18th Apr 2003 | 13:51
Doc in comedy salvage op
Poor Dr. Muto. He was only trying to help. One minute he's dreaming of solving the energy crisis, the next he's waking up to find that he's accidentally blown Planet Midway to bits, with only his lab surviving the big bang. Not a good start to the working week.
Anxious to make amends for this involuntary Armageddon faux pas, the good doc vows to reconstruct Planet Midway using his titter-worthy Genitor 9000 invention. But first he has to build the pesky machine by salvaging parts from different planets. To survive on each of the Burnital Empire's godforsaken holes, Muto must harvest DNA to fuel his morphs, and collect Isotopes to activate more gizmos as he looks for his Genitor bits.
Never mind the Genitors
If it's all starting to sound like a formulaic 3D platform game, don't worry. You may have done the running, jumping, swimming and shooting many times before, but this deceptively clever platformer manages to make it all feel fresh.
The creature-morphing is hardly original, but it works. The characters and locations are as crazed and inventive as anything you'll find in a Loony Tunes cartoon, while the actual gameplay is effortless and joyful. The clever save system means you rarely have to backtrack, and yet each planet you visit is huge and divided into several large locations packed with diverse sub-quests.
2003 looks like being the year of the platform game, and Dr. Muto will be right up there with the front-runners. And jumpers.