Writing about Big Bang
Mini in 500 words is a little like creating a
football-playing octopus spliced with DNA from Beckham
and Pele, dropping a sack of balls at its boot-clad
tentacles then confining it to a four-foot cubed room.
You need a certain depth, a certain room to breathe, to
fully appreciate the unfolding insanity. Otherwise, all
you get is muddy footprints on the wallpaper.
I'll stop wasting words in frustration. What should I
talk about first?
I could talk about the premises. Itís word-savingly
simple when condensed into its most basic form: take
control of random geometric shapes and blow things up to
ever-changing backdrops hosting vastly different
gimmicks. But boiling the game down to such a bare-bones
summary is like saying the sun is that slightly bright
thing over there.
It's a busy game that offers not a fraction of peace or
a snatched second of reflection. You have clear-cut
options: you can attack the sadistic hordes that descend
upon you by striking the DS' touch-screen like striking
a match, sending swarms of fireworks into their sadistic
ranks. Offence is good, but, in your haste to eradicate,
you leave yourself vulnerable to two things:
ONE! Should your rockets miss their target, they
explode and shower the screen with deadly debris!
TWO! As long as you're attacking, your shape is stuck,
immobile and helpless.
In a brave attempt to
actually integrate the DS' touted touching into a usable
gimmick, Mini makes your avatar only mobile when firmly
stabbed by stylus and traced across the screen. So, when
you draw your attacks, you're at your most defenceless;
when you push yourself through the barrage of bullets,
you can muster zero aggression.
You don't have time to fire. You need to dodge the
razor-edged leafs fluttering deceptively on the chilly
breeze that sweeps projectiles around in unpredictable
patterns. Perhaps abusing the stage's unique vortex
summon to suck them into another dimension will by you
some time. You can't just evade the heat-seeking
cod-skeletons and hope they go away - they won't.
Perhaps hurling your newly-acquired heat-seeking
whirligigs at the aquatic bastards will thin their
numbers. I could spent my measly word quota talking
about the uncountable cast of oddities that serve as
cannon fodder. The sulky panda bears squatting on wispy
clouds dropping bangers or the laser-spitting crimson
piggybanks held aloft on balloons. But I won't. Iíve
less than 100 words left.
It's not enough to do justice to the rocking BGM or the
stand-out backdrops of the neon-tinted Hong Kong or the
blizzard-covered Luxor. I no longer have the space to
describe the multi-tiered boss fights that cap each stage
or the puzzle-esque bonus stages that draw the curtain on
each level. I'm not even going to try and shoehorn the
plethora of hidden options and game modes Mini will drop
in your lap as you progress. Mini is a brilliantly-realised
but busy game, and, in doing it justice, I might just run
and invigorating. A real cracker.