|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nordcurrent||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 21, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
I have a theory; this game is called 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix because of the explosion it'll cause in your head. No. Your noggin' won't explode with joy. It'll most likely explode with frustration. After the first ten minutes of playtime I already felt a burning sensation through my chest just by playing a little mini-game of basketball, so you can't imagine how it feels after a good amount of play. Seriously! A PPM (player's patience meter) wouldn't be a bad thing for this game! That way you could stop playing before you bang your head against the wall.
But, before we focus all our energy in the negative aspects of it, let's read a little about what kind of game this is and try to figure out what makes it cool and what makes it suck.
First of all, this title offers a quite complete compilation of smaller games. Some of them are classic mini-games we've known for a long time, though with their own style. You'll find a version of Snake, Pong, Sudoku, Space Invaders, Pole Position, Hammer Toss, and even a slider puzzle. The amount of games included in this little cartridge is what grabbed my interested in the first place. Even if not all of the mini-games were good, I'm a sucker for arcade-style stuff, especially for playing during a long trip, so I thought this game would be ideal for that.
However, after further inspection, I realized the games just scream low-budget. A few of them look decent and are even fun to play, such as "Serpent," "Cup 'n Die," and a few others, but on the whole, they're just the kind of Flash games you would play for free on the Internet. I was certainly hoping for a higher level of polish and much better controls. Everything is controlled with the stylus pretty much, and that's definitely not the best choice for at least 50% of those games. Why placing little arrow icons on the screen to make the ship move left and right when the buttons on the d-pad would do a much better job?
Overall, the controls are very inconsistent. If you try your luck at games like Basketball, Tornado Hockey (air hockey), or even Bouncer (soccer juggling), youll soon notice the behavior of the ball is very unpredictable. Sometimes youll do a quick stylus flick that sends the ball through the roof and then other times it just makes it go up a little bit. That was one of the most annoying problems with the game, and I have yet to beat that darn Basketball game, though I was close, after about 30-40 tries. Other games dont have such bouncy controls. Instead, they are extremely sluggish and almost ridiculous, the way they move; for example in The Descent, where you control a bat trying to reach the bottom of a cave while avoiding spikes and collecting bonuses. Hit detection was also really bad in this one and many others, such as Flies, a game where youre a frog trying to eat up some flies. An old school Atari 2600 game would have been better than that!
The goal of these mini-games is to achieve a certain number of points. This rewards you with a bunch of gold coins that you can use to unlock new mini-games. However, not all games are beatable, at least from what Ive seen. Unless you have extreme patience and lots of spare time to repeat some of these games over and over, I think you wont be able to get the green checkmark on every single one of them. Luckily, there are enough games that you can just gather points by beating the playable titles and then unlock the rest. If you can believe it, there are even more inconsistencies with this title, like the fact that some games are extremely easy to beat and almost pointless.