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Mutant Mudds - 3DS Download Review

Game Info
Mutant Mudds

3DS Download | Renegade Kid | 1 Player | Out Now (North America) | $8.99
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25th January 2012; By Patrick

Back before every other game was a first-person shooter, we were in what some would call the "Golden Age of Platformers". When gaming consoles started to be able to produce polygonal 3D graphics, gaming saw a sudden shortage of new 2D platformers. In recent years, thankfully, fans of the genre have been able to enjoy a recent rebirth of the genre. Mixed with stereoscopic 3D gameplay, Renegade Kid is releasing their premier 3DS download game,
Mutant Mudds, with the intention to mix 2D gameplay with modern technology. I'd say they pulled it off pretty well.

    Mutant Mudds is not only influenced by older games in terms of its gameplay, but also in terms of its display. The game world is pixelated, with some artwork being 8-bit and others being 16-bit. This discrepancy might sound bad on paper, but in practice and especially in motion, it is completely fine and very welcome. The old-school graphics carry into certain aspects of the gameplay, with weapon firing being a good example of this; there is a limit to how many shots can be on screen at once, a la Mega Man. The soundtrack is also fantastic. Composed entirely in a chiptune style, it is a return to the melodic nature of video game music back before ambient tracks were possible. The music fits well, and is catchy while not remaining repetitive.

    The game plays like a traditional 2D platformer/shooter hybrid, however by pressing jump (B) a second time, you can hover for a limited time with a jetpack to reach other platforms. Jumping on an orange pad will launch you either into the background or foreground, using the 3D effect fantastically and providing new areas to explore. Movement is handled with either the Circle Pad or the D-Pad. I personally gravitated towards the Circle Pad, however on certain levels (namely the ice levels#), I felt like the only way for me to complete it was to use the D-Pad. Even with that in mind, controls are tight and responsive and the game is a blast to play.

The level design is also flawless, providing a high level of difficulty while pushing the boundaries of the game's physics as far as they can go. Platforms will routinely be exactly as far away as they can be for you to be able to reach them, disappearing platforms will appear just when an enemy is done shooting, and more. Each level seems intricately crafted, and it truly shows the love that Renegade Kid put into the game.

    As for the aforementioned difficulty, expect no mercy. The game ramps up in difficulty very quickly, only getting harder and harder. As you progress through the levels, you might be able to find entrances to bonus GameBoy and Virtual Boy inspired levels, which are the toughest in the game. Each level has a time limit visible on the lower screen. The stage difficulty can be further increased if you attempt to collect every gem, some of which are completely out of the way. Gems can be spent on upgrades for your character to make progress, so collecting them is key.

    As one would expect, you will encounter a fair number of enemies and obstacles along your journey to further increase the difficulty. You can take three hits from an enemy before you die, yet based on the frequency of enemy fire, they tend to go by pretty quickly. Enemies and obstacles gradually become more and more varied, with each one providing a different unique challenge.

    The last thing that needs saying is that even though this title is downloadable (and of a relatively small file size at that), the game is not at all low on content. In fact, not only does it have tons of content, but all of it is highly replayable.

    Regardless of the fact that it costs $9 on the eShop (the most expensive 3DS Download to date), no other title released so far is as worthy of your money. Not only is it an amazing return to when the golden age of platformers, but Mutant Mudds is, as of writing, the best game on the eShop.

29/30 - Excellent

Gameplay 9/10 - Tight controls, perfect level design, varying enemy and obstacle designs, Circle Pad doesn't work as well on ice
Presentation 10/10 - Brilliant, retro design, 8-bit and 16-bit work together, 3D used phenomenally, music fits well and is very catchy
Enjoyment 5/5 - Extraordinarily fun to play, everything works together to pull off extremely fun game, return to golden age of platformers
Extra Content 5/5 - Gems to collect, lots of variation in levels, bonus levels, very replayable, worth every penny of the asking price

Equivalent to a score of 97% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by Patrick

Mutant Mudds
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