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JadeDragon's game reviews and playing tips: Nintendo DS games

Mr. Slime

Reviewed August 2008 by Edmund Wong

Publisher: SouthPeak Games
Developer: Lexis Numerique
Release Date: July 2008
ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone
Genre: Action/Platformer
Price: $29.99

Mister Slime is a 2D side scroller that offers a new way to go around the environment. Instead of having two legs, like everybody else, Slimy, our hero, has four arms that hinge on anchor points to move. It is a clever system, but how does this setup compare to the more conventional D-pad movement?

Plot

In Mister Slime world, there are two distinct inhabitants, the Slimes and Axons. For eternity, the two tribes have fought each other for land and resources every 40 years to redefine national borders. Not surprisingly, this game is set in the time of war where our green hero sets off on a journey of its own.

The story is not deep or engrossing. In fact, some might prefer to skip the dialogue and dive straight into the gameplay.

Gameplay

Mister Slime is a platformer with a difference. Instead of running and jumping around the stage like a certain plumber or vampire or hedgehog or whatever happens to be your fancy, Mister Slime does not have legs, or a body to speak of. This bodiless green glob of slime has four arms and a head, and is light as feather.

Utilizing the DS' unique touch screen ability, you tap the stylus on its head and drag across the screen to extend one of its four arms to an anchor point. To release, just tap on the anchor that you want to let go.

At first, this seems to be the new way to travel, like when Segway was first invented. But it becomes a tedious task very quickly, especially when you want to go somewhere fast. Soon, you will discover that walking is still more convenient than Segway. Mister Slime requires players to repeatedly grab on and let go, grab on and let go. This process is painfully slow, and is especially trying when you want to avoid something coming your way in a hurry.

Indeed, it is a feature of the game that controls how you move and defeat enemies. To dispatch incoming foes, the green blob has to be positioned like a sling shot, using its head as a weapon. Set yourself up between two pegs, pull its head back, and then release. However, a mistimed head butt will result in a loss of life. You can also use big boulders that you find around the world to knock out some foes. But again, a mistimed throw, and the boulder will backfire and hit you instead.

There are other ways to travel as you will discover along the way. Blow into the DS mic to make the green blob flies, but flying too fast, and you will inevitably lose a life as Slimy hit the ceiling full of innocent looking spikes.

There are plenty of puzzle solving elements around, but many revolves around collecting a key to open doors, or putting weights on a platform to unlock gates. Along the way, you can collect some flowers that will open up secret areas or tasks should you collect them all within a stage. Unfortunately, it does not have enough incentive to make it worthwhile.

The aim is to go from the starting point to the circular exit somewhere on the map to jump to the next stage. Along the way, you collect flowers and kill foes. However, some of the maps are way too short, hampered by the frequent loading screen between each map. Some stages will require you to collect certain things or find a certain somebody, but ultimately, there are all fetch quests. It can get quite tiresome after a few sessions.

The physics engine is to be commended. Slimy will roll off a slope (especially funny when it is its head that does the rolling), and bounce like a yoyo on one hand when it is holding a heavy rock. They are nice addition, but unfortunately, it is not perfect. It is very hard to judge whether Slimy has enough spring to head butt an enemy or if the rock is far enough not to cause any damage. What seems to be light touch from the rock can sometimes be deemed too much for Slimy to handle, thus causing it to take damage.

A lack of a map is also disappointing in a maze-like game such as this. The top screen could have been more useful than just showing how much life you have and your inventory.

Graphics

Mister Slime is a colorful world. It is bright and solid. Colors are used appropriately in any given environment. The 2D graphics is simple and does the job well.

One thing that Mister Slime does well is the facial expression. Whether Slimy is happy, or hurt, or angry, or trying hard getting to the next anchor or just plain bemused, its emotion changes according to the situation. Too bad its head is so small, and the intended players will usually just ignore it after the initial fresh feel.

Screen shots:

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Deals and Shopping

 

 

 

 

Sound

Sound effect is not Mister Slime's strong point. They are actually fairly generic. Slimy and its friends blah their way through the conversation, much like the Sims talking. The in-game music is short and repetitive. It is totally forgettable, really. But it serves its purpose. It is not something that you will hum along.

Replay value

Besides the story mode, which is single player, there are multiplayer modes available, provided that the other player also has a copy of the game. There are several challenges like flower challenge (who gets the most flower), or racing challenge (who gets to the exit first).

In single mode, you might be tempted to collect all the flowers in a level to reveal a secret. But beyond that, there is not much to do. You can also replay a level if you so desired.

Overall

Mister Slime is an innovative game. It utilizes DS' unique functions and to some extend, it succeeded. However, after spending a few hours on the game, and the initial gameplay will grow tiresome. Sure, it offers power-ups to try to keep the game appealing. Unfortunately, it still relies heavily on a grab-and-pull system to move our green hero forward. The result is a slow going process with little reward. Its greatest appeal also becomes its greatest downfall.

Children might like it, but with the game spanning 40 levels over five different worlds, it might lose its appeal very soon.

Playing Hints and Tips

- If you cannot stretch far enough to the next peg, try to let go of some other pegs.

- If you see a health lying around (red dots with a circle around it), grab it with one of Slimy's hand to put it in your inventory. Otherwise, Slimy will consume it even when it has full health.

- When blowing into the mic to make Slimy fly, don't blow too hard. Slimy will travel upwards very fast, and if you are not careful, Slimy might meet a spike or two that will take away its health.

- Conversely, Slimy can also get hurt when falling from high places. So blow into the mic lightly to soften the landing.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics

Background blends in nicely. Environment is simple, bright and colorful.

Sound

Not many sound effects. Music is short and repetitive.

Fun Meter

Initially, it is fun to move the green blob along anchor points, unfortunately, it grows old rather quickly. There is not enough variety to keep the player entertained.

Addictivity

There are things to do, like collecting all the flowers. Multiplayer challenges are also available, but they do not add any real value to the game.

Total Score= 2.375 Dragons, 47.5%



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