Anodyne 2: Return to Dust
A one-of-a-kind splicing of PS1 with 16-bit aesthetics and formal conventions, streaked with self-aware humour, sorrow and yearning.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a testament that indies can go where AAA fears to tread. A unique concept supported by strong gameplay that evolves frequently enough to keep you playing- right until it ends all too soon. At the bottom of it all, there is nothing quite like it.
While just a 10 to 15-hour adventure, more crazy things happen in Anodyne 2: Return to Dust than in any other 100-hour RPG. What starts as a simple 3D explorer/platformer and Zelda-esque dungeon crawler, soon turns into a journey through a realm that is otherworldly beyond any doubt, and yet manages to feel so familiar... like a faint memory, or a place you paid a visit in your sleep. It's not a game that was designed to be experienced by everyone, yet everyone is advised to experience it, if only for its beautiful, vintage PS1 visuals.
Games can often feel like some kind of sorcery, impossibly complex and created by people with inhuman ability. But they’re just people. Highly talented people, but still. Anodyne 2 is not sorcery, but it is a kind of magic, an ordinary magic that is all the more exceptional because of it.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a game that defies classification, but if I had to make an effort to describe it, I’d call it a combination of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, Super Mario 64, and Jade Cocoon. Then again, you never know when it’ll decide to be something else entirely, diving headlong into a different genre and experience that you had no reason to expect based on what came prior, but that’s polished and unexpectedly enjoyable nevertheless.