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Monday, October 6, 2008

Crush


Awhile ago I picked up Crush from EB Games "new" for $9.89... I couldn't believe the killer deal when I saw it; I'd been waiting for it to drop from the $40.00 MSRP it was first listed as.

What an awesome puzzle game this is, it's really one of the most innovative games out there.


Pros:

+Very original take on going from 3D gameplay to 2D & back again.

+Puzzles are well-designed; challenging but not cheap.

+Nice art for cutscenes, there's a story which is unusual for puzzle games.

+Controls work well for the most part.


Cons:

-Sometimes the camera zooms out way too far.

-40 levels isn't really a lot.

-Little replay value.



Crush was a game I'd followed during the early stages of its development, hoping it would live up to its hype, and it pretty much has. Basically, you have to make your way out of a level, getting to the exit point. You do this by moving the camera around, and "crushing" the world from 3D into 2D... say a ledge is really far away. You angle the camera so that it "looks" like it's touching your side of the ledge, and then you crush the world so it goes 2D & you can cross to the other side!

This Crush trailer shows a sample of the gameplay mechanic:



A big problem with puzzle platform games is often that the camera/controls interfere with the gameplay, having to fight the controls just to play properly is no fun. I think that Crush's controls are pretty nicely tweaked along with the platforming, there is still a few frustrating platforming moments, but overall it's very nicely balanced. The puzzles learning curve starts off low & ramps up steadily, as it introduces new elements like dealing with giant bugs, tripping pressure switches & other obstacles. What's really nice is that there's no hard & fast time limit, except for certain clock traps that set off timers. Overall it's really about figuring out the puzzles.

40 levels may seem like a lot, but the gameplay is so good, it does leave you wanting more. And they do have modes where you can go back & best your previous time, but there isn't much replay value once you've figured out all the levels.

There's a storyline to the game, which is unusual for puzzle games. Your character is going to a therapist to deal with his anxieties, and each level-- the puzzle-- is a part of the character's mind, and he's collecting marbles to unlock the exit & gather up his memories. The cutscenes are shown in static comic book style drawings that are really nice & stylish, there's full voice work, though the voice acting of the main character isn't so hot.

I'd say Crush is one of the best PSP games available, especially if you're into puzzle games.


later
don

2 comments:

Mogulwraith said...

yup couldn't be happier with Crush.

Don said...

Nice. Too bad it seems to be a forgotten gem. I don't know why.... it'd be really nice if they could develop a sequel, but I bet it'd have to end up on Xbox Live or something like that to get enough attention to do it.


later
don

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