Let’s be honest here, Sony’s Playstation Vita has been severely lacking games for the last couple of years. Sure there have been some pretty solid games in that time span, but most other games have been extremely underwhelming. That brings us to HtoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diaries, a brand new puzzle platformer. Is The Firefly Diaries the game that finally breathes new life in the Vita or is it just another disappointing game?
In HtoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diaries, the main character is a young girl named Mion who wakes up in a dark cavern. Having not remembered anything, she follows Hotaru the firefly as he leads her through the cavern. Throughout this treacherous adventure, you’ll solve many puzzles, traverse through many dark and deadly areas, and recover some of Mion’s memories. The Firefly Diaries story is pretty dark and really shines near the end. With that being said, the beginning tells you absolutely nothing as far as the story is concerned, which left me curious as to when I was going to know what was actually happening. As you progress throughout the story, you’ll come across collectibles which, when picked up, explore Mion’s memories. These are usually presented in a different art style which is actually rather cool but aren’t really needed.
While the main character is Mion, The Firefly Diaries casts you as Hotaru, the firefly. As Hotaru, you lead Mion by pressing on the touch screen. The thumbstick and buttons do absolutely nothing in this game. In this way, you’ll lead Mion away from large enemies, up ladders, and much more. In addition, you’ll also gain control of a shadow firefly which moves through the shadows in the environment. By doing this, you can solve puzzles and interact with items throughout the environment. I really like the idea of The Firefly Diaries’ gameplay but, unfortunately, the controls are horrendous. Many times I’ve had Mion continue walking past my finger and to her death. Mion also walks frustratingly slow which drove me crazy throughout my playthrough. Also, the shadow firefly is controlled through the rear touchpad. I’d often have to tap the rear touch pad five to ten times just to activate the shadow butterfly. Overall, the controls are horrendous and kill what this game could have been.
Easily my favorite part about this game is the art style. The world of The Firefly Diaries is presented wonderfully with hand drawn art and a very dark, atmospheric tone. I definitely really enjoyed looking at the game. Accompanying the art, the music is also quite good. During certain scenes, the music always fit perfectly and complimented the art very well.
HtoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diaries is a great game on paper with an awesome art style, good music and a decent story that gets better as it progresses. Unfortunately, the game’s tremendously terrible controls turn this game into yet another PlayStation Vita game that should be skipped over.
Final Score: 4.0/10