Mediatonic have come up with a very nice PlayStation Mini called 1000 Tiny Claws. How good is it? Well, the simple answer is very good. While the story is generic, the gameplay is fun as it adds a slight twist on the hack-and-slash genre. The top down view is pretty nice and the graphics are fairly good. The humor is great and will keep you reading all the conversations between characters, while the sounds add to the overall feel of the game, and the trophies and bonus content will keep you playing for a while at least.
1000 Tiny Claws’ background story centres around a group of pirates that come across a legendary sword on an island. Accidentally, this sword gets pulled out and, of course, unleashes a terrible curse on the land in the form of millions of tiny insects, or, 1000 Tiny Claws. You are charged with stopping this menace and will be hanged if you fail. Oh, did I mention you only have 24 hours to do it in? Whilst not original, the story is fun, and the way it is told is pretty dam funny with all the characters speaking a bizarre language. To understand what they say you need to read the subtitles.
The controls are very simple, you swing your sword with the X button and double tap the X button to perform a combo. Hitting the square button makes you do a little roll out of the way of the insects, and the more hits you get, the more a power meter fills up in the left hand side of the screen so you can unleash a powerful super move in the direction you’re facing.
Like the controls, the gameplay is also very simple, all you do is hit the insects until you push them off the playing surface. This is easy to do, but hard to master, as there are a lot of plant pots and other items that keep the insects on. You can, however, destroy crates to push the insects off faster, and this makes for a nice change to the normal hack-and-slash mechanics, expecially as the tactic can also work against you as the insects can push you off the level.
One of 1000 Tiny Claws best features is the variety of different insects you come up against (fast bugs, teleporting ones, fire breathing and big ones) and the difficulty increases a lot during the game. There are some issues however, as the sword can become a boring weapon to use after a while and just repeatedly hitting the X button can easily become monotonous. It would have been nice to have a variety of weapons and possibly some kind of gun.
The way this game is presented is fun, the cut scenes and story are done in a cartoon-like fashion with the characters being bold, bright and well animated. The game itself has a slightly grainy look to it, and whilst it is still bright and colorful, the environments are not that varied and can become tedious. The level design does change and adds some variety, but for me it was a little bit repetitive.
The audio in 1000 Tiny Claws is done pretty well and Mediatonic have done a good job in keeping the script humorous and fresh. The jokes are actually funny and the loading screens do have some really interesting stories and gags. I also like the pirate-themed songs and, since every world has its own them,e you won’t be hearing the same thing over and over again. The sound effects for the insects getting hit is a bit hit and miss, and because there is so much happening on screen, the sound can get a bit gargled.
1000 Tiny Claws is a game with a good lifespan for a PS Mini with25 levels in all in the story mode. There are also boss fights that work well, medals to collect and, as an extra reward, after every land you get a survival map which is basically a fun survival mode where you have to try and stay alive for as long as you can. Once the story mode is beaten you also unlock the Challenge mode in which, on some maps you are collecting items, on others you are attempting to knock enemies through goalposts, and yet more simply offer tougher versions of the bosses. For me, Challenge mode was a real hit, and something I found I wanted to play over and over again.
Overall, Mediatonic have made a really fun little game, which I believe is the point of a Mini. The gameplay is very smooth and the controls are very basic, but work, although, I didn’t like the button-bashing nature, however. The sound is fine, with the many modes giving gamers a welcome variety. This is a fun, quick game to play so pick it up from the PSN now. It’s bug bashing time.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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