Thursday, October 8

Mini Reviews: October 8th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Puddle Knights -
There’s nothing wrong with a puzzle game that knows what mechanics its going for and then works them for all they’re worth, something Puddle Knights does pretty well. The goal is to get the more dignified person in your group from Point A to Point B without needing to traipse through the mud. Luckily your knight(s) have no such concerns and with some effort they’ll be able to escort their charge around the screen safely without even a speck of grime on their clothes. I appreciate that the emphasis here is on the discovery and figuring out the puzzles, not on constantly reminding you that completing the stage could have been done quicker. Take your time, think it through, and carefully maneuver yourself in the right direction and just the right way and you’ll be good. Later stages add new mechanics like ripping your capes in segments which add new layers of challenge and keep everything from getting too stale. It’s not a complex game but that doesn’t make it any less satisfying if you appreciate unique puzzle experiences.

Shmubedi Boo - Probably one of the most unusually-named titles I’ve played on the system, this is one of those where I’ve needed to look up the spelling every time to make sure I’ve got it right. For the effort of keeping track thankfully to a degree the game makes it worthwhile, though it has a degree of quirk you’ll need to get used to and simply accept. This is pretty straightforward challenging platforming and trying your best to grab all of the apples you can on each stage. What isn’t quite so ideal is that part of the challenge comes from the somewhat loose controls for it being a platformer, there’s not a crisp response like you’d find for top-tier titles, instead you’ll just sort of work with what you’ve got and do your best. If you’ve got a fellow gamer around and you’d like to tackle the game together you’ll be able to do so, though if you’re not well-matched in skill that can be an exercise in frustration typically so take that idea with a grain of salt. I’ve certainly played worse platformers on the system, this one just falls somewhere in the middle with some unique aspects but controls that come up short.

Prinny 1: Can I Really Be The Hero? / Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, Dood! - While these are technically two individual games it’s appropriate to review them together since they’re practically identical in most ways you’d measure. Heck, they’re even packed in together in a physical release so all the more fitting. Using the weirdo/silly Prinny characters from the DISGAEA universe, you’ll take command of one such creature to take on the “highly important” tasks in each game you’ve been charged with… grabbing a fabled “ultra desert” or retrieving your master’s pilfered pair of panties respectively. Silly, yes, but pretty well par for the course for that series. In general this is like a throwback title visually and (unfortunately) in the case of the controls, generally rocking colorful and terrific art but with controls feeling pretty unforgiving from a modern perspective. You’ll really need to lock in your jump distances in particular since once you’re in motion you won’t be making fine adjustments like you’d generally expect these days (well, and typically in those days too). I’d say if you love the sense of humor and the look you may get some mileage out of this pair, but if you’re looking to test the water rather than dive right in with neither clearly superior to the other you’re safe either way.

Birthday of Midnight - OK, being real this is the third Midnight game and the fact that the gameplay, music, and art are pretty well identical in them all is a bummer. The somewhat unusual golf-like power and angle controls used to knock your character around to get them past a variety of traps and issues and put them in the hole was OK but kind of “Meh” the first time, but clocking in a third title with more of the same is just a bit baffling. Definitely only pick up one of the titles (any one of them will do, they’re practically the same) if you think it looks interesting and go from there but keep your expectations pretty low.

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