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Review: The Shima Bros
The Shima Bros Review
The greatest thing that can happen to a player, is when he plays a demo and then the full version lives up to it. Unfortunately, this didn't happen with this game. The original demo promised a complete, professional and fun game. All things which Shima Bros. is, but unfortunately it doesn't reach it's full potential. Read on for more details.
In some respects, this is some of the best gameplay provided by a klik game ever seen by this reviewer. But in others it is....excrutiating. Instead of provoking the player to go -
"I'll show you!"
-a death in the game provokes me to close the game in frustration knowing that the level I just go right to the end of is only going to hold my interest a total of one consecutive times. The idea is almost flawless, and well done. The four characters that need to work together using each of their own skills to complete a level is very entertaining. The only problem is level design, which I have included a section on as I have a large amount to 'nit pick' at.
There are a few problems with the level design. The largest is the replay factor. The levels don't provide anything to make the player want to try again should death occur. Everything is, well, the same.
"Block here, grass here, ooops theres a snake, wow another block! Oh my god, a snake! WOW! Oooops I'm dead. Hmmm lets try that again....or not!"
The puzzle element that the game trys to focus on never really gets going. All very mild and easy to decipher level 'traps'. The only challenge is trying to make jumps which is harder than it looks, thanks to the less than appealing jump engine which involves the character halting to an erupt stop during his ascent, and then just dropping.
Making larger levels that involve a great deal of trekking through individual terrain for each character would make this more exciting, rather than all four characters meeting within seconds of the level starting. This is boring as now the rest of the level involves just repeating a medicocre mix of blocks and snakes...four times.
That is not a great quality, but it could have been dealt with if the levels were simply more fun. Maybe some crazy ass enemies that need a bit of too-ing and fro-ing to get past. Or some moving platforms or even maybe a door that requires a switch to open. Little things. Ultimately this lets down a promising game.
These are very nice and do the job well. Although they are a little inconsistent in quality as the 'Shimas' are very nicely drawn whereas the snakes remind me of my earlier finger painting attempts in kindergarten.....this is not a compliment by the way.
Nice backgrounds and nifty menu effects that are very reminiscent of old SNES games. A story that is reasonably entertaining and above all....skipable!!! *Fanfare ensues!!*
Title screen is also very nice. Other than the inconsistency factor, I was overall quite pleased with the graphics.
Music and Sounds
This is the only area of the game that I felt was flawless, in the sense that everything just blended in nicely. Nice background music that didn't deduct attention from graphics or gameplay but still made it's presence obvious. It was in fact,
music that never shuts up and is three seconds long and keeps repeating and makes me want to shoot myself
which some games like to harbour. Particularly my own, now that I am doing my own music...*shudder*.
Also the sound effects all suited their purpose and were easy on the ears.
Despite all the flaws I noted above in Gameplay and Level Design, I will give this a reasonably high mark. The game has sixteen levels, a reasonable amount, plus 'extras'. Although each time I die, it is followed by a large 6 hour interval during which I focus on forgetting how boring the levels are so I can finally try again. Which is a bitch of a way to play the game but it's my choice. Maybe I'm just disturbed.
Overall, I did enjoy this game. It is moderately fun, although it has many flaws. It had a lot more potential and it never really got off the ground though. A professional idea, backed with professional design, is given a let-down of the supreme kind by level design that klik newbies would scoff at. Had to be. Still, I do recommend this. It's definantly one of the better klik games. Sad thing is, it could have been one of the best.
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