by William Thompson
reviewed on 3DS
Puzzled mind (cntd)
Once you get used to the game mechanics, the levels become quite straight-forward, even if it takes a bit of trial and error to work out when to activate the Crush mechanic. If at any point, gamers get stuck, CRUSH3D has a handy Hint system to push them in the right direction. But although reaching the exit from each level can be fairly simple, getting there with a full complement of marbles as well as all the bonus items is another story. This certainly increases the replay value of the game, allowing those who want to the ability to replay levels to unlock these bonus items. Whether you want to unlock the various Hugh Hefner-style dressing gowns is another story entirely.
The sights and sounds of Dannyís dreams
From a visual standpoint, CRUSH3D does a decent job. The 3D aspect does look good in actual 3D, the depth standing out nicely, but since the 3DS battery drains quicker with full 3D, it isnít always necessary to keep the slider all the way to 3D mode. The cut-scene visuals and the pre-level fly-throughs are much better in 3D and are worth the effort to keep the 3D slider to full. With the 3DS switched to 2D, the visuals are fairly average. The level locations are rather blocky by design, and whilst in-game, Dannyís features are not easily distinguished mainly due to the size.
Audio in CRUSH3D is a little lacklustre, too. The background music is quite funky, but it is often overawed by the sound effect of the Crush mechanism. Actually, the Crush sound does become quite annoying after a little while due to the fact that youíll use it dozens of time on each level. The between level cut-scenes are also lacking in audio content. The good doctor, Ruben and Danny chat together during these scenes, but all the conversations are written, meaning youíll need to read the often boring banter between the two.
The controls also take a bit of getting used to. Even after a dozen or so levels I was still occasionally pressing the wrong button. Indeed, at times I accidentally pressed the Hint button instead of the Push or Crouch buttons. Yes, it is probably the controllerís (me) fault, but it would have been better if the Hint button was allocated to the X button (a bit more out of the way) instead of Y. Besides that, the directional stick works well to guide Danny around the levels, whilst the D-pad changes the view, allowing the Crush variations, which is activated via the Left bumper.
The visuals and audio as a whole donít do much for the game, but since this is a puzzle game, Iím more willing to be a little lenient. The controls too can be a little confusing to begin with, but work well when you get used to them, apart from the accidental pressing of the Hint button. But once fully under control the game does play nicely. Working your way through a perceivably tough level can be enjoyable. Earning all the bonuses and collecting all the marbles in the level though, gives that extra sense of satisfaction. And thatís what puzzle games are all about...giving you the sense of achievement knowing that youíve been clever enough to solve the puzzle. Although the Crush mechanic isnít entirely new, being that this is somewhat of a port of the PSP game, most gamers would see it as a new feature. With over 40 levels and a host of bonuses to collect, puzzle solvers will need plenty of time to gain a 100 percent completion. Definitely worth a look if you want a brain workout. Now, if youíll excuse me, Iím going to slip into my dressing gown and slippers, get comfy and head back into Dannyís puzzling dreams. I might see you there soon.
Puzzles take a fair bit of thinking for a 100% completion and with over 40 levels to play; gamers will be racking their brains for hours.
Audio is somewhat disappointing. The Crush sound effect becomes annoying after a short while.