Review: Planet Crashers (Nintendo 3DS)
Planet Crashers has burst onto the Nintendo 3DS eShop!
From Renegade Kid, the studio that brought us Mutant Mudds, comes a delightfully charming RPG that’s heavy on cuteness and, on the surface, appears to be heavy on the features.
But how does the game stack up? And most importantly, is it worth your hard earned cash?
Planet Crashers is a symbol of what we’ve come to expect from the Nintendo 3DS eShop – quick to get into the action with very little of that “story” getting in the way. This can be a good thing in titles like Dillon’s Rolling Western, but it does seem to be a glaring black hole in an RPG title.
You take the role of a kid who must save the galaxy from an evil force – at least, that’s what the creepy guy in your house one morning as you wake up tells you. Apart from that, you’ll have to talk to literally every character and play through the whole game for the tacked on story to play out.
The bulk of your time is spent picking up and completing quests from a bunch of NPC’s who seem oblivious to the threat of galactic catastrophe. These quests have you exploring dungeons, which are mostly barren landscapes with a handful of enemies which often seem to have unfair strength. For all their import in the game’s daily ritual, quests are more annoying than enjoyable to complete.
Firstly, you have no choice but to complete them one at a time. If you find the item one of your Quests have sent you to find, the game automatically teleports you back to your house and saves the game. Even if a second quest can be completed by picking up an item in the next room, you will have to go all the way back through the dungeon to find it again.
This fleshes out the game’s required hours to complete, but is pretty annoying.
Since the game is an RPG, the battle sequences are turn based. The animation of attacks and the charmingly hilarious weapons (I was using a banana at one point) make up for the slow paced battles. Attacks can be powered up by tapping the “A” button at the exact right time, but blink and you’ll miss the opportunity.
Your characters’ level plays a bit of a role in Planet Crashers – some quests wont be available until you level up. Experience is gained through battles, but I found that in order to level up, a huge amount of enemies are required to be beaten. This isn’t a bad thing, but when you’re talking 5 minutes to down one small enemy (due to the animation sequences), it’s extremely time consuming.
The game’s presentation does help in bringing the title up a couple of notches. The characters are charming, the “planets” have borrowed a leaf out of Tim Burton’s book and the game’s art style is dark and gloomy. The game feels alien, but in a cute way – and that’s a good thing, since you’ll be exploring the cosmos. Characters move smoothly, there’s no frame rate issues at all and the battle animations are hilarious.
The presentation, however, is let down by an annoyingly un-changing soundtrack and extremely same-y dungeons, which really have nothing exciting to look at.
An online multiplayer mode is also available for those willing, however I have yet to find a single player to play against so far, so I am unable to comment on that aspect of the game.
Planet Crashers is a charming, funny, gorgeous RPG and in all honesty is probably suited more to the uninitiated than anyone who’s played any other RPG in the past. It’s a great starting point, but the annoying quest systems, the uninspired soundtrack and the bare dungeons are likely to turn seasoned RPG fans well and truly off.