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Review: Mr Stumps Dentures
"The most epic plot of any game ever. Dentures have been swallowed... a plot to awaken the Tooth God is underway... the results of which could be catastrophic. All the worlds toothpaste and dental hygeine products... destroyed! A nightmare world of bacteria and gum disease beckons... unless Mr Stump can get his dentures back!"
The main menu is plain and simple, but it's the before level 'cutscenes' (which look quite professional I might add) and layout of the levels that really shine. There's not exactly a stunning storyline, but it's zany enough to be entertaining.
Nothing completely original or stunning, but this game is quite fun to play. Although the only action besides moving that Mr Stump can do is jumping, you can use this to good effect to jump on the head of an enemy mario-style to defeat them, or avoid them (or their attacks) altogether. The level design is quite varied from genius to somewhat lacking, although it easily leans on the better side. Strategically placed enemies and health kits make for a rather hard, but fun experience. Bosses are suitably difficult and all have their own attack pattern that takes a bit of getting used to, but once figured out they are still worthy opponents. There's also a two player mode, which is surprisingly well done and is quite enjoyable, and also ups the lastability score. The only quarrels about gameplay is that jumping does get old after a while, considering it's one of the only things you can do, and some dangers seem impossible to avoid at certain times. Oh, and there's a few near-pixel-perfect jumps around, but I've definately tried harder jumps, and they're not all that frequent. There's also a few bugs in the engine, some that let you pass through solid objects (which I haven't seen myself, but saw in a screenshot), the stretching of the two-player mode (which is more of a graphical setting than a bug), and the 'sliding on ice' physics still applying in the air in the snow stages. However, no bug I've seen so far detracts from or halts my playing experience to any major degree, although if you get stuck in a solid object it could be a nightmare, having to start again.
Typical Circy-style graphics, the game is colourful and has a look suitable for all ages and most tastes. The original graphics style adds to the game, giving it a rather comical and more fun feeling. With a handful of effects such as parallax scrolling, MSD has a nicely polished feel and is 'nice and clean' in the graphical sense, with smooth animation and nice backgrounds.
Sound And Music:
As usual, the music is original and quite good, in a typical Circy fashion. It all fits the game well and each music suits the 'zone' it's meant for just as well as the game itself. Sounds are a different matter, however. There's a few DOS-like 'beeps' and 'blips' about, some of which make me clench my teeth. In particular, the appearing enemy sound... it makes me want to tear the flesh from my face. However, being skinless does not detract that much from my enjoyment whilst playing this game.
I've been playing it quite a bit, but I can't see myself playing through the whole thing again once I've already done so, even if there's a few bonus levels (same story... once I pass them, I won't look their way again). However, this game will last a while (if you're patient) due to its difficulty. Also, once all 5 lives (with 5 health, or 'hits' each) are expired, you'll need to start again, which isn't that much of a problem considering there's much larger games that do the same thing. Also, there's a two player option to keep you and a friend going should the one player mode get old.
MSD is a deserving title that promises a fun playing experience, at least if you don't mind having to try it from the beginning once in a while. This is a shining example that simple, yet fun gameplay is still around today.
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Rick (AntiMatter Entertainment)