Last year, Renegade Kid released Mutant Mudds on the 3DS eShop, where the "12-bit" throwback platformer became an immediate hit. Since then, ports have appeared on PC and iOS, each version introducing new levels and features. Now the game arrives on Wii U as Mutant Mudds Deluxe, having achieved its "perfect form."
In my original original review, I praised Mutant Mudds for its singular focus of delivering rock-solid platforming without any unecessary fluff. Those who disregard it because it doesn't "push the envelope" are sadly missing the point of its simple purity. If a game is going to do one thing and one thing only, it better do it well -- and Mutant Mudds does it very well.
If you've already played Mutant Mudds before, I doubt there's enough fresh content in Deluxe to warrant an additional playthrough. However, if you've never taken the plunge, the new levels and other subtle tweaks make Deluxe the definitive experience.
Once more, you assume the role of Max, a young boy with a water cannon and jet pack combo who must rid the planet of the vile alien Mudds. As you hop from platform to platform and between the fore, middle, and background planes akin to Wario Land on Virtual Boy, you must also collect diamonds to purchase equipment upgrades. Using these upgrades, you can then return to the 20 main levels and seek out hidden doors leading to 20 tougher stages.
Everything I said in my original review regarding the core game holds true in Deluxe, from the masterful level design to the pleasant chiptune soundtrack. But thanks to all the new tweaks and additions, the package is even better than before.
The most noticeable change from its predecessors is the much wider view of the landscape. Mutant Mudds never had a habit of surprising players with unavoidable off-screen obstacles, although there might have been one or two blind jumps. But with this pulled-back camera, you have even more opportunity to react to oncoming dangers -- blind jumps are no longer a concern.
You can use the GamePad for off-TV play, but in an unusual twist, the view isn't 100% identical to what appears on the television. It instead presents a zoomed-in view similar to that of the 3DS version, only with a slightly expanded horizontal view thanks to the GamePad's widescreen aspect ratio. This caught me off guard at first, but it comes in handy whenever Max is running along the background plane. Popping your head down to glance at the GamePad is like looking through a pair of binoculars, allowing for improved precision platforming.
Introduced in the PC version of Mutant Mudds were 20 new "CGA-Land" bonus levels, named for the old-school IBM graphical color scheme. An update brought these levels to the 3DS, and they resurface once more in Deluxe. They are accessible from the main stages only after you've unlocked the Grannie character, who is able to simultaneously use all three item upgrades -- a powered-up shot, extended jet pack hover time, and a super rocket jump. And you will need to use all these abilities in perfect sync if you wish to navigate these spike-laden death mazes.
The 3DS and PC games lacked checkpoints, so levels had to be cleared in one straight shot. While the levels aren't so long that you would lose a significant amount of progress should you die, later levels become extremely frustrating without a safety net. The iOS port planted checkpoint signs in all the levels, and they appear in Deluxe as well. You can toggle checkpoints from the main level select hub for a more hardcore expedition, however. You don't receive any special bonus for clearing a stage unassisted, just your own twisted satisfaction.
Exclusive to Deluxe are 20 "ghost" levels, bringing the total stage count to 80. By passing through the mirror in the stage select hub, you can tackle remixed versions of any main stage currently open. In these levels, you'll encounter spectral versions of familiar Mudds as well as new enemies, none of which you can damage with your standard weapon. Instead, you'll need to track down a ghost gun power-up that contains 10 rounds -- these shots won't kill enemies, rather they will temporarily dissipate them and allow you to run past safely.
Since you typically can't harm ghost Mudds, levels have been constructed around this element. You have to time your jumps and hovers to avoid marching baddies, and you sometimes have to jump to a separate plane and jump back to maneuver around walls of flying specters. Merely by eliminating your ability to kill, the game takes on an entirely new dimension, forcing you to play defensively rather than offensively. It's a fitting final ordeal for a game that has otherwise done nothing major to challenge expectations.
But having played through Mutant Mudds three times before, I'm not sure these additions warrant a revisit. I mean, if the CGA-Land stages were brought to the 3DS original via update, what's stopping the ghost levels from likewise appearing as a free 3DS update later down the line? What would be incentive for a home console version then other than the larger screen real estate? Furthermore, the depth-of-field effect that replaces the stereoscopic 3D simply lacks the same punch. This was a game built for the 3DS, after all, so some loss in translation was to be expected.
Don't take this as a slight against Mutant Mudds Deluxe, which is definitely the most complete Mutant Mudds yet -- until the next more complete version arrives, that is. Mutant Mudds has served its purpose as an unapologetic retro celebration, but at this point, I'm ready for Renegade Kid to build upon this foundation and pursue something truly original.
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.
ChrisHannard Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube]https://youtu.be/qgYAXsDq4Uw[/youtube]StriderHoang I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.The Dyslexic Laywer Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...Mike Martin My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too. OverlordZetta Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.Lawman Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.Dr Mel This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....Shinta Wii U, top selling black friday item on target.com. Take that you anti-Wii U people.
http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/11/27/wii-u-helps-drive-targets-biggest-online-shopping-day-ever?utm_source=IGN%20hub%20page&utm_medium=IGN%20(front%20page)&utm_contenCoilWhine I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!Avoclefo Got a PS4 that came with SW Battlefront this week, and planning on picking up the FFX/X-2 remake. Hype is through the roof, especially for FFX. If I were to get one other game, what should it be?Niero Desu Did a google maps search around my parents house for bars and there isn't one in like 25 miles, so I picked up an Intel compute stick and South Park: Stick of Truth on Steam. That's more or less the drunken screaming I'm in the mood for at about the cost.OrochiLeona Do you ever have that moment of clarity when talking to someone and suddenly realising: You're just a skull, and they're just a skull, with fucking eyeballs and a sac of skin being the only comparative difference between you visually? ..just me then?Nathan D After quitting for two days out of frustration, I beat Ludwig on my first try of the night. I'm on cloud fucking nine right now. Pixie The Fairy When I did my retail shift today, we were moving more Smash/Splat Wii U bundles and the Gears/Rare Replay/Ori XB1 bundles than Uncharted and Battlefront PS4s. I think Nintendo and MS have better value on their side this holiday. Sony got lazy.Confuseddalek I found this weird game called Samurai Heroes for 8 dollars today. Its not bad.Solar Pony Django Got Deadpool, Arkham Asylum and BioShock 1 and 2 all for 30$. Not to bad for going Black Friday shopping late.RadicalYoseph If you haven't played Tales from the Borderlands yet, GO BUY IT! By far the funniest game I have ever played, and the characters and narrative are incredibly well written. Very few memes unlike BL2 by the way.James Internet Ego Played all of Life is Strange today in one sitting. Bloody hell. You should all play it. Only game this year to make me cry. Bravo developers. Possibly the most valuable thing I've ever bought for £10.Gamemaniac3434 Last night, got farther than ever in Wasteland 2. This is my third playthrough-once thru beta, once through the orig version, now on Directors cut. Worth the restart, and it speaks highly of the game that I like it enough to do this. DAMONTA HERE I COME!KeithTheGeek GUYS HELP I KEEP BUYING MORE AMIIBO.
Today it was Little Mac, since he went back up on Gamestop's website. I probably would have gotten Captain Falcon as well if I wasn't already running a little short on cash.