|System: PSP (Minis)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Frima Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Frima Studios||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 20, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Greig McAllister
How often have you dreamt of smashing your way through Midgard as Thor, the god of thunder? Well, dream no more because on July 20, 2010, consumers will see the release of Young Thor. In this epic side-scrolling action title, players have the chance to play Young Thor on a mission to rescue Urd, Skuld, and Verdandi, the Norns. As the keepers of Yggdrasil, the world tree, the Norns are charged with watching over the fates of those in the Nine Worlds. They have been captured by Hel, ruler of Helheim, realm of the dead. Without the Norns, Yggdrasil will die, and the Nine Worlds will fall into the realm of the dead, granting Hel untold power.
The story may sound pretty basic, and thats because it is. Young Thor is a classic kidnapping and rescue game, but what isnt basic about it is the in-depth mythology. As you progress through the game, you will unlock dictionary entries that can be viewed in the extras section of the game. I learned a great deal about Norse mythology by reading the entries and was impressed with the effort Frima Studios put into making sure they had everything right. This is the kind of effort that makes one look forward to buying a developers new game on release day.
When I first started playing, I wasnt really sure what to expect. It had been a while since my last PSP adventure, so I was prepared for anything. What I didnt expect was for the game to be a side-scroller. This is where the true appeal of Young Thor really shone through for me. I wasnt sure how I would feel about the game, but less than halfway through the first level, I was completely hooked and enjoying every hammer-dropping, lightning-filled moment.
As Young Thor, you must battle your way through four levels, each with four variations, fighting hordes of enemies in order to level up as well as find treasures that will grant you further power. As you complete each level, the next will be unlocked, but you must be sure you are ready. You will need to play through easier levels multiple times in order to level up enough to take down the enemies that occupy the harder levels. There are also certain levels that contain the treasures you need to gain power, but the item may not be there the first time. This means that there will be certain levels you will need to play through multiple times in order to find the items you are looking for.
Despite the limited number of levels, there is a lot of incentive to play some of them multiple times, not only to acquire power-up items, but also to level up in general. As you progress through Midgard, the enemies you encounter will become stronger and if you are too low level, they will humble the great god of thunder very swiftly. Fortunately, it doesnt matter what levels you repeat because all you need from them is the experience. If you are frustrated by your inability to progress, why not take it out on some lowly goblins? It will earn you a little experience, not to mention it will boost your morale, and give you the energy to take on the harder levels that grant more experience. Another fun thing to do is see how fast you can complete a level. I played one particular level multiple times trying to shave off mere seconds from my time. It doesnt do much for your progression through the game, but it is a lot of fun nonetheless.