If you’ve played any videogames in your life, you’ve probably played a platforming game at least once in said life. If not, then, uh…Expand your horizons, seriously. And you could certainly do worse than starting that journey with a simple yet solid platformer known as LOVE 3.
GET IT HERE: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1604300/LOVE_3/
I’ll be honest, this will be another short review, but don’t let that sell this game short. LOVE 3 is basically what happens when you take a surprisingly simple game concept, but keep refining it until you have the smoothest diamond you ever saw in your life. And you get the previous games in the series as well, making this the perfect starting point.
If there’s a story here, I’ve yet to find it. All I know is you’re some dude going through numerous, variously themed platforming levels with their own puzzles, hazards, and soforth. So what makes LOVE 3 so special then?
The fact it’s as easy or as hard as you want it to be. This game can be Super Meatboy hard, or surprisingly chill, thanks to its absolutely incredible accessibility based design.
The big thing about LOVE 3 is that you have a ridiculous number of features (all optional) to make the game easier on you, or you can opt to not use them for an incredibly difficult time. The features that can make the game easier are…
This may not seem like a big deal at first, with so many difficult platformers these days allowing for infinite retries. But on the flipside, actually using a life limit, or even attempting a no death run, will make you realize just how much lives can matter in this game when you DO have them. It also helps that since you’ll (probably) die a lot, there’s a ton of death animations to boot. Some simple, some rare and will make you go “Huh, that looks familiar.” I’ve definitely gotten a chuckle out of a few of them, and I adore the sheer variety of ways you can go out when you fail. It definitely helps keep things fresh.
-User defined checkpoints
You can, at any point you desire, hit a button to set up a checkpoint at that spot. This means instead of starting the whole level over, you respawn where you last set a checkpoint up. When you combine that with the unlimited lives, it means that at the end of the day, you can theoretically overcome every challenge in the game by just trying again and again, even if you only make a bit of progress each time. Just set a new checkpoint whenever you get past a spot that gives you trouble!
-Slow motion on demand
If you find your reaction speeds just aren’t what they used to be, this last one’s for you. A slow motion feature you can use any time you want, and can configure how slow it goes. For spots that require precision, fast reaction, or both, this can be used to make up for your lack of either.
Now, that doesn’t mean LOVE is just about simple ‘jump from one spot to the next’ type platforming, and that’s another thing that puts it so high on the list. Despite its seemingly simple graphical appearance, LOVE 3 offers a shocking amount of variety. Some areas are indeed simple platforming sections where you need to avoid falling or hitting spikes, others may involve having to navigate hazards unique to the level, such as guns, or moving energy fields, or zero gravity water, and that’s just a few gimmicks of way, WAY too many to list. It means you constantly need to adapt to a new kind of challenge, and that helps keep this game fresh.
Speaking of fresh? The beats are very much that. LOVE has always had good music, and LOVE 3 continues that trend with songs that’ll always fit the mood of the level you’re in, offering a surprisingly chill (for the most part) soundtrack to the challenges you face. This is definitely a game worth buying the soundtracks for just because of how good it is.
The game isn’t the longest, no. A basic run will probably take you maybe an hour or two, but with a game like this, that’s just the beginning. LOVE 3 and its predecessors are all about getting better: How many deaths can you shave off your next run? How much faster can you go? Can you find every secret bonus item? This is a game about gradually getting better each time you play it, while still having tools to help you make it as easy (or as hard) as you want each time. In today’s age, it’s nice to see a game that actually does try to cater to everyone, and actually does a pretty darn good job doing it. It doesn’t mean EVERY game needs an easy mode, but it’s still good to sometimes have a game that can truly be as easy (or hard) as you want.
Fred Wood really has made a simple yet wonderful gem of a game here, and if you’re any kind of platformer enthusiast, you really are missing out if you don’t play this.
And again, LOVE3 comes with the previous games, so you can just buy LOVE 3 and experience the trilogy as a whole with it! Not a bad deal honestly. So go on, take the plunge, it’s not like you have limited lives to worry about…