1. GBAtemp Recommends Journey To The Savage Planet.jpg

    At a time when we’re threatened by a pandemic and what lies ahead remains more uncertain than ever, a brighter or more humorous depiction of fantasy worlds in our favorite hobby would make for a welcome change. Yet, the latest AAA games are often too bleak or eerily prescient. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding seems quasi-prophetic amidst the current public health crisis and the PS4’s exclusive The Last of Us Part II, depicts a world also ravaged by a pathogen. Other games like Beyond a Steel Sky take a lighter approach to the dystopian future narrative but nothing particularly striking.

    However, I recently played Journey to the Savage Planet and despite its caveats, its offbeat narration felt uplifting, particularly when the news is filled with bleak statistics of COVID-19’s victims, threats of a second wave or other ongoing crises.

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    Developed by Typhoon Studios and published by 505 Games, Journey to the Savage Planet puts you in the shoes of an employee from Kindred Aerospace, or the 4th Best Interstellar Exploration Company. Upon crashing on the uncharted planet AR-Y 26, you are tasked to locate and extract resources that could help repair your damaged spaceship, the Javelin, and leave. However, upon further exploration, you find alien structures that suggest that this planet is not devoid of intelligent life forms. As such, you are tasked to gather more information about this civilization, while examining the alien fauna and flora.

    Exploration is done from a first-person perspective with typical FPS elements; as you venture deeper into AR-Y 26, you discover resources that enable you to craft new items or upgrade your existing equipment. Unlocking new items is crucial to allow you to access previously inaccessible areas, and also to fend off the mostly hostile alien lifeforms and bosses.

    Yes, you don’t come in peace as you progress across this planet’s varied and colorful landscape. Even if those cute pufferbirds are said to “like love you”, that shouldn’t stop you from slapping or kicking them into a Meat Vortex so as to clear up the path ahead. A similar fate awaits the rest of AR-Y 26's fauna as you hunt them down for resources required for upgrades or just to progress.

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    What’s not typical with Journey to the Savage Planet is its satirical portrayal of corporate culture and capitalism with a sci-fi take. Your companion A.I. (E.K.O.) and your boss make it obvious that you are expendable throughout the conversations you have or the actions they take. E.K.O. is probably the least encouraging companion in video game history (on purpose) and doesn’t miss the chance to slide in a snarky comment. You regularly receive mandatory email surveys from Kindred Aerospace to fill and are reminded of your crippling debt that you won’t pay off in your lifetime. Even when you die in-game, you are brought back as a 3D-printed clone back at the Javelin. And when you pass by the location you died, you are given the option to “shamefully bury your body"; because of course, there's nothing more shameful than dying on an alien planet without the proper equipment and without having dutifully seen the task assigned to you by your employer to completion.

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    These are reminders that you crashed on AR-Y 26 and were tasked to fix your ship on your own because Kindred Aerospace did not think of your safety as a primary concern. Rather, you are just a cog in the company's wheels. But as luck would have it, ARY-26 interests Kindred Aerospace’s CEO Martin Tweed and your scouting space colonist mission escalates into one where he tasks you to fetch a powerful artifact. You’re no longer that much expendable but you’re drudging ahead for the 4th Best Interstellar Exploration Company so that you can earn your paycheck and pay the bills.

    To hammer in the absurd tone that defines sci-fi capitalism according to Journey to the Savage Planet, you will find over-the-top commercials that advertise truly WTF products from MobaMobaMoba Mobile VR v17 game to Brain Wipes Emotional Disinfectant Smarttissues.


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    Journey to the Savage Planet is not shy of its portrayal of corporate greed and colonial exploitation, and the way it does so felt refreshing, put a smile to my face and offered a fun playthrough, the likes of which I haven’t experienced in recent games. It also supports co-op so you can extend the fun of sci-fi drudgery with a buddy.

    Nevertheless, Journey to the Savage Planet is far from being a perfect game, with frustrating aspects such as respawning at the Javelin every time you die instead of the nearest checkpoint, certain annoying platforming sections and the lack of a map is also sorely felt, with only a vague pointer directing you of the direction you have to take. Even the two alternate endings feel somewhat unsatisfying but still fit the overall theme of the game as they subvert the typical "good" or "bad" ending you might be accustomed to.

    But Journey to the Savage Planet is a game I recommend firstly for its humor and presentation. I played it on the Switch and while graphically the game will look better on other consoles or PC, it does play well on Nintendo’s handheld. Despite its setbacks, I enjoyed my journey on AR-Y 26 by fulfilling my tasks as an employee of the 4th Best Interstellar Exploration Company!

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    I hope that you liked this latest issue of GBAtemp Recommends and be sure to check out the previous entries as well!



    TAGS: Journey to the Savage Planet
     
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  2. Discussion (6 replies)

  3. Seliph

    Seliph Best Girl ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ
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    Oooo capitalist satire count me in
     
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  4. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth GBAtemp Fan
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    Agreed with this game being recommended. Also Supraland for a similar but non-alien entry.
     
    Prans likes this.
  5. GamerzHell9137

    GamerzHell9137 GBAtemp Psycho!
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    Got the game in a free giveaway, was quite enjoyable.
     
    Last edited by GamerzHell9137, Sep 6, 2020
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  6. SuperDan

    SuperDan Im Aware ... Im Unaware
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    I quite enjoyed this game.. I reminded me of Metroid Prime on GameCube is some parts.. It's definitely worth a play..
     
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  7. medoli900

    medoli900 Open the Benzenes;Gate
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    I played it on Switch and enjoyed it thoroughly. Sure, there's some frame drop and some questionable level design, but the fake commercials and E.K.O. nearly GladOS humor made me laugh way more than it's probably healthy.
     
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  8. Ishzark

    Ishzark GBAtemp Regular
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    good review, game looks like fun, will try it now

    edit: I played around 10 hours now, the game is fun af and good to play(playing on switch)
     
    Last edited by Ishzark, Sep 14, 2020
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