Pop Island: Paperfield
DSiWare | Odenis Studios | 1 Player / 2-8 Players (local multiplayer/co-operative play) | Out Now | 200 Nintendo Points
Related Game: Pop Island (Review)
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17th August 2010; By KnucklesSonic8
For those that aren't familiar with how to play, Pop Island makes extensive use of the classic capture-the-flag principle with some variations. In 'Joyful' mode, a series of flags will be littered throughout a level, and you'll have to bring them back to your team's base to score points. In 'Playful' mode, each team has a single flag situated at the heart of their base. Working together is key, knowing when to defend and when to be confrontational.
Character selection consists of not only animals, but in a series first, you'll be able to choose motorized vehicles as well. For instance, you can control light tanks, pilot a jet fighter, or use a hovercraft to tread across water. All of these belong to the 'Magic Shooters' team whereas the animal creatures make up the 'Almost Black' team. Other than Luna the spotted ladybug, there are a no new friends to choose from this time around, which is perfectly fine.
This game can be played in one of two ways. The first is the default control scheme, where you use the D-Pad to move, press A to jump, and B to shoot out a firecracker. Alternatively, if your thumbs start to hurt, you can use the stylus to control movement, even if the game doesn't outright mention it. Simply drag the stylus along the touch screen to display a small blue circle on the top screen that will guide what direction you're travelling in. When using touch controls, firecrackers are mapped to the Up/Down button on the D-Pad, while jumping is set to Left/Right. I personally felt it should've been the very opposite, but it's just a matter of getting used to it.
There are three main worlds in this game, none of which were previously available in the original release. They're nothing spectacular or anything, but they are nice variations from the ones you're used to playing in Pop Island. What's commendable is the fact that Odenis Studios included 3 exclusive maps to reward fans of the original. Simply by having both games on your DSi Menu, the system can detect the presence of the original game and present a handful of maps for you to unlock. Once again, these are fun to play on, especially on the 'Playful' setting because of how far you have to travel to bring a flag back to your HQ.
The music, and the visuals have stayed in tact and they look just as charming as before. Power-ups have also remained the same, with no new additions to the selection. And thankfully, the Download Play function has returned, meaning that anyone who owns a DS system (regardless of what model) can appreciate just how enjoyable this downloadable title is.
When you're not participating in crazy multiplayer sessions, you can work towards accumulating Solar Points by playing against CPU's on your own. As you do, you'll unlock 12 different characters to use in the game, which gives you something to work towards. The Hall of Fame also offers replay value, motivating you to improve your high-score and, might I add, having lots of fun doing it.
It's almost unbelievable that this only costs $2. As if you didn't already have a poor reason for ignoring the first title, now there's absolutely no excuse for anyone not to download this. Pop Island is truly awesome, and Paperfield continues this feeling very well. A must-download if you have access to the DSi Shop.
28/30 - Excellent
Gameplay 9/10 - Same gameplay as was seen in the original, new vehicles, characters and maps have been added
Presentation 9/10 - Still looks really good, even more impressive now that it's only $2, very charming
Enjoyment 5/5 - Still a ton of fun with a group, playing on your own against a swarm of CPU's is also enjoyable
Extra Content 5/5 - Unlockables system has been approached in the same manner, gives something for solo players to do, Download Play, 3 extra maps
Equivalent to a score of 93% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)