this is so cool! Cant wait for the next batch!
this is so cool! Cant wait for the next batch!
Sweeet this is so interesting! Cant wait for the next batch!
This is so exciting! Excited for more!
Recently, a friend of mine sold me his 3DS for a criminally small amount of money because he said there were no games to play for it. As soon as I bought it from him (or rather, as soon as I changed all of his settings), I brought up the Shop Cannel and began throwing a handful of games into my Wish List. As I did I said such things as “Wow! Twin Bee!”, or “Sweet, Kirby’s Adventure in 3D, and Sonic Triple Trouble!”, and “Oh sweet, Sakura Samurai! I really wanted to play this game no one knew about!” After a few (dozen) minutes of flipping through the shop channel I felt like he regretted abandoning his 3DS which I, apparently, was so excited about.
It becomes apparent that the same channel that seems sort of… well, unexciting on the Wii (despite it housing some of it’s better games) might just be what’s so exciting about the 3DS. How much exactly do I feel I have to play Donkey Kong Country on my Wii? Considering it takes 10 goddamn minutes for me to set that mess up, not very much, but put it in my backpack for five dollars and I’m a lot more interested. More importantly, this opens up the 3DS into iOS territory, cheap, good games, for pennies. In fact, considering that it’s almost palpably painful to play anything but Flight Control on an iPhone (let’s admit it), there isn’t much of a reason for it not to have a bulk it’s best games. Well, I mean, speaking of which, Flight Control is on the 3DS.
All that brings us to Mutant Mudds, I found a demo of it today on the eShop and couldn’t help but write a quick review for it.
PLATFORM Nintendo 3DS (Download)
DEVELOPER Renegade Kid
Initially, it looked like an unassuming but competently 8-Bit 2D platformer. And looked much the same for about half of the first level, but then the game’s defining feature showed itself in a big way. In Mutant Mudds, you can jump into the foreground and background through designated platforms, allowing you to progress through the level, or get over walls you were previously unable to jump over. You run, you jump, you shoot, there wasn’t really much of an explanation as to why you do these things. I like that, I’m sure if I looked in the instruction booklet I’d find a lengthy backstory, just like the good old days of my youth. This game doesn’t have an instruction book though, all the better.
HOW DOES IT LOOK?
Pretty great. At first glance, the sprites don’t look particularly elegant or detailed (namely the main character’s sprite, and the “Coins”), but in motion the game looks very fluid, the animations are charming and, well, animated, for lack of a better word. Where the game leaps from passable to pretty great is when the foreground, middleground, and background come together in complete view. The plane closest to you is large, chunky, and bright, and sticks out when in 3D mode. Almost awkwardly close, but that’s a good thing, as it compliments with the less bulky middleground and background. The middleground is your default and optimized size, and the background is tiny, dark, and gets pushed back when you crank up the 3D. Once it all comes together, it’s really well structured, and ultimately manageable. There are very few times, if any, when you feel like you’re struggling to see something in the further planes that is being obstructed.
HOW DOES IT SOUND?
Super great. All of the sounds in Mutant Mudds are genuine, 8-Bit style chiptunes. The soundtrack is catchy and full of character, the sounds are satisfying and un-annoying (which can be a gigantic deal if botched), overall greatness. It invokes the best genres and techniques of chiptunes. It sounds entirely genuine throughout, so 8-bit purists will find themselves very pleased with how the game sounds.
HOW DOES IT PLAY?
Good and bad. First, I’ll point out that the game is super easy to figure out how to play, so no frustrations there. However, the game’s mechanic itself can feel occasionally cumbersome. Your character is slow, which is alright if you’ve accustomed yourself to, say, platformers on the Gameboy. However, when compared to other titles, like Cave Story, and even Eversion, you can’t help but feel it’s dragging a bit. Whether this was an intentional homage to a more “Old School” of game design, I couldn’t say
At times the game teaters on the edge of “Old School Hard” and kind-of-cheap. On the plus side, this game can use it’s cumbersomeness to it’s advantage, much in the way an older game would. It’s challenges don’t lie in bombarding you with a dozen enemies, the few enemies there are are intentional, they’re hard to get around, and even the easy enemies are satisfying to take down. The platforming is solid and entertaining, and that game’s multi-tiered gimmick only gets more fun, instead of less, like a worse game’s gimmick would.
The minus, you you can’t jump very far or elegantly, although you have a jetpack that lets you float from left to right for maybe a second. Normally, this jetpack would feel freeing and useful, though couple that with platforms that awkwardly appear and disappear and you feel like it’s sometimes more of a burden than a blessing. Somehow, it feels like the disappearing platforms in Mega Man 2 were easier than Mudds’, and in Mudds, I have a jetpack. It just doesn’t make sense to, and I have to akin it to the specific’s of the jump itself.
Also shot follows the Space Invader rule of “Will only let you fire again if your previous bullet hits something”, to put it elegantly. Also, your shot doesn’t fire the length of the screen. Also, your shot is slow. Occasionally, all of this is fine. When an enemy is right next to you and you can fire out bullets in rapid succession, fine, satisfying. When you have to jump from a soon-to-be-disappearing platform while shooting an enemy halfway across the screen that also shoots bullets at you, not fine, frustrating. I’m not sure if this specific part of level three was intentionally rage inducing or if it was just unfortunately designed pacing and placement. Again, I can’t say, but I feel like it just could have been different.
Maybe the pacing could have been different. Maybe if these challenges were present in the last level as opposed to the third, maybe I’d have a different tone. Maybe all of this is fixed in the full version. Maybe I’ll have to update this section when I buy the full game. Who knows. I know. I probably will.
WHAT’S YOUR FINAL OPINION?
Despite being a little frustrating to play at times, Mutant Mudds is super fun. It’s like it’s graphics, when you disassemble the game down to it’s individual parts, it’s pretty average. But once you see everything in motion, the nice graphical touches, the phenomenal soundtrack, the ramping difficulty, you get a super fun game.
(Note: I really can’t emphasize how great the soundtrack is. While I was writing this I managed to stream the entire soundtrack from there website. EDIT: Almost a second time while editing. EDIT: It’s available on BandCamp, pay-what-you-want.)