(3DS eShop)

Planet Crashers (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Planet Crashers Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Katy Ellis

Crash and burn

On first inspection, Planet Crashers is the cute, warm and whimsical RPG world you would expect from Mutant Mudds developer Renegade Kid, providing a shot of humour, quirkiness and style to an already crowded and tired genre. However, much like other adventure RPGs lining our shelves at the moment, Planet Crashers is very much a case of style over substance. While there are plenty of quests to complete, enemies to battle and galaxies to explore, it's debatable whether the whole ordeal is actually fun or just a slow-paced, mundane grind cloaked in a cutesy art style.

The aim is to level up your hero’s fighting skills, by travelling to different planets and completing quests, eventually becoming strong enough to take down the evil forces that plan to destroy the sun. Exciting, right? Well, it would be if the gameplay wasn’t so very slow-paced. You begin unarmed, and obtain weapons by competing certain quests from townsfolk or from the jobs board. Humorously, the first weapons you earn are a banana and a giant pencil, used to fight off ‘Crazy Chris’ and the other dungeon-lurkers.

The combat features a simplified turn-based mechanic, allowing you to attack your foes with one of your four interchangeable skill sets. You can also press the A button when indicated to administer a stronger attack. The combat’s main flaw is that you can actually avoid fighting altogether. Your character moves slightly faster than the enemies, allowing you to scamper away from battles completely unscathed, and still earn the necessary points by completing quests. This wouldn’t be a problem if the rewards of winning a fight were more encouraging, but Planet Crashers simply doesn’t provide players with a great enough incentive to take on unnecessary battles.

Sadly you can only take on one quest at a time, meaning that even if ‘Sam’s lost cheese’ is in the next room you can’t quickly nab it. Once the quest is completed the game urges you to return home and save, sometimes warping you out of a dungeon to do so. Initiating quests can also be a bit of a pain at first, as even if you opt to ‘add’ a request, you must then remember to ‘take’ the request before you enter the dungeon, otherwise the game will not even register that you are intending to do the mission.

Setting aside these complaints, the environment is extremely charming; it has a spherical setting, which rolls with you as you adventure across it. With five main planets to explore, each with their own unique theme, and a further four smaller sub-planets, there is a lot of discovering to be done. There is a ‘Sweet Cheese’ planet, decorated with sweets and gingerbread men, and dungeons filled with evil Father Christmases. Each world benefits from the use of 3D, as pushing up the 3D slider gives the in-game surroundings fantastic depth and beauty.

A nice feature is that you can customise your hero, with options to alter eyes, skin colour, gender, name and outfit. Many options remain locked, giving you a greater incentive to grind through the harder levels. For example, our Planet Crasher was clad in American football attire. The multiplayer feature is somewhat disappointing, providing 3DS owners with only one-on-one battles, instead of the co-op gameplay and bonus rewards included in the iOS version.

Conclusion

Overall, Planet Crashers offers a simplified RPG experience for those not looking for the next Tales of the Abyss. Armed with humour and a cute, quirky art style, Renegade Kid does its best to cover up the flaws of the gameplay and combat system, instead focusing on providing plenty of quests and short bursts of action for the casual, younger market. Given the weighty download fee of £9 / $9.99, you may wish to wait until the price drops, however.

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User Comments (60)

Vann

#1

Vann said:

Doesn't sound that bad from reading the review. I dont think avoiding random encounters whenever you want to is a bad point. Maybe the thing is that the gameplay isn't that interesting (haven't played it)
Good review overall. I think I'll wait for a sale or something

CanisWolfred

#2

CanisWolfred said:

Yeah, impressions in the forum sounded very much the same. I think I'd still enjoy it, and even a few bucks less would've tempted me, but I think I'll save my money right now until the inevitable sale, even if said sale is years down the road.

Morpheel

#4

Morpheel said:

Completely unrelated: Oh hey, you really do look like the anime girl in your avatar.

C-Olimar

#5

C-Olimar said:

I predicted that sub-heading! This game is pretty poor, 6 is generous! I bought it at launch, like an idiot, believing that a highly regarded developer like R-Kid could be trusted to provide a functional gameplay experience - boy do I feel foolish! 4/10, and £9 that could have been spent on Mutant Mudds down the drain.

C-Olimar

#6

C-Olimar said:

I also hope Renegade Kid can explain why we get terrible online, much worse than the iOS, when we have to pay much, much more.

3DSNoobieNerd

#7

3DSNoobieNerd said:

How could Regenade Kid do this? I was really interested in this game. I think I´ll instead buy mutant mudds.

Miroku

#10

Miroku said:

@3DSNoobieNerd Mutant Mudds is awful. I spend 9 bucks the day it came out, thinking it would be good but its utterly frustrating and overall, boring.

McGruber

#12

McGruber said:

I'm pretty sure the 3DS hardware and maybe the userbase (especially online users) has a lot to do with the lack of features. The fact that the $5 Amazing Spider-Man on my Android looks better than any $40 3DS game kinda says it all...

genoboost

#14

genoboost said:

Was planning on getting this game since it looked pretty interesting. Too bad the online and gameplay isn't as good as I hoped. Glad I read the review, and hope this game goes on sale eventually.

C-Olimar

#17

C-Olimar said:

@Lionsgate I'm pretty sure kf the 3DS can handle Heroes of Ruin online with DS-quality graphics it can handle decent online on this, with DS-quality graphics.

Mok

#20

Mok said:

Good thing I waited for a review. I was unsure to get this and now I'm definitely sure I won't.

rayword45

#21

rayword45 said:

RK, make a Moon sequel, or that polygon version of Mutant Mudds and I'll buy it in a flash.

Jese_1

#24

Jese_1 said:

@Miroku Agreed. I love platforming games, and Mutant Mudds seemed perfect. It's not that it's bad per se, but it has these stupid spikes in difficulty (those stupid shifting platforms for example) that are just frustrating. A check point system would have been nice.

CommanderAudio

#25

CommanderAudio said:

@Miroku I know this is off-topic, but I see that at the time I write this, your signature says this

With the route Nintendo's taking, it won't be too long until they follow Sega and start making Zelda games for Microsoft.

If you came here only to complain about Nintendo, your at the wrong website

zipmonStaff

#29

zipmon said:

Great review, Katy! =) Shame about the missing co-op, that could've been fun!

BulbasaurusRex

#30

BulbasaurusRex said:

I don't care that much about the slow pace, being able to run from battles (which can be a good thing at times), or only having one active quest at a time.

What bugs me most about this game (according to the forum impressions; I haven't played it myself) are the lack of strategic battle options (just use your strongest attack over and over again) and almost no main story until the end of the game (just gain experience fighting and doing sidequests until you get to the bad guy's planet).

Demonic_St33V

#31

Demonic_St33V said:

Ah well.... I had high hopes for this, but I guess it's back to indie releases on Petite Computer for me for the time being.

Miroku

#32

Miroku said:

@Jese_1 That's the thing that irked me the most. If you die, you start right at the start. And you have a time limit, too. $9 down the drain, really.

NImH

#34

NImH said:

@Miroku After reading your posts here and on other topics, I have decided to completely disregard your opinions on all things NintendoLife. In less than one full day, you have joined the site and single-handedly overwhelmed the day's topics with condescending statements and arguments. Quite a feat there.

Azikira

#35

Azikira said:

It was okaaaay, not too special though. Very cute and charming art is all I really enjoy from this.

ecco6t9

#36

ecco6t9 said:

I'll pass for now, all developers have bad and average games. But I still look forward to what Renegade Kid will release next.

gundam00

#38

gundam00 said:

I really wanted t o get this, but $10 is too expensive. Also, this game is listed on Amazon in cartridge form for $29.99, with a release date in August - is this still true? I thought I read somewhere that they scrapped the physical release for the digital download.

I'm going to wait for the demo before buying this. I watched the video footage, and I can not stand the music!! Renegade Kid really needs to hire a music director! The music for Mutant Mudd was atrocious and the music for Planet Crashers is worse! Also someone said there's only the one song for the whole Planet Crashers game, is this true?

Another question, you mentioned the iOS version has more content. I looked on the App Store for Planet Crashers and nothing came up. Is it under a different name?

Superconsole

#39

Superconsole said:

@gundam00 It was first announced as an iOS and Facebook free-to-play game and there were a few screenshots floating around showing what looked like a real time battle system too (as well as co-op). I'm not sure if they ever actually released it on the iPhone or if they ever will... Disappointing that the version changes they made were for the worse :/

While it may feel like there is only one song being played constantly, I think there are two different tracks for each planet, an overground and dungeon track. But yeah, they become tiresome pretty quickly!

luminalace

#40

luminalace said:

$15.00 (au) I won't be spending my money on. The price was steep enough as is but alas the game is average at best.

However unlike some here I loved Mutant Mudds but it's as hard as nails.

Sockymon

#41

Sockymon said:

It's a little repetitive (IMHO) but I'm enjoying it. Perhaps £9 is a bit steep, maybe if it was closer to a fiver it would feel like a 7/10 game.

If this can go from being a £30 physical game to a £9 download, maybe Nintendo should pay attention when they're setting the price for their own download games.

stipey

#42

stipey said:

I would hesitantly suggest that Renegade Kid only ported the game across. It doesn't feel like one of their games. Their stuff often lacks a bit of polish but usually makes up for it in creativity, and this game has neither.

Jeez, they really nailed the feeling of grinding for the player though; I felt like the game was a grind from the second quest! Well done!

saikun

#43

saikun said:

@Miroku Muttant mudds is awesome, but I guess it's a matter of taste :D
As for this game, I dunno, the trailer from e-shop doesn't look interesting... I just saw a char performing the same skill 3-4 times and not much more....

FonistofCruxis

#44

FonistofCruxis said:

This scored slightly higher than I expected. Also, cute? Am I the only one who finds the aesthetics of this game ugly?
@SMEXIZELDAMAN I agree, TotA is a masterpiece! I think there is one game that equals TotA though, which is ToS.

TheGreenSpiny

#47

TheGreenSpiny said:

@Gundam00: You've clearly never played Dementium because that game had one of the best soundtracks to any game I've ever played. The sound design made that game downright scary.

On that note... Where's my Dementium III Jools?

Rizsparky

#52

Rizsparky said:

WTF! Why on earth is the US price $9.99 and the UK price £9? What happened to fair pricing?

anzzjam

#53

anzzjam said:

@Jese_1 I was able to beat Mutant Mudds. The game almost has a perfect difficulty setting. This is coming from someone who can never beat any metroid game before fusion. It seems silly to harp on this game for its difficulty. Spoiler alert, you play as grandma if you beat all levels, gb and vb levels and collect all 100 diamonds or whatever they are called. It is the best platform game made for the 3ds in my book.

@saikun hahaha, I thought planet crashers had cool graphics but I got discouraged from purchasing it when I saw 30 seconds of the guy running.... and running.... and then run around some more. I hope a demo becomes available since a few months after mutant mudds came out they put a demo out.

This part not directed at anyone in particular but please don't hate on mutant mudds due to its difficulty. Though I got frustrated trying certain levels 20 times, it made it so much more rewarding after beating a level and at most, it was minimal frustration for me.

@gundam00 I only have played monkey bomb and mutant mudds from R-kid and I would say the bomb monkey has cool controls, great mindless gameplay, but music is bad. I like the music in mutant mudds though.

@Miroku Personal attack alert!! I don't like what you base your opinion on. What is awful about Mutant Mudds? The difficutly? I was able to beat it with not too much of a headache and felt really satisfied when I beat a hard level. It's a platform game, if you don't die many times before beating the harder levels, then it probably isn't too great of a platformer. Put on top of that the 3 layers of environment in the game and you have the most unique and enjoyable platform game made for the 3ds.

3DSNoobieNerd

#54

3DSNoobieNerd said:

@Miroku How can you say its awful? I played the demo and I thought it was incredible. And I´ve heard it takes 20 hours to 100% the game, but thats just your opinion, right?

RATJUICE

#55

RATJUICE said:

This game is TERRIBLE...I Really really wish I didn't waste 10$ on this.... probably one of the worse rpg's I have played..... it's THAT bad..

RATJUICE

#56

RATJUICE said:

If I had played this before buying I wouldn't have spent 2$ on it let alone 10... VERY big waste of money, I highly suggest to everyone NOT to buy this game.. It looks like it couldn't be that bad but trust me it is..

EaZy_T

#60

EaZy_T said:

I saw the price at 50% off, so I grabbed this up.
I read this review when it released, so I knew it would fall in the 'average' category.
I've only played a tiny bit, but the $4.99 price-tag is good for this download.

I forgot that the combat is turn based so I was trying to move and mashing buttons! XD

edit: I have played a bit more and I like it :) I really think that this is actually supposed to be played in small chunks. I only play for a few minutes at a time (a mission or two).

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