Written by  :  Heathen Gray (21)
Written on  :  Jan 23, 2008
Rating  :  4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars

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Kororinpa Mario

The Good

This is one of the only uses of the balance board controls (along with Mercury Meltdown) I have seen used for more than just races. And it works. Dewy slides around on his rear, feet in the air, and his happy and quirky nature is just infectious. He's trying to find 100 Eau in each level (other droplets locked in mud, prisons and other enemies).

He has 3 forms, each with their own effect on gameplay, and the environment.

The normal, Water form allows you to make some precision moves, be absorbed by some flowers that'll shoot you to higher platforms, and can jump the highest.

Lowering the temperature makes an Icicle of Dewy, but also freezes bodies of water, forms ice-blocks (to travel across), and allows you to perform combo-attacks on opponents.

Raising the temperature causes Dewy to evaporate into mist. He can't move at all (except by a gust of air), but can call up some devastating lightning strikes. This also raises the temperature of the current level, meaning water levels rise, ice melts, and some enemies get drowsy.

You can summon forth the power of Wind (used to raise some fan-propelled platforms e.g.) and Earthquake (to shake some enemies about).

Every environment is brightly coloured, the music chirpy, and the gameplay varied. For example, to get across a chasm of ice (blocked by 2 walls of ice), I had to raise the temperature (which melted one layer of ice), then summon the wind (which raised a platform into the air), allowing some boulders to bounce and smash the second layer. It took me a good 10 minutes of experimenting and looking for ways around, but it was very cool!

The puzzles and bosses just keep getting varied, and finding the last of your buddies in each level does not feel laboured or like wasted time.

Whilst I've not played multi-player, the level editor seems robust and fun - I look forward to collecting as many level pieces throughout the main game so I can add them to a custom level.

The Bad

This game looks for kids, but be warned it is not. Just because the box says 3+ on it does not mean your kid will be able to play it (the rating system is based on content, not gameplay).

This can put older players off, but if you liked Eledees (or Elebits in the states), then you'll like the art direction in this also. This seems to be the worst thing most reviewers had to say about it - it's so sweet it'll give you diabetes.

So if you can look past that, you'll be well rewarded.

Difficulty is also high in this game. The standard play through a level isn't too hard. There are puzzles that need to usa combination of Dewy's abilities, but they're very satisfying.

Where it gets rock solid is trying to find all your friends. They can be tucked anywhere, and you could end up using most of your life at the start of a level.

One reviewer didn't like the old-fashioned level structure. And it is, but I don't think that's a bad thing. A game with stages is a bad thing? The same reviewer loved Zak and Wiki!

The Bottom Line

This is a challenging, deep adventure game that bridges traditional adventure games like Mario, with the balance and twitch game-play of Kororinpa or (Monkey-Ball, if that's your liking).

If you can get past the saccharine sweet art design and sounds (or even enjoy them), and don't mind a bit of old fashioned (and sometimes hardcore) gaming, you'll find a rewarding gem of a game, that most have overlooked.