Back to Stone

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Back to Stone
Back to stone boxart.jpg
North American boxart
Developer(s)Hidden Floor[1]
Publisher(s)
Composer(s)Frédéric Motte[2]
Platform(s)Game Boy Advance
ReleaseDecember 15, 2006
Genre(s)Action role-playing, hack and slash
Mode(s)Single-player

Back to Stone is an action role-playing/hack and slash game using an isometric 3D perspective developed by French studio Hidden Floor.[3] It was published by Neko Entertainment / Big Ben Interactive in Europe and by Graffiti Entertainment / O~3 Entertainment in North America.[3] It was released for the Game Boy Advance on December 14, 2006.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

The player controls a warrior who is mysteriously amnesiac and has been experimented on by demonic creatures. Players can move the character around the game's environments freely, jump around platforms, and fight enemies dynamically. Killed enemies turn to stone, which can then be moved around and used to solve puzzles. When the player's character is wounded, he transforms into a demonic monster, which improves his fighting capabilities.[4][5][6]

The game does not feature any way to save the player's progress, which had been a standard feature of video games for many years by 2006. Instead, the game relies on passwords to allow the player to return to the game where they had left off when they last turned off the console.[7]

Reception[edit]

Back to Stone
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic55/100[8]
Review scores
PublicationScore
GameSpot5.5/10[10]
GameZone6.8/10[9]
Pockett Videogames4/5 stars[11]
Jeuxvideo.com14/20[12]
The Entertainment Depot2/10[13]
Thunderbolt3/10[14]
Gaming NexusF[6]

The game received mixed and negative reviews. Most critics considered the gameplay to be "simple" and "familiar",[4][5] but the stone-pushing puzzles to be "unimaginative", unoriginal, and repetitive.[7][9][10][14]

Some reviewers considered the graphics and design to be "charming and varied",[4] easy to discern (in contrast to Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge),[5][12][14] but many judged the presentation to be "drab", "grainy" and "muddy".[5][6][13][14] The game's smooth framerate and special effects have received praise,[7][9][11] as have the intricate boss battles.[9][10][13]

Several reviewers have noted that controlling the character from the game's isometric 3D perspective was very difficult and "unintuitive" because of the rigidity of a directional pad and the difficulty in judging depth.[4][5][10][11][12][13][14] Multiple critics have praised the game's length (estimated between 8 and 15 hours), which is considered good for a portable game.[4][5][6][10][11] The translation's poor quality has also been criticized.[7][9]

Back to Stone was heavily criticized almost unanimously for its lack of saving functionality, instead relying on a password-based system to track the player's progress, which was seen as a "cumbersome" flaw for a game on a handheld console, as well as "stupefying", "unforgivable" and "inexcusably archaic" when compared to other games released in this era.[5][6][7][9][10][12][13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hidden Floor website
  2. ^ Back to stone's official contact page
  3. ^ a b c "Back to stone". Neko Entertainment. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Après plusieurs années de développement, Back to Stone arrive enfin sur GB A" [After many years in development, Back to Stone finally arrives on GBA] (in French). JeuXpo.com. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Nielsen, Clark (December 31, 2006). "Back to Stone Game Boy Review". Nintendo Spin. Archived from the original on July 27, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e Colleli, Sean (April 11, 2007). "Back to Stone Review". Gaming Nexus. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e Felipe Faria Lemos. "Reviews – Back to Stone". Just RPG. Archived from the original on December 17, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  8. ^ Back to stone's Metacritic page
  9. ^ a b c d e f N Amer (December 12, 2006). "Back to Stone Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Provo, Frank (February 28, 2007). "Back to Stone Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d Olivier B. (January 31, 2007). "Back to Stone". Pockett Videogames (in French). Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d "Test : Back To Stone". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Webedia. December 22, 2006. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d e Napolitano, Jayson (February 27, 2007). "(GBA) Back to Stone". The Entertainment Depot. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Boot, Justin (February 2, 2007). "Back to Stone". Thunderbolt. Archived from the original on February 20, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2015.

External links[edit]