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Mister Slime

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Southpeak Interactive
Developer: Lexis Numerique
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 2 (Multi-Card)
Genre: Platformer/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

Mister Slime is truly a strange game that uses some of the DS' unique features to create a game that simply couldn't exist on any other system.

Looking at Mister Slime, you will see the game has a very distinct look. It's got a simple 2D side-scroller (sort of) design with very unique looking character and creatures. Slimey (the main character), along with the rest of the characters of his race, are little green heads with four arms. You use those arms to grab onto anchors, and by grabbing some anchors and letting go of others, you move around the game's world.

Sound typically has a light-hearted feel to it. The background music is energetic and while the loop is pretty noticeable in a few times, it isn't ever too bad. Besides that, the sound effects get the job done. Between the little noises that chime off when you pick up collectibles, or the sounds of the various enemies, you get the appropriate audible cues in all the right spots.


Gameplay:

Quite frankly, Mister Slime's story, while giving the game a nice setting, but feels a bit formulaic, and it isn't really what makes the game stand out.

In the Mister Slime universe, every 40 years a war between the Slimes and the Axons breaks out to decide who will rule the planet. As the game opens up, the 40-year cycle is about to begin again, and our hero, Slimey, is also getting ready to ascend to the tribe's chief, but Slimey doesn't know why this war keeps raging on. Slimey's adventure will not only take him all around the planet exploring different environments, but it will also challenge his preconceptions about the Axons.

Besides the Adventure Mode where you get to take Slimey from just another little green guy to his destined position, you will also have some multiplayer games available to you. One nice feature is the ability to join a friend in a level they are playing (provided you've gotten to that point in the Adventure Mode, of course), but there are also a handful of Challenge Games you can pose.

The Racing Challenge sees which of the two players can navigate to the level's exit the fastest, while Flowers Challenge keeps track of which player has the most collectibles in the match. Score Challenge is like the Flowers one, except you not only gain points by eating flowers, but also by taking out enemies.

Interestingly enough, you can give your character's life points to the other simply by pulling it out of your inventory and dropping it onto the screen. This adds an odd bit of co-op to the challenges, allowing the game to have the potential to be a more friendly challenge than an all out competition.


Difficulty:

Mister Slime has a few tough parts, but they typically come from enemies or objects in the world (like doors) not responding quite as quickly as you would like. As far as the story's progression, it's all pretty smooth and easy to get through. So getting through the overall plot and the major puzzles isn't the biggest barrier in the game.

Unfortunately, those previously mentioned issues do get in the way quite often. Some enemies require you to pull back and hit them with your body, and I found that I almost always took a hit on my first attempt to attack them, while the enemies that require you to use an arm and wave it around them to shoo them off either didn't respond, or didn't really go away long enough to do what I needed to do. This was especially frustrating in the early levels when I was still getting used to the game's unusual mechanics and new features were being thrown at me left and right.

When it comes down to it, Mister Slime's problems in this area get annoying after long play times, but if you take it on in short bursts (in the car on the way to school, on the bus, etc.), then these issues that make the game more difficult than intended aren't as noticeable.


Game Mechanics:

Mister Slime is all about the mechanics. Moving around the world is done by tapping on anchors, which causes an arm to go out and grab it. In order to let go of another anchor, you simply tap the stretched arm. So moving from one side of the screen to the other involves clicking on anchors closer to your destination and then letting go of anchors behind you.

When you let go of all of the anchors, Slimey falls to the ground and rolls about (which feels vaguely like Loco Roco). While you can't really control Slimey like this, you can throw him forward a bit by grabbing onto anchors near you while you are rolling fast and slinging yourself forward a little, but there isn't any real power behind this so you won't be making a lot of progress this way. But don't worry, you will quickly learn how to catapult yourself by grabbing a pair of anchors and pulling Slimey back; so while this doesn't help you when rolling about the level's floor, you will be able to do some nice sling-shotting action.

Other things like opening doors involve tapping on Slimey's head and dragging an arm out (if you have one available) and grabbing the door (or bucket, or switch for that matter). While this all sounds pretty odd, it works out fairly well, and when you really get into it, moving around becomes very smooth.

Besides simple movement, you will eventually be able to use powers taught to you by Axons. In order to activate these powers, you will just have to draw different shapes on the screen. The game also uses the microphone to let you create a wind for Slimey to fly on, as well as having you flail about his arms in order to propel him underwater.

Mister Slime has a few issues that can get annoying in high concentration, but besides that, it is a really strong attempt at creating a truly unique and original game that uses the DS' touch screen to create an experience that hasn't really been seen before. If you are looking for a fresh experience, and don't mind the rough edges, then check out Mister Slime.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Windows Outcry Sony PlayStation 3 Monster Madness: Grave Danger

 
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