The AWESOME Summer Minis Bundle review
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It's a mixed bag with this bundle, but more often than not, you'll find that there is more than enough to justify a purchase, thanks to the low asking price, and some surprisingly entertaining content.
- Young Thor and A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks! shine as showpieces of this bundle
- A good variety of game genres, and gameplay
- At $4.99 this bundle is worth taking a look at
- The Widgets Odyssey games fall short
- Most games in the bundle lack any sort of innovation
- Each game relies on the same repetitive gameplay
Currently on the PlayStation Store, there is a five Mini bundle named The AWESOME Summer Minis Bundle that offers a pretty eye-opening deal at first, at least from a price perspective. The Summer Minis Bundle is a buckshot of video game from Canadian developer Frima Studio. Based in Quebec, Frima is great at approaching the bite-sized downloadable game market, and I say this as someone who hadn't played a single title from the company prior to this review.
The reason I praise the approach Frima took with this is because they seem to understand the downloadable market, and what sells. Take this Summer Minis Bundle, for instance. Let's be honest, not many people give many shout outs to PlayStation Minis, simply because many of those titles are either too low in quality, or too high in price to close a sale. In my opinion, Minis should not be over the $3 price point. Why? Because these days, Sony and Nintendo's handheld systems attempt to emulate the success of the mobile phone market, which thrives off of low prices, and short but (sometimes) sweet experiences.
Now there are five [pun]mini-reviews[/pun] of each game to come, but since this is a bundle that I'm reviewing, I have to take into account that I'm looking at the total package experience, if it's worth your time, and the price you'd be paying for it. What are we looking at in terms of pricing here? Probably the strongest point I can make toward making this a recommendation, is the $4.99 USD/CAD price tag. That means you get five different games for five dollars, all by the same company. I'd say it's the Orange Box of Minis. Now I should probably get on to let you know what games are in this thing.
The five games you would be getting in this bundle if you so choose to purchase it, followed by their respective reviews, are:
A Space Shooter For 2 Bucks!
Widgets Odyssey 2
Young Thor at first glance caught my attention over the other titles in this bundle for some reason. Maybe it has something to do with me remembering that it was once nominated for 'Best PS3/PSP MINI' of the year. Still, I was pretty skeptical going in, as many would be when approaching a bite-sized game. I'm happy to say, however, that Young Thor was a pleasant throwback, because it feels like a 16-bit era MegaMan or side-scrolling platformer. You play as a young Thor, the Norse God of Thunder as we all know him. You attack with your hammer as gameplay relies on melee combat. There are short ranged magic attacks too though, as well as different combos and move sets, so you'll have enough variety in a fight. Admittedly though, as usual with most brawler or action games, you tend to stick with 'what works' even if that may only be two different attacks.
There are a total of four levels, varied three or four times each, and three boss fights (which count as their own level) in the game. As Thor you progress pretty freely from level to level, choosing to move to another map, or playing a harder version of the stage you've just beaten. The bonus for exploring each variation of certain levels, is that you pick up upgrades for Thor, whether they be a powerful upgrade to Mjolnir (the name given to Thor's Hammer), or a belt. That feature, and the constant level grind throughout the game are the two most addictive aspects of Young Thor. Every enemy you kill gives you XP, which in turn levels up your character, making attacks performed with visible numerals above enemy heads stronger.
The sound and level design are mediocre at best, but that doesn't hinder the experience of a small game like this when you're on a bus, or on the go. With a steady difficulty progression, Young Thor offers anywhere from 3-6 hours of gameplay depending on how much time you want to put into it. Replaying levels for more experience or to explore is always an option. There is a story in Young Thor, but not one worth paying attention to. It's the standard 'things go wrong, you're a bad-ass, go get strong and ... (continued on next page)
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