It’s time for another Wii cash in. I’m afraid that you can’t really expect too much from this game. It has a pretty interesting premise with regard to the gameplay but it isn’t very polished so there are quite a few bugs and issues with the gameplay. It gets off to a decently good start and has a nice end, but the middle of the game can be tricky with some levels that don’t always feel very fair. It’s a decently good game but one that could have certainly been a whole lot better.
The plot revolves around a Prince. His kingdom has been taken over by sludge monsters led by a giant monster. His father may have been murdered in the process as now he is a ghost with no form. He tells the hero to call and slay all of the monsters while grabbing all of the jewels so he can save the kingdom. He is given two guides to help with that. One of them is a mean guy who fights with vomit and the other is a nice girl who attacks with water. With these dependable allies at his side, the Prince is ready to make some waves.
You don’t gain any new members during the game, but you do get more powers. Soon you are able to shoot out sticky material, ice, and even the powers of Darkness which can open up portals. It’s important that you understand what each power does since they will all be necessary to complete the game. Each world has 6 levels and there are 5 worlds in total. The levels start out pretty basic and gradually get harder by the end. At one point, the levels were taking me close to an hour to beat each one. Once I got the hang of the abilities and missions though, I greatly reduced the time and could even beat some missions in around 15 minutes. It just really depends on if you know what you’re doing. There is a compass, but it tends to be pointing in the wrong direction half the time so you really can’t get used to trusting it. Fortunately you’ll notice that the levels basically start to repeat themselves or are at least very similar by the end.
The graphics are okay. The colors all look different so you can always tell what is happening and the game is able to keep the colors that you’ve already shot on the board so that’s good. It’ll remember your colors even if you go to a different world and come back. There isn’t really a soundtrack to speak of so that area of the game is significantly less impressive. It can’t quite match up to the graphics at any rate. Throw in the glitches and this game isn’t ready for the big time. You’ll fall through walls quite a lot and you’ll randomly slam to the ground in other moments. See, the main character has a ground pound technique which you can use by double tapping the jump button but it often happens on its own which is kind of rigged.
Naturally the gameplay is hampered by the Wii remote. The game would be a lot smoother with a proper controller. It’s like Mario Sunshine or De Blob in a way with you shooting paint everywhere but the other two games just handled the concept a lot better. I like 3D platformers in general so I still had a good time. There aren’t many bosses here, maybe only 3-4. You really have to figure out to handle them on your own since the game naturally won’t even give you much of a hint. Once you figure it out though, the bosses become child’s play to defeat. You’ll have them down in no time.
The story’s pretty forgettable but make sure you pay attention to the ending. It hints at a sequel and even hints that the main character’s mother may have been the main villain. It’ll give you some doubts about your supposed father since it’s not as if we ever see the guy right? It raises a bunch of questions so it’s really a shame that a sequel is likely never going to happen. I’m sure that the gameplay would have been a lot more polished as well so it would have been nice. I guess we’ll just have to rely on fan theories for this one.
The game is pretty long to be honest. It lasted me over 10 hours and that’s always a reasonable time. There really isn’t much to do in the way of post game content though since you had to get all of the jewels to challenge the final boss. There’s no real multiplayer either so this is definitely one of those games where you beat the main campaign and then call it a day. At 10 hours that is reasonable and the going price is really cheap last time I checked.
One thing the game did pretty well was its use of the dynamic levels. As mentioned earlier, it’s sort of like Mario 64 where you have one level and then multiple objectives within it. This game goes into even greater depth as the level grows for each level as you unlock new paths and it keeps track of what you’ve done in it. This means that the level will be a mystery at first, but by the 3rd and 4th levels you’ll really have the place’s layout down and can progress a lot faster. The levels aren’t being reused in a lazy way, but a progressive style where you really feel like you’re accomplishing. This is probably one of the main reasons why the game got a positive score in the end.
The other is that at the end of the day it is pretty fun to shoot the elements all around. In particular I liked the ice ability as moving around at top speeds was just really great. Once you got a new power, it became hard to think about how you used to go on without it. The abilities are just necessary. Fighting enemies could be annoying as they kept respawning over and over again and some were too durable, but the annoyance wasn’t too bad. The controls are tougher than the enemies after all.
Overall, SPray is another game that fell well below the radar. I can understand why as it clearly didn’t get the same amount of effort a AAA title has, but it isn’t bad either. It has some good ideas and while the execution isn’t on point all the time, the game really grows on you. By the end you’ll almost wish it could have had a few more levels. For a sequel the game mainly just needs to fix the compass or make the levels a little more straight forward. In particular, tracking down the invisible enemies was always a real hassle. It’s just hard to keep track of them in the giant levels. I’d recommend checking the game out for a unique experience.