Dec 7, 2013There are so many platformers around now that to survive among them, a new platformer needs a unique mechanic. Cloudberry Kingdom has exactly that, but it fails to go any further.
Cloudberry Kingdom's unique mechanic is a random level generator, boasting 'infinite levels'. That much is true. This is something that totally increases the replay value of Cloudberry Kingdom, even more soThere are so many platformers around now that to survive among them, a new platformer needs a unique mechanic. Cloudberry Kingdom has exactly that, but it fails to go any further.
Cloudberry Kingdom's unique mechanic is a random level generator, boasting 'infinite levels'. That much is true. This is something that totally increases the replay value of Cloudberry Kingdom, even more so because you can actually customise the amount (and, often, size)of each object that will appear in the level. So you could have loads of firebars, maybe just a few falling blocks, lots of, and very thin, elevator platforms, and tonnes of lasers.
Using this mechanic you can create the perfect level for yourself. I had immense fun coming up with strange combinations of enemies and objects, and the level generator always actually puts them in for you. You don't design anything, just decide how many of each object will be in each level. Admittedly, the automatic level designer resulted in problems. Often, how you time a jump at the beginning will affect what happens later on, and it's hugely frustrating when you almost complete a level only to be hit by a trap with no escape, just because you timed your first jump too late. Of course, you had no way of knowing you timed it too late.
But the level generator's true selling point is that you can have the level as easy as pie or as hard as gobstoppers. This accommodates both casual and hardest of hardcore players.
If yu get too stuck on a level, you can call the AI to give you a super-guide-style explanation of how to clear the level. Th clever thing? It's completely randomly generated, so this incredibly advanced AI has to be made up on the spot!
You can also pick particular types of characters, for example one on a pogo stick who always bounces, or one who can flip gravity like VVVVVV. And the level generator will always design a level within the boundaries you declared, and to fit the character you chose. There is a multiplayer mode, as well, and you'll be glad to hear, no characters bouncing off of each other like in mario games. One great multiplayer mode is 'bungie'. Here, all characters are connected by elastic wire, which results in all sorts of madness.
Despite this mechanic, this must have convinced the developers to slack when thinking of actual objects to include. All you get is the standard sort of stuff- firebars, clouds, ghosting blocks, falling enemies... the most creative is a serpent, and even that only bobs up then down off the screen.
One of Cloudberry Kingdom's terrible problems though, are the visuals. They're not exactly bad, but still look lifeless and unappealing. This is even worse in story mode's awful cutscenes, which can thankfully be skipped. To be honest, story mode is pretty bland as without the level generator, Cloudberry Kingdom is just a simple, uninteresting platformer, and story mode is exactly that- there is no level generator.
There's also arcade mode, which fares slightly better due to a level generator. Here, you continue as far as you can until you run out of lives. Even this mode gets old quickly however due to you being completely unable to customise the level. Obviously you can't have that option in an arcade mode, so I think both arcade AND story shouldn't be here, and the game sold at a lower price.… Expand
Official Nintendo Magazine UKSep 17, 2013Tight, breathless platforming challenge. [Oct 2013, p.80]