First of all: sorry about the radio silence; it's been a rough month, compounded with the fact that the FF5 Four Job Fiesta began, and thus a huge chunk of my free time in June was taken up by a man named Bartzbutts. That said, things are looking better - family finally got our tax return, and with it, I got a computer that isn't twelve year old jank; the video card still needs work but I can actually run things now!

Secondly: oh yeah I beat a game.

Thing about Mystik Belle is that it's an oddball of a game. In simplest terms, it controls mostly like the "metroidvania" style of platformer (though I hate that term in particular) what with the sprawling map that you flit back and forth around as you gain mobility upgrades and the Hidden Secrets. But then you get to its puzzles, and you realize that Mystik Belle is very much a point-and-click adventure game wearing a platformer's clothing.

You play as a witch girl who is tasked with collecting the ingredients to a super important batch of witch's brew after the last batch was ruined by Science Ninjas.

No, I'm not making that up. Yes, oddly, it works given the tone of the game.

But rest assured, this is essentially a point-and-click adventure game that incidentally plays sort of like Metroid. You collect all sorts of random detritus - some of it worthless, most of it not - and then smash them against things, or against each other, and watch the magic of combinatorial explosions. A relatively early puzzle involves dunking an already fragrant plant into a dumpster in order to use it as a fly magnet, distracting a chef so you can steal some tinfoil. Yeah.

The problem is, the two parts don't mesh together well. The platforming and combat is kept relatively streamlined, but that means that everything past the first boss fight boils down to "use lightning spell, win". The puzzles are standard adventure fare, but at one point I did have to crack open a map and guide to figure out where an important piece of a puzzle was... it happened to be languishing underwater, in an area I couldn't be in for more than a few seconds without instantly drowning and dying. After dying the first few times, I had let my platformer instincts kick in and say "okay, avoid water, there will be a way to breathe it later". There certainly is... immediately after the puzzle that you need to go underwater initially for.

It's still a good game. It controls well, and the spritework is fantastic. The music is bloopy in the most pleasant of ways, and honestly, you can tell that some of the staff that worked on Shantae was also apparently involved in this. It just tries to mix two things together, and instead of "you got chocolate in my peanut butter", the final product is more akin to pineapple on pizza. If it works for you, great, but it's not for everyone.

Still, a pretty 7/10 game. Not bad in the slightest.
xyzzysqrl: A moogle sqrlhead! (Default)

From: [personal profile] xyzzysqrl

Huh. That sounds less like a "metroidvania" and more like Alex Kidd in High Tech World, or one of the old Dizzy games, or something.

Except then I watch the trailer and yep that's combat all right.

Man this is a weird looking thing. I am intrigued.