Thanks to RCMADIAX for the review code
Title: SUPER ROBO MOUSE
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 4/7/2016
The main game/story
In this game, you take control of Robo, a mouse who must save his friend from danger by collecting titanium cheese to open the exits of each level, defeating bosses along the way! However, it seems everyone is after him, so he’ll have to be careful as he pushes forward to save his friend!
Compared to any other game put out by this publisher, the visuals are significantly improved. The level select menu is nice and well organized, with ease of use with the touchscreen, and the levels themselves have good looking backgrounds and obstacles, making the game feel like its set in its own little world. It’s clear that a ton of effort was poured into this one game, and it shows in the visual department.
Music and Sound
Yet another jump in quality compared to the previous titles, as the few songs included in this game sound much, much better than any of the tracks beforehand. With a techno theme to the soundtrack, these songs are quite enjoyable, and while they aren’t quite worthy of being put on your MP3 player, they still sound great nonetheless, and is a significant step up from the repetitive soundtrack from his previous games. Unfortunately, one area that did not see improvement was regarding the sound effects, as for some baffling reason there’s not one sound effect in the entire game, not even when you die or pick up a piece of cheese. The lack of sound effects altogether really make the game feel a bit odd at times, as you have a lot of dangerous hazards on screen and items to collect… Yet no audio cues to alert you to an enemy’s actions, which would have really helped considering the difficulty of the game.
As mentioned before, Super Robo Mouse is a maze game where the main goal is to collect the pieces of cheese in each level and make it to the exit, all while avoiding enemies and obstacles. To do this, you control Robo with the analog stick, moving him carefully around corners in order to snag any cheese that you see, which sounds incredibly simple in concept only.
You see, right upon choosing a level I noticed the flaws this control scheme would lead to, as believe it or not, there’s no D-Pad support whatsoever! For a game that’s all about precision, it confuses me on why you can’t use the D-pad for precise movement around the maze, especially considering how the analog stick doesn’t even support real analog in this game, acting more or less like a D-Pad slapped onto a stick, which makes the exclusion even more baffling. Another odd design choice is the lack of Off-TV Play, a feature that the developer’s other titles included from the beginning! Instead, the Wii U gamepad only keeps count of the remaining cheese, which makes the Gamepad feel rather unnecessary overall when the counter could have easily gone on the side of the display.
That being said, this could all be forgiven if the game was still a fun, enjoyable experience from start to finish, yet unfortunately, there’s one major issue that practically destroys any chance of this game being remotely fun, and that is the difficulty. Challenge is not a bad thing to include in video games; in fact I strongly dislike most modern games due to them putting a huge focus on making everything insultingly easy. (looking at you, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire) Where Super Robo Mouse messed up, however is its unforgiving nature. You see, from the very first world of the game you’ll begin to die a lot, mostly due to running into hazards or being blindsided by a turret projectile from off screen. Heck, even the very first level is incredibly difficult despite only having a few pieces of cheese to collect, when in comparison the second level is a piece of cake with some practice!
The only thing that’s remotely similar to a gradual difficulty increase is the number of cheese you can collect in a level, which can make the later parts of each world very, very long. Some of these levels can take up to 10 minutes or more, and you wouldn’t believe how INFURIATING it is to be so close to the end of a long level, all the cheese on hand, only to suddenly get hit by an off screen projectile and have to restart the level all over again, with no checkpoints to speak of. This is by far the worst difficulty that I have ever seen in a video game, which is incredibly depressing, as I really do love challenge when done right. I can beat Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos with no issues, despite it being one of the hardest games from the NES, and that was due to constant practice of a game with a fair difficulty increase. But when a game just decides to throw everything at you from the very beginning, have no sound effects to help you, (therefore making it hard to listen for enemies that may or may not be nearby, which makes their sudden appearances all the more frustrating) and only supports an imprecise control method of just an analog stick, Super Robo Mouse ended up being the very first game that I flat-out rage-quit, all without reaching the first boss of the game no matter how hard and how careful I was.
In conclusion, Super Robo Mouse is an unbalanced mess of a game. It’s depressing, since you CAN see signs of an excellent game that has clearly been worked on for a long period of time, and it’s clear that a lot of effort was put into making this a game worthy of your $4.49. Unfortunately, the fact that the game is just completely unbalanced and unforgiving really, really hurts any chance this game may have had at being a fun game to replay. You’ll certainly get your money’s worth with the amount of content in the game, but when you likely won’t even get to that content due to the sheer difficulty of some of the early levels, you might as well wait and hope for the addition of checkpoints or at the very least D-Pad support. I applaud RCMADIAX for being ambitious and going all out with this project, but it seems that the developer focused a bit too much on making it a lasting experience, all by adding a ridiculous amount of difficulty with little in the way of balance. I give Super Robo Mouse a 4 out of 10, and can only recommend it to the most hardcore of gamers who want an extreme challenge, regardless of how cheap or frustrating that challenge may be. For everyone else, just hope for an update to make the game a bit more balanced, if one ever comes.