If you’re old, like us, you might have fond memories of an action platformer called Zool.
Originally released on the Amiga in 1992 and then ported to a host of other formats, Zool introduced players to a ninja from the Nth dimension. Wanting to get himself a ninja ranking, he’s landed on Earth and must travel to seven different lands, overcoming the powerful bosses that lie in wait at the end of them. Along the way, there are minigames to partake in, and a whole host of collectibles to pick up.
Now, Zool has been brought back and enhanced for modern audiences. Zool Redimensioned keeps the core of the game intact, but introduces new modes and extras to add longevity and make it more accessible. Play in the new Redimensioned mode, for example, and you’ll find that you can double jump, making getting around levels much easier. You don’t need to pick ups collectables to progress, either. But worry not if you enjoy an old-school challenge.
Ultimate Ninja mode is also available, making the game feel much more like the original version in terms of challenge. And trust us, on this mode Zool Redimensioned isn’t easy. Part of that is because Zool himself isn’t the most pleasurable platforming character to handle. Like Sonic the Hedgehog he moves pretty fast, making some precise movements rather tricky. Jumping on enemy heads to destroy them can be awkward, too. Thankfully he can also slide into them, or simply shoot them from afar.
For those that find even Redimensioned mode too troublesome, a range of assists are also at hand. You can turn on things such as invincibility, making your time with the game pretty much painless. But it comes at a cost: enable any assists and you won’t be able to earn trophies. Some might not be too happy with that, but for most it will be a small price to pay to play their way.
Aside from assists, there are some other settings players can tweak to make Zool Redimensioned more to their tastes. There’s a toggleable CRT filter, for example, and the controls can be adjusted for your comfort. A Beastipedia has been added as well, allowing players to find out more about Zool and the enemies he encounters on his travels. It’s pretty neat.
New for this PS4 port of Zool Redimensioned, and making their way to the PC version via a free update, are a number of party games. Up to four local players can have fun battling it out, either trying to pick up the most collectibles, keep hold of a crown, or hitting balls into targets to score points. These new party modes round out the package quite nicely, making it a game you might want to put on when you have friends around for a laugh.
While Zool himself can be a bit unwieldy to control, playing Zool Redimensioned it’s easy to see why he still lives in the minds of some gamers. He’s a charismatic little fellow, instantly recognisable and rather cool. And so while this retro platformer might not have the awareness or tight gameplay of the original Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog, it’s still well worth checking out if you’re after some old-fashioned fun.