Platform: Nintendo DS , DSI
Developer - Lexis Numerique
Publisher - Southpeak Games
One of the games which took me by surprise during our time at E3 in Los Angeles this year was Southpeak’s Mister Slime for the Nintendo DS. I had not played anything like it before and the gameplay seemed incredibly original and lots of fun. It also seemed to have a compelling storyline and the game had me using all aspects of the Nintendo DS. Bottomline, Mister Slime showed lots of promise and I was looking forward to receiving this game just after I had the chance to demo the product at the Convention Center in LA. Well the game has finally arrived and after spending quite a bit of time with the slimy green creature I must say Mister Slime for the DS is lots of fun. That being said, it is not without its share of issues.
Overall, Mister Slime for the DS looks solid and the visuals are very appealing. It has an old school look about it as it is presented with 2D graphics. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed the game as much as I did because it does have that old NES platform genre feel to it. Mister Slime for the DS features colours that are bright and vibrant and you truly get the sense the developers wanted to maximize the DS' hardware while capturing the spirit of the game. It certainly shows. The environments are clean looking and do the job too.
The characters also look decent. Mister Slime (aka Slimy) is basic looking with a funny looking chubby green face and ‘slingy’ arms stinking out from all sides of him. Do not expect much in the way of detail as the developers clearly wanted to take a basic approach in terms of the characters overall looks. The game runs quite smoothly and the loading times are far and few between. Some may not like the simplistic approach; however I found the overall look of the game goes very well with the theme. So on that note, the graphics get an above average score from this writer.
Unlike the visuals, the sound in Mister Slime for the DS is a bit of a ‘mixed bag’. On one hand, I actually enjoyed the sound those Slimy creatures made. My daughter and I actually chuckled quite a bit listening to Mister Slime and his pals. The sounds they make are hard to compare to anything I have heard before. It is almost as if it is a warbling or murmuring sound of sorts. You can’t make out what they are saying however there is scrolling dialogue located along the bottom of the screen which helps you follow the storyline and the Slimy chatter. On the other hand, the in-game music is very repetitive and forgetful. It is light and suitable for the game, but it does loop over and over again. Sorry folks, no recognizable artists are featured in the game. The sound effects are also very simple but yet very suitable for the game. Nevertheless, there is nothing incredibly original sounding when Mister Slime makes his way across one mission to another. Overall Mister Slime’s audio works, however other than the Slimy voices do not expect anything innovative here.
Mister Slime features classic side-scrolling action very reminiscent of those old NES platform and puzzle games. The game focuses on emotions and a heartfelt story too. Before I get into the gameplay any further let me first tell you a bit about the story. Mister Slime takes place in a world inhabited by strange creatures. The Slimes and Axons are the chief inhabitants of the planet. For endless generations, they have been engaged in a bitter rivalry over land and resources. Every 40 years the two nations wage war on each other as part of a ritual to redefine their territorial boundaries. While every Slime and Axon is hastily preparing for the dangerous times ahead Slimy, a young slime, is simply trying to uncover the reason why this ritual ever began.
One of the great aspects about Mister Slime is the fact that you use all aspects of the DS to make our hero get around from one level to the next. The majority of your time is spent using the touch screen and stylus. You navigate Slimy by dragging and stretching his arms to grab hold of small anchor points scattered throughout the game. Mister Slime also makes use of the DS microphone. Now I would not due this one a crowded bus, but there are points in the game where you have to blow into the microphone to help Slimy breath underwater or fly in the air. It is a great little feature and certainly adds a bit of variety into a game which can chug along quite slowly at the best of times.
Mister Slime features both single and multiplayer game modes with a variety of level design. It is a single player principally; however the multiplayer component is a nice little add-on, provided you can hook up with a buddy who also owns the game. There are several types of basic multiplayer modes available. There is a racing challenge where the objective is to be the first to reach the exit. The flower challenge involves eating as many flowers as possible in the allotted time. Finally, the score challenge not only involves eating flowers but also beating enemies where the higher score wins. All in all there are decent modes and gives the game some replay value.
The single player game involves five different worlds spread over 40 levels. In total there are eight main characters and 15 monsters. The first few levels help you become accustomed to the controls and offer up a very good tutorial for navigating Slimy’s four limbs. Using the touch screen and stylus you navigate Slimy across the rather linear levels and for the first couple of hours the game is refreshingly unique and engaging. Unfortunately it gets somewhat old in a hurry. Mister Slime is a slower paced game unlike any of the Mario’s or Sonic’s you may have played in the past. Often you wish he could move a little quicker but whenever you start to rush Slimy’s limbs the touch screen can become unresponsive. Mister Slime does eventually gain some power ups and he has the ability to destroy enemies by sling shotting or falling onto them. So there is more to the game than just dragging and stretching Mister Slime’s arms. But in the end what Mister Slime really lacks is variety and it just does not sustain the fun factor for as long as it should. That being said, youngsters may love him and Mister Slime could become a cult hit.
Mister Slime for the DS is perfect for gaming on the run. It will keep you entertained for several hours and the initial gameplay offers up enough value to keep you occupied while waiting in an airport or riding on a subway. Where the game starts to deteriorate is after those first couple of worlds where navigating Mister Slime becomes more of a task than an enjoyable ride. Regardless of any shortcomings though I think that anyone who owns a DS should at least give this game a chance.