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Dojoran review for PS5/4, Xbox Series X/One, Switch


Platform: PS5
Also on: PS4, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Nautlander
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

With Dojoran, Ratalaika has done it again. And by “it”, of course, I mean that they’ve continued their unfortunate habit of allowing players to unlock a Platinum trophy well before the end of the game, thereby removing a lot of the incentive to stick around the end.

Mind you, Dojoran might just be the most egregious example I’ve seen of this. There are 28 levels in the game, and the Platinum pops after just five. Sure, you also need to die 25 times, collect 150 coins, and find 5 special Talismans, but none of those things requires you going out of your way, which means you get all the trophies here in well under half an hour.

What’s unfortunate about this is that Dojoran is one of the better Ratalaika-published games that I’ve played in quite some time (and I’ve played quite a few). It’s a kinda-tough-as-nails platformer that’s a lot fairer than many other games in that genre – by which I mean it calls on players to have solid reflexes and to make some challenging jumps, but it never feels like it’s punishing players for thinking they have a chance at beating the game. No matter how many times I died, I always found that I could see exactly what the game wanted me to do, and I never wanted to throw my controller away in frustration.

Which isn’t to say that Dojoran doesn’t feature the odd frustrating moment. There were definitely places where I realized I’d screwed up carrying an important item, and I had to start the level over again to get around my mistake. Still, those moments were few and far between, and were far outnumbered by levels that were actually fun to play.

Just about my only real quibble with Dojoran is in how it describes itself. It claims it’s a 1-bit platformer, but that’s kind of a misnomer. For me, when I think of those, I think of games like Zero Zero Zero Zero, that really do look 1-bit, to the point they could’ve come out on one of gaming’s earliest systems. Dojoran, by contrast, may have a black-and-white colour palette, but it still looks like a more modern game.

As I said, though, that’s just a quibble. Dojoran is a fun platformer – whether you want to play it until the Platinum pops, or if you keep on playing beyond that point.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Dojoran PS4/PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: B+