Friday, March 29, 2013

PAX East 2013: Mutant Mudds Deluxe


At Renegade Kid's booth, Mutant Mudds Deluxe was one of two games on display that featured completed gameplay mechanics (the other being the already-released ATV Wild Ride 3D).  For those of you who have not heard of Mutant Mudds, the game is a retro-style platformer in which players control a young boy Max who is trying to rid the world of Mutant Mudds, evil comet-borne creatures which have taken over the land.  Using a water gun and jetpack with the help of his Grannie, Max must collect the Water Sprites in order to remove them from the world before it is too late.

Deluxe is the fourth iteration of Mutant Mudds, the first having been released on 3DS and then subsequently on the App Store and PC.  While this might seem like a bit too many ports, Deluxe has added a number of new features this time around.  For one, on the Wii U, the game is displayed in widescreen HD and will allow for play on the Wii U GamePad, but the biggest addition in Deluxe is a portal to access 20 new Ghost Levels.

In the Ghost Levels, the Mudds have become ghostly beings, and new monsters appear throughout twisted versions of the normal levels.  Platforms shift and move around from poltergeists unseen, and what is worse, the Ghost Mudds cannot be harmed by the water gun whatsoever!  Instead, Max has to avoid the monsters at all costs, which can be made even more difficult when players want to collect all of the diamonds in a level.  Thankfully, there is one power up, a dirt gun, that allows Max to harm Ghost Mudds in these levels, but the gun has limited ammo, so players better be conservative if they want to survive.

From what I played at PAX East, Mutant Mudds Deluxe felt very similar to that of the 3DS original.  Max moves at a decent pace across the screen, although with the widescreen image it might feel a little slower to some.  The graphics pop out quite effectively in its retro style, and the subtle blurring of each layer of the world helps make distinguishing which level is which easier, especially when there is no 3D display to use.  As for the ghost world, I found the challenge to be a notch higher than most of the game's original stages, and considering I was only in the first stages, they are going to be quite the challenge.  In other stages, even the Grannie stages, I could move gingerly across each area and attack each Mudd one at a time, but being slow in the Ghost Levels would do me minimal good, especially since I could not defeat a vast majority of the enemies in them.  Even the moving landscape itself was an obstacle that got the best of me, crushing me on a mad dash to the other side.  These stages will definitely require some retries to get through without a scratch!

The game felt very effective with the GamePad, and the additional stages look to change the gameplay in a significant enough way so as to keep the whole game fresh, and as a plus, the new stages do not require the whole game's completion to start access.  Mutant Mudds Deluxe looks like the definitive version of the game, and those who already have the 3DS version might find these additions good enough to warrant a double-dip.  I know I'm ready for it.

Mutant Mudds Deluxe is expected for release around May/June of this year for the Wii U eShop.

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