin to pile up.

The gameplay comes in the form of helping Sofi through the story's three acts as she ambles her way towards the end of each level. To accomplish this task, you'll place different items in her path as she casually walks from the start of the area to its finish. Sofi will move at a regular pace from left to right, though the items you use to help her are presented to you randomly. You'll get things like steps, planks, bombs, and fans to place on the screen, and Sofi will constantly be climbing, bouncing, and floating based upon their placement.

 You'll choose how best to cross this gap.
Each item has a particular use, though since the order in which they are given to you is random, you'll be combining them in different ways to ensure Sofi's safety. This adds a frantic element to a game that otherwise enjoys a very metered pace. You're able to queue, or hold, one item in reserve, but with no ability to discard an inappropriate item you may find yourself filling the screen with useless staircases until you get that bomb you need to blast through an impasse. This can get frustrating in the back half of the game where getting caught against a wall for too long will mean Sofi's demise and a restart of the level. Sofi will also restart a level if she is hit or takes damage more than once, though you can reset your hit counter by collecting any of the many fireflies that are strewn about.

There isn't much variety to the types of items that you'll eventually have at your disposal, but learning how Sofi interacts with each is key to successfully navigating the game. Knowing that a fan will lift you up and one space to the right is essential to placing the next fan ahead of time. You have no direct control over the camera, so you won't be able to plan too far in advance, something that seems to be less of an intentional gameplay constraint and more of a frustration. The ability to speed up Sofi's pace for certain sections, instead of waiting on her deliberate plodding, would have also been a welcome addition. With the limited amount of control in the player's hands, you may find yourself more relieved at reaching the end of a level than satisfied.

The game really shines through its art.
The game isn't very long, and you'll find yourself making through the three acts in a few hours. To unlock bonus levels, and to add a little more replay to the game, you can try and collect the many fireflies populating each area. For every 100 bugs you collect, you'll open up another level. Collecting them can definitely be a chore, especially considering the random nature in which items are presented to you, but it does give you a reason to replay levels multiple times.

With its absolutely exquisite art design, yet middling gameplay, Lucidity presents a package that initially captivates but wears thin quickly. I often found myself enjoying watching Sofi's actions more than I did participating in them. Add to that a story that seems a little too "fuzzy mittens" for its own good, and you have an experience that is hardly worth writing Nana about. Vinny Caravella on Google+
44 Comments
Posted by AllanIceman

This looks cool.

Posted by Curser

So sucks got it

Posted by ParanoidFreak

Cool style, must be very bland in the gameplay department.

Posted by thedj93

VINNY REVIEW! yay

Posted by Brunchies

I wasn't expecting it to be great, The lucasarts team should stick to what they are best at, Adventure games.

Posted by Nate

Looked cool, but I guess it's not so "Vintastic" after all.

Posted by crusader8463

Not surprised. The second i saw the gameplay it looked boring.

Posted by Kelswitch

Vinny forgot to mention how great the soundtrack is!
But yeah, this is kind of meh in the gameplay stakes.

Edited by Hitchenson

I quite like that art style. Also, great review Vinny!

Posted by Venatio

I was really hoping that this game would be awesome because of its beautiful artstyle but I guess not, I guess that I will get it if its ever discounted on XBL

Edited by DanielJW

I refuse to buy something that can be described as fuzzy mittens.

Posted by Dalai

I was hoping for something a little more engaging in this game.  Oh well, it's pretty cheap and might be worth a look anyway.

Posted by MattBodega

Fuzzy Mittens is the technical term for Saccharine, I believe.

Posted by Apathylad

I just realized Vinny only has four fingers in the drawing.

Posted by FrEeZe
@Apathylad said:
" I just realized Vinny only has four fingers in the drawing. "
and thus is the reason Vinny can only count to 8
Posted by buzz_clik

I know it's probably not the best practice to judge a game solely on its trailer. On the other hand, a trailer is supposed to quickly show you exactly what a product's about in a very short amount of time. In this instance, it would seem that the advertising was spot on: this looked like a pretty game with oh-is-that-it mechanics churning underneath.
 
Signs that ER and TANG have come to their conclusions: a Vinny review has surfaced! More, please.

Moderator
Posted by ManlyBeast

I might get on steam......maybe later

Posted by Doc_Zaius

I think I like it a lot better than Vinnie does.  I'd recommend it but, yes, it is not easy.

Posted by zitosilva

I completely agree. The game just tried to hard at the whole "child imaginery" thing, but fails miserably. Were this not enough, the gameplay is too repetitive and frustrating to be enjoyed.
 
It looks pretty though, and the soundtrack is pretty good.

Online
Posted by Bass

there seem to be more problems than the three stars would seem to indicate. I liked the written review though.

Posted by Nomin

Thank you for 'elucidating' on this game for me, Vinny.

Posted by Karmann

i want this game

Posted by Lydian_Sel

The impassive look on cartoon Vinny's face says it all for me...
 
Great Review!!

Posted by TobyD81

With the constant movement forward and indirect control, this game made me feel like I was playing Lemmings, and I never liked the stress involved with Lemmings. I love the visuals in this game, but I just didn't have much fun.

Posted by MasturbatingBear

 so basically you want nana to go the way you thought kanji was at first? in a biker gang?    cause awesome!  

Posted by Alphazero

Vinny is throwing gang signs up there. West SIDE!

Posted by BeautifulSpaceCowboy

I had a mild interest in the game, but I think this review has saved me some microsoft space bucks. Thanks for the review.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

I like the visual style, at least.  I guess that's what we easily key in on without actual reviews.

Posted by Babylonian

Let it be known that I am completely in love with Vinny Caravella's editorial style.

Posted by brocool

hilarious review mate

Posted by SubwayD

Even though I've only seen the trailer, this game always felt like it  had been designed by a buch of suits.
I can just imagine some Mr.Big chewing his cigar as he storms into the board room after playing Braid. "We need too keep getting cred with the independent blogs! I hear they like games with warm colour tones, gentle art and vaguely sad stories!" 

Posted by Slaneesh

I want more reviews from Vinny. Ill write to Nana about it... I wonder if she has facebook
Posted by joelalfaro

Vinny's review makes great points. However, I am currently loving the heck out of playing this game with my girlfriend. And as some have stated, the soundtrack is wonderful...

Posted by FellOpenIan

I was so ready to purchase this until I played the demo and had no control over my character. Whenever that type of non-control occurs in a game it makes me downright detest whatever it is that I'm not controlling.
 
I wanted to like this girl but, in the end, the lack of control just made it feel like one big escort mission and my hatred began to focus on her rather than the obstacles I was trying to avoid.
 
To each his own and all but don't ever call a game like this a platformer in the advertising leading up to its release....because it's not one...at all.

Posted by bybeach

You know, I hardly think you are the target player for this game ,Vinny. I would play this game with a lady, or give it to my young daughter iff`n I had one. I def. got a kick out of your reactions in the review and QL. good to see you reviewing!
Posted by Kohe321

Great review Vinny!

Posted by Duffyside

Hey! It's Vinny! Vinny wrote a review. Yay Vinny!

Posted by Duffyside

Just thought of something - is it possible Vinny is only allowed to review mediocre game because they could only afford one drawing of him?

Edited by takua108
@Duffyside said:

" Just thought of something - is it possible Vinny is only allowed to review mediocre game because they could only afford one drawing of him? "

There are five Vinny images.
EDIT: in case it's not clear, the five words that make up that sentence are links to the word. Why are the links yellow in the editor but white in the post? :S
 
Posted by Jayzilla

This is for the kids i gather. I will stay away.

Posted by MassiveDuck

"Life with Nana was freaking awesome."   
hahahaha... love it!

Posted by NoExtraLife
@Duffyside said:

" Just thought of something - is it possible Vinny is only allowed to review mediocre game because they could only afford one drawing of him? "

Well he did review Fable 2, i wouldn't call that mediocre.
Edited by Media_Master

Sounds like "just for kids."

Posted by dcgc

The controls for this sucks ass (PC version here). A lot of times I misplaced an item due to the crappy controls. That made me uninstall this game from my PC. The art work looks really neat though.