It’s that time of year again when most gamers are spending their hard-earned cash on Christmas presents rather than full-priced titles. But while you may not be able to splurge on all the latest AAA releases this month, at least you can rest easy in the knowledge that there are plenty of Mini and indie games out there to while away the time.
Mediatonic has already staked its claim on the market with the surprisingly enjoyable Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess, and they are up to their old tricks again with the new PSN Mini release, Who’s That Flying?!
WTF?! is yet another example of how just a simple retro revamp, lightly dusted with a great sense of humor, can be all a developer needs to make a hit title. You won’t find anything startlingly original in Who’s That Flying?!, but what you will find is a polished Mini title that stands out from the crowd and announces itself as a PSN must-buy.
Players take on the role of a cocky superhero, who earns his keep by destroying everyone and everything that is a threat to this wonderful planet known as Earth. As guardian of our sacred world, it is inferred that our hero hasn’t exactly done his job properly, as the opening scene of the game has him on trial for allowing too many baddies into the cities he was charged with protecting. As the trial progresses, the hero recounts the tales of each city he attempted to shelter from invasion before you take the helm in each subsequent three-part level. A simple concept, yes, but when executed with the charm and excitement of WTF?!, it makes for an exhilarating little gem.
Shmups have been done time and time again, and Mediatonic hasn’t attempted to reinvent the wheel here. Your superhero has a nifty hand-cannon that can be upgraded at different stages of each mission, and your main goal is to destroy as many Ravagers as possible – all without letting your city’s heart counter drop to zero; allow too many baddies past you and it’s game over, sunshine.
Therein lies my only gripe with WTF?! The simplicity is what makes the game so easy to pick up and play, but it is also the main factor in the onset of boredom. The developers have tried to offset the repetitive nature of the game with extra gameplay options once the main storyline is complete – which does indeed do the trick once you have conquered WTF?! – and the humorous interludes between levels do balance the game out nicely, but it all starts to get a little too monotonous after the 90-minute mark or so. Granted, PSP gamers will have a blast with this Mediatonic release, but if you are more accustomed to PS3 titles on a grand scale you may just find yourself putting the controller down after each mission.
Played in increments, Who’s That Flying?! is a brilliant addition to any PSN lover’s collection. Gold medal challenges will have completionists tearing their hair out as the difficulty takes its toll, while the child-friendly – but never condescending – humor will allow a vast scope of gamers to enjoy a few hours of retro shmup goodness.
While you’re saving up those clams for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood or Call of Duty: Black Ops, why not fork out a few bucks for a very worthwhile PSN Mini title that will no doubt have you coming back regularly to one-up those high scores.
Gamer Limit gives Who’s That Flying?! 8.0/10