REVIEW: The Planet of the Vicious Creatures


The Planet of the Vicious Creatures is an old-school themed and inspired platformer. The player will control a nameless astronaut and will have to guide him (or her maybe?) through various platform-based levels of increasing complexity.

Status: Released

Developer: Jorge Giner Cordero

Publisher: Jorge Giner Cordero

Release date: 5th of October, 2016

Genre: Old-school Platformer

Type: Single-player

The mechanics at the game core are pretty simple: arrow keys control all the functions you need, namely Left, RIght, Jump and Crouch. Your objective is to pass through each level from one side to the other, this though can only be done after the player has collected the Oxygen Sphere present in each level, without which the access to the next level is barred.

In each level there will be a great variety of both living creatures and environmental hazards to impede the player’s progression: space caterpillars, locusts, spiders, fire-breathing lizards, acid clouds and thunderbolts are only some of the enemies and obstacles the player will face. Each one of them will kill mercilessly, in one hit, like in the true old-school games.

You will need pixel-perfect precision in each movement and jump in order to pass each level, there is absolutely no room for mistakes.

But despair not, as there is a convenient Practice Mode, activated with the 0 key, that allows the player to try out a level without losing any life if death occurs, in order to perfect the timing and understand how to overcome that specific level’s obstacles. Of course, you will not be able to progress to the next level if you complete the current one while in Practice Mode.

During the course of the whole game you will have 10 lives at your disposal. One hit from any damage source will take out one and restart the current level. If all the lives are depleted you will have to restart the whole 60 levels back from square one. Hardcore.

The Good

– Graphics style is greatly inspired by the platformers of times past, it really looks like something thrown at us right from back in the ’80s. This is exactly the style a retro platformer needs.

– Hardcore experience: 60 levels, 10 lives and ZERO room for any mistake. Each level is extremely, brutally, excruciatingly difficult, on the verge of being impossible… but it is not.

– The Practice Mode is a very good idea, it really helps players to understand the mechanics of each level and hone their skills without losing lives, and they will lose a lot of them. It also mitigates the extreme frustration factor derived from a game of this type.

– Decent sound design overall, nothing exceptional but does the job. Some effects are pretty good and are well suited with the retro theme.

– Good variety of enemies and obstacles, each one has its own patterns and is a different challenge.

The Bad

– There is no save system. If the player has something else to do while doing level say, 30 out of 60, and quits the game, he will have to start the game all over again.

– No inertia when stepping off cliffs: the player will drop down as if a boulder was tied to his feet… in a low-gravity environment.

– The game runs only in 4:3 aspect ratio. I suppose this is for the sake of the “retro” theme, but still, no support for widescreen resolutions is not a good thing.

The Ugly

Nothing ugly in this game, apart from space wasps. I hate space wasps. And you will too.

Conclusions

This game is a great tribute to the classic oldschool platformers and, mixed with an incredibly high difficulty and learning curve, comes out as the perfect hardcore experience for those who are really passionate and dedicated to this kind of game.

I would never suggest this to people who are not veterans of hardcore platforms, because of the difficulty level which is just… unbelievable.

A very good game for some, but for its hardcore and retro style it sacrifices accessibility to a larger player base. Still, something not to miss if you are a nostalgic old timer or some madman up for one of the most challenging platformers out there.

RATING: 70/100

The old-school is back, in all its satisfaction and difficulty.

Tamaster REVIEW

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