Published on July 26th, 2012 | by Danny Concepcion, Contributor
Planet Crashers Review
Platform: Nintendo 3DS eShop
Developer: Renegade Kid
Release Date: July 27th, 2012
Review Notes: GAMINGtruth received a Planet Crashers download code for review purposes.
Planet Crashers is a role-playing game with custom characters, turn-based combat and a cutesy art style. But it just doesn’t belong on the 3DS. Most of the game’s elements are too simple, and have “this is an iOS game” written all over them.
Players progress through the game by traveling between worlds and accepting missions from quest boards and non-player characters, then visiting dungeons to complete them. Defeating enemies and completing quests grants experience points for leveling up. Once their character levels up enough, they can move on to the next small planet and repeat the process.
While players can accept as many quests from the board as they can, they can have only one active quest at a time. And for some reason, they have to declare it before entering a dungeon. Players may venture deep into a dungeon before realizing they have to backtrack out in order to set an active quest.
Even when a quest is active, players are usually warped back to the quest board upon its completion, of which the only requirement is to reach the spot highlighted on the map, and sometimes fight a normal enemy once there. Then the game automatically saves all progress. So it’s impossible to knock out multiple quests in one visit to a dungeon, and since players can’t manually save their progress, they’re forced to complete a mission in order to save. This might work well on an iOS device, so that the game can easily be played in short bursts, but it’s just tedious when played for longer sessions.
The same can be said for the combat–it’s purely turn based, and battles are only one-on-one. The entire time I played, the AI only chose to attack, no matter what the circumstances were. Matches consisted of trading blows until someone won. Every attack has additional button prompts during the animation, which if pressed within the narrow time window, makes attacks do more damage. But the prompts are too easy to get adjusted to, so players will notice when many of the different attacks have similar damage outputs on critical hits.
Players can also choose to heal themselves with potions and temporary stat buffing items if they’re overwhelmed, which they can purchase from shops or find in dungeons. The game offers different weapons, ranging from frozen bananas to giant pencils, but the only real difference between them is their damage output. Multiplayer mode will undoubtedly pit players against more interesting enemies, but it’s still limited to one-on-one matches. Combat may be a good time-waster if you only have a few spare minutes to play, but it’s a drag for anytime longer.
Planet Crashers just doesn’t have enough depth or variety. The game has plenty of colorful planets and dungeons to visit, but isn’t engaging enough for players to want to experience them. Its simple mechanics become entirely too repetitive after only a few hours. That, coupled with some design decisions that hamper longer play sessions, makes Planet Crashers more suitable for the quick game nature of the iOS/Android platforms than it is for the 3DS.
[xrr label=”Rating: 3/10″ rating=3/10]
+ Colorful and unique art style and environments
+ Many options for customizing character appearance
– Overly simple combat and quests
– Bland game progression