Thursday, June 8, 2017

MOP: Operation Cleanup Review (WiiU)

Written by: Patrick Orquia


Title: MOP: Operation Cleanup
Publisher: EnsenaSoft, S.A. de C.V.
Developer: EnsenaSoft
Genre: Action-adventure, platformer, arcade
Release Date: April 20, 2017 (Wii U eShop)
No. of Players: 1 player
Price: $5.00



I’m not a big fan of mobile games, especially the auto-running ones. That’s why I refuse to play Mario Run. I think it’s not a good representative of what a Mario game is supposed to be. Maybe, it is good after all, but I guess I will never know for sure. Speaking of auto-running games, MOP Operation Cleanup is one, and it is on Wii U, the world’s most underrated yet super awesome game console (and also on other consoles and Steam). It’s a haven for indie games, and this indie game, though not best one to be released on the console, is something that can be very enjoyable to some, with its very simple game mechanic: press the A button to jump as your character on the screen, MOP, runs towards the goal while collecting trash. See? Simple.




MOP is a robot with one sole objective: to clean up a polluted environment by picking up trash and beating enemies along the way. These enemies are in a form of mutated trash due to their exposure to radioactive wastes and you can beat them by jumping onto them Mario-style. Because you are only limited to just jumping as MOP runs, you have carefully time your jumps to clear enemies if not to defeat them, collect trash, and jump from wall to wall to access platforms and get to the next area. You can even discover some hidden areas with pinpoint-accurate jumps.




The game is divided into 5 worlds, each with 10 stages. Each stage has a set of objectives that you need to accomplish in order for the “contaminated” area to become “clean”. If you don’t clear all objectives, e.g. only getting 3/5 objectives, you may only get an rating of “enough”, as in you have done enough for the stage to be no longer contaminated, but still not clean. Quite vague, yes, and regardless of how you do on a given, you are assured to unlock the next one as long as you clear it, similar to Angry Birds.




Speaking of Angry Birds, MOP Operation Cleanup is pretty much a mobile game that somehow found its way on consoles and PC. Nothing against mobile games, as I myself, at one time, was also into them. But since some these mobile game developers and publishers have become greedy with their overuse of monetary micro-transactions over the years, I have gradually stopped playing them. I only have Plants vs. Zombies 2 on my phone, and I barely play that anymore. But regardless of my stance on mobile games, there are some still that are worth trying. Such game is this one. I personally don’t like getting limited to only pressing a single button to jump, but I do like this game’s level design that starts out simplistic, but the stages get more and more challenging as one plays the game. On top of that, the objectives get more challenging as well, like from the easy “defeat all enemies” and “collect all power ups” to “collect all the trash” and “find a hidden route”. But as I mentioned earlier, these objectives don’t matter much since they don’t unlock hidden stages or give MOP new abilities. You can actually finish the entire game in one sitting if you don’t bother to accomplish all objectives and just clear the stages. I heard that you can get in-game trophies for accomplishing objectives, but I don’t really care about them.




MOP Operation Cleanup is not an essential game to get on Wii U, but if you have a spare $5 and you want a simple game to pass the time, this is a fair choice. Or maybe just buy the much more awesome Gunman Clive HD Collection for less.



REPLAY VALUE: high (especially if you want to clear all objectives)



PROS:
  • Very good level design, with a gradual increase in difficulty on each succeeding stage 
  • Simplistic yet cool-looking animation and character design
  • The objectives for each stage can provide a good amount of challenge which makes this game provide more value to completionists

CONS:
  • Limited input from players (you only need to press the A button to jump)
  • The objectives don’t matter, as they don’t unlock anything. Each stage after the first one gets unlocked as long as you clear the last one, regardless of the number of objectives you accomplish


 RATING: 3/5 
well-timed jumps over radioactive waste pits and acid-spitting mutated trash-snakes