by William Thompson
reviewed on NDS
Back in the old days
I am the first to admit that I am at the stage in my life where I can look back at the games of yesteryear and wish that I had more time to play those endearing classics. Don’t get me wrong, the games that are produced today are amazing, with lifelike visuals, crisp audio, and superb storylines. However, the older games did not have any of these advantages, and so they resorted to one thing: they were pure fun to play. Space Invaders, Pac Man, and Galaga are remembered fondly because they were so addictively fun to play. It seems as though the team from Arkedo Studios has taken note of the addictive nature of those gaming classics when developing Big Bang Mini, because this is one game that is hard to put down.
Big Bang Mini plays out much like the aforementioned Space Invaders. Your stylus is used to move your vehicle around the lower screen whilst you fire fireworks up into the sky in an attempt to destroy the oncoming threats. The way this differs from the classic arcade titles is that you can fire the rockets up from anywhere regardless of where your little vehicle is located on the lower screen.
In classic arcade fashion, the game starts out slowly, with a tutorial teaching you the controls while getting you set for the first few levels. Then as you progress further through the levels, the action gets as frantic. The stylus certainly gets a workout as you move your craft around to dodge the hazards while simultaneously tapping the screen to fire away at whatever comes at you. In a way, the game seems like a game of miniature dodge ball – dodge, shoot, dodge and repeat as required.
The game certainly requires gamers to have an eye on both screens at once, as the top screen shows the location of the targets, while in the lower screen, the gamer needs to watch out for falling debris. It can be frustrating at times to be extremely close to completing a level, just to be destroyed by a stray fragment and forced to start the level again. But this is what makes the game so addictive – knowing that the level is not impossible and that if you just try one more time, you can pass it. After completing each level, gamers are left to complete a bonus round, which is essentially a connect-the-dots puzzle that any four year old could complete. To be honest, these were rather annoying as they were boring tasks that just take up time that would be better spent on playing the main game.
Each of the areas (of which there are nine) have ten levels (including a boss level) which must be completed before moving on to the next area. And each of these areas has new functions to learn, just to make things a little more complicated (or in some cases, a little easier). Areas such as Aurora allow the players to use the force of a Vortex whirlwind to suck up falling danger, whilst the Kamakura area allows gamers to use homing missiles. The Paris area even gives gamers the chance to stop time and in doing so, discover hidden enemies. These features enable Big Bang Mini to remain fresh and interesting for each area despite the fact that the core gameplay is basically the same throughout.
No Pros and Cons at this time