Friday, August 11, 2017

Slime-san Review (Nintendo Switch)

Written By: Bernard Julius Paje

Title: Slime-san
Developer: Fabraz
Publisher: Fabraz
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer
Price: $11.99
Also Available On: Windows

DISCLAIMER: If you are the type of gamer who is easily scared by hardcore 2D platforming games that may, at times, be sadistically difficult, then this game is probably not for you. Though if, like me, you are the type of gamer who: a) loves 2D platforming games that require pixel-perfect control, b) adores retro games with awesome 8-bit chiptune music and c) likes to punish his or herself in games (the type that thinks Hard difficulty should be considered the game's default difficulty) then boy... Are you in for a treat!

Enter Slime-san! The simplest way to describe this game is that it is a 2D retro-themed platforming game that has really tight controls. It tasks you as the titular green blob and his friend bird that have been eaten by a giant worm. As morbid as that sounds, the duo are perfectly all right inside the worm's body and their main objective is to get outta there! Our slimy escapees can jump, wall jump, double jump, dash and morph (pretty much the basic controls for a lot of 2D platformers). That last one though is one of Slime-san's cool control and gameplay mechanic twists over other similar games. Your green blob can morph himself into other green things when you hold the morph button. At the same time, doing so makes everything go into slow motion, enabling you to more precisely control your movements mid-air. The game will also punish those who take too much time idling in an area either by spawning a monster that chases you or calling forth a deluge of stomach acid that floods the area. Sadistic, yes, but those situations definitely add tension to the already fast and frantic gameplay.

The game has at least 100 levels and most of those levels are composed of 4 single-screen areas. Each area has one collectible: A green apple. These apples are oftentimes out of reach, and will force you to deviate from the easiest/shortest path to get them. You can then use these apples to buy various costumes, graphical filters (the Virtual Boy-inspired one is so cool) and characters in a town full of shops and various NPC's (how this is possible inside a worm's stomach, I don't really know). And about those graphical filters: Using some of them also changes the quality of the game's audio to match the graphics. Very cool! You can also use an apple to skip a stage you are having a hard time to beat, but it is not recommended to do this because losing even one apple in this way means you cannot buy all the purchasable items in the shops.

As you progress through the game, new game mechanics are steadily introduced. There are underwater areas, slippery ice-like floors, conveyor belts, moving lifts, sticky surfaces, rising/falling platforms, rolling barrels (which are used in a way that will be very familiar to Nintendo fans when you first encounter them) and more! The list goes on an on as you get deeper into the game. There are also several auto scrolling stages that are a welcome change of pace from the single-screen areas. Boss battles are also present, and some of them are really tough to beat. Again, these encounters are a very welcome change of pace from the punishing platforming areas. Each stage also has a time trial trophy that you can earn by beating a stage's par time, most of which are under a minute. In my opinion, getting all these trophies is harder than getting every apple in the game (at least for me), so only the hardest of the hardcore will probably get them all.

There are also hidden mini games for you to unlock (how exactly to do so I will not say). There's a table hockey game not unlike Pong, a top-down action adventure game (heavily inspired by the original The Legend of Zelda for the NES) and a vertically-oriented 'bullet hell' shoot-'em-up. The cool thing about these mini games is you can play all of them with two players, with each player using one Joycon (perfect for the Switch's tabletop mode). Unlocking these mini games should be your top priority in the game because they definitely add to the game's overall value. And speaking of value, Fabraz, the game's developer, has already announced that it plans to bring Slime-san's meaty DLC expansion, Blackbird's Kraken, to the Switch as a FREE update! This is a really awesome thing to look forward to in the future which will definitely add even a lot more bang for your buck.

Again, I am going to remind you: This game can get really hard at times. Like, REALLY hard! Casual players can probably beat the game, but only the hardcore can attain that elusive 100% completion rate. A lot of platforming fun is to be had in this game though, regardless of your experience and skill level in platforming games. Considering the Switch's current drought where 2D platformers are concerned, this game is definitely a solid addition into the genre that will be more than enough to tide us over until Nintendo's plucky plumber gets his own 2D entry for the hybrid system (give us Super Mario Maker for Nintendo Switch please).

  • Fast-paced platforming action with a lot of cool concepts
  • Tons of stuff to unlock, including graphical filters and diverse minigames that support two players
  • Has an awesome chiptune soundtrack that changes in quality to match your selected graphical filter
  • Upcoming FREE DLC means you'll have more to play in the future once you get to do everything

  • Game can get pretty hard at times (especially if you want to get a hard-to-reach apple)
  • Getting most of the time trial trophies will probably be impossible for many players
  • Since Slime-san starts the game near the tip of the giant worm's tail, why doesn't he just go out from that end? :D