2-D platform games have been coming in droves to the Wii U indie scene as of late, and it’s never bad to have too much of a good thing. While some games have been misses, there have been a lot of hits in 2-D platform genre and even more coming. Sometimes, though, you can get a bit burnt out, especially when someone plays a genre constantly. As of late, I have been playing a lot of 2-D platform games on both the Wii U and on my retro consoles, but when I saw Paper Monsters Recut, I perked up interest with its beautiful screenshots. Beauty is only skin deep however, and if a game has terrible mechanics, it deems the game irrelevant. So how does Paper Monsters Recut from Mobot Studios fare?
Paper Monsters Recut has a simple story. Paper Land is a happy and quaint place until a wanna-be conqueror invades with his paper minions and tries to take over the land. You play as a cute cardboard robot and try to restore peace and safety to the land. It’s nothing engaging, but a platform game doesn\’t necessarily need to be an epic narrative as long as everything else is done with quality. If you are looking for a story-driven adventure, Paper Monsters Recut won\’t fill that desire, but for pretty much every other desire, it will.
The game simply looks fantastic. Everything in Paper Land has a high level of detail and gloss, enemies are varied in appearance, and the 3-D backgrounds are beautiful. It literally looks like a game created out of paper and then given a HD treatment, and it’s really stunning and appealing to the eyes. Levels and bosses are all very different from each other and really help with the aesthetic of the game. The music is fantastic too, with many tunes that will get stuck in your head long after playing the game. One slight issue with the music is that some of the musical tracks are a little short, and you can hear where the song ends and restarts. Aside from this minor nuance, the sound effects are well done and clear, but our cardboard hero’s jump noise may grate on your ears after a little while.
While the game is gorgeous, it won\’t really matter if the gameplay is flat. Paper Monsters Recut manages to stay fresh level after level by simply keeping things very diverse, besides just the graphics of the level. In some levels you have a rocket pack and can fly around the level, some have tricky platforming jumps, one level takes place on a moving train, and there is even a submarine level that plays like a 2-D shoot-em-up game. The sheer variety in the game keeps you wanting to advance more and more in a single sitting, because you never know what mechanic the game will throw at you next. Controlling our cardboard hero is crisp and precise, and old school gaming fans will appreciate the modern conveniences of being able to control your characters direction after the jump. Paper Monsters Recut manages to stay fresh by staying creative, and that is one of the most attractive parts of the game.
While the main game itself can be beaten in about 2 and 1/2 hours on a first run through, that doesn\’t necessarily mean the game is short. There are tons of secrets in the world of Paper Land, from hidden things in the levels to the overworld itself. Each level has 3 paper clips and 1 hidden button to collect, which can then be used to open up mini-games. The mini-games, like the rest of the game, are crafted fantastically. I won\’t spoil all of them, but the one I enjoyed the most was an infinite-runner style mini-game. It was very enjoyable and I found myself playing it for literally hours trying to break my high scores, and is actually done better than some games that are created just to be a game in that genre. Add to the fact that there are bonus levels as well, and you can end up spending way more time in Paper Land than it seems you initially will.
If there is one issue I took exception to in the game, it would have to be the difficulty. I found myself having no real issues until the last level, and even then with a little persistence and better timing it was a relatively easy task. The game never really gets hard, and although some platforms may be a bit trick, there are tons of extra lives, extra hearts, and checkpoints in each level to make it an easy experience. At first, the difficulty level turned me off a bit, but the more I thought about the game, the more I grew to accept it. Paper Monsters Recut isn\’t the hardest 2-D platformer in the world, but it doesn\’t try to be. It has \”pick up and play\” characteristics that everyone can enjoy. By combining classic platforming with Wii U specific features like Off-TV play and beautiful graphics, Paper Monsters Recut manages to shake up the somewhat stagnant platforming scene by being just plain fun. The variety of the game is fantastic, and Mobot Studios did a great job with this title. Paper Monsters Recut deserves a spot on your Wii U hard-drive.