Game Review: Zool Redimensioned (PS4, Steam)

Zool is one of those IPs. Everyone of a certain age remembers it fondly. In my case, it was the one with the ninja and the level with candies. But, somehow, somewhere along the road, he got left behind while his colourful contemporaries went from strength to strength. However, like Mario and Sonic before him, he is now benefitting from a shiny new release on current consoles. After 30 years, the Ninja of the Nth Dimension is back to take on the evil of Krool in the shape of Zool Redimensioned.

Zool Redimensioned – A Ninja, Not An Ant!

Originally release way back in 1992 for the Amiga by British software house Gremlin Graphics, it’s now been rebuilt from the ground up by Sumo Digital Academy using the Mega Drive code rather than the original Amiga with a few new features for modern gamers.

Admittedly my memories from back in the day are vague. I only really played this on a friends Amiga a few times when I was about ten years old but the visuals stuck in my head. Fast-forward 30 years and the visuals are still striking. Everything is so colourful and pops as only a 90’s platformer can. The animations on the sprites are fairly smooth and enemies are visually distinct from each other. This has the effect of making the gaming very interesting to look at from a basic perspective.

There’s nothing worse, or more boring, than a platformer where everything looks the same throughout. This also extends to the level designs. While they may not ‘wow’ modern audiences, each of the eight worlds is visually very different in both look and theme and individual levels don’t outstay their welcome as Zool zips through them with ninja grace and speed.

What’s New?

Among the new features in Zool Redimensioned is the ability to play different modes. One of these is called Ultimate Ninja and is for anyone looking for the old-school experience.

The other mode is the Redimensioned mode. This feature includes the additions for modern audiences such as save states, double-jump, level challenges and speedrun times. This adds a lot of replayability to the experience as you can go back to beat old scores and compelte challenges. I found this mode the most enjoyable overall simply on the basis of the additions. The Redimensioned mode has also improved on the way the character moves and it’s something you can pick up on immediately if you switch straight from Ultimate Ninja to Redimensioned. Zool seems to slide around a lot and his movements are less precise in Ultimate Ninja. This can make it difficult to nail enemies on the head and the refinement is appreciated in the Redimensioned mode.

Several local multiplayer options have been added which serve to add to an already decent package and offer up a few different game types including a collect-em-up and one where you have to wear the crown the longest. It’s so good to see local multiplayer supported.

Keeping It Retro

The audio representation is charmingly retro. A lot of remastered games have replaced the original music with something more modern but Sumo Digital Academy have recreated the soundtrack and it’s a thing of beauty. Takes me back to my younger days of gaming and is toe-tappingly catchy.

A Happy Reunion

Overall, while the character may have gotten forgotten, it’s great to see him back in Zool Redimensioned. I would love to see a resurgence for Zool and perhaps an all-new game on the horizon. But for now, I’m happy to be reminded of how fun some of these older games can be.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.