Thanks to Headup Games for the review code
Title: Slime-San: Superslime Edition
Release Date: 06/26/2018
In this ultimate edition of the action platformer that launched last year on Switch and PC, you take control of the titular main character and his bird companion as they’re dragged into the shadow realm of a big worm. Included in the Superslime Edition are two bonus campaigns that add extra levels in the form of two new scenarios: Blackbird’s Kraken, which has the same scenario happen but with Slimesan’s Family and a Kraken, and Sheeple’s Sequel, a stranger story based on a very minor and bizarre NPC who wants to build the hardest video game levels out there to break some sort of reality barrier in order to prove to Slime-San and others that they’re inside of a video game.
Ditching any sort of resemblance to popular systems, Slime-San goes for its own pixel art style, using five colors in order to do a “five-bit” system, as the game calls it, where the backgrounds mainly consist of black and blue, Slime-San along with special hazards and obstacles he can phase through are green, platforms and walls tend to be white, and pretty much anything that can kill you is red. Not only do those colors help work as a simple color palette, but it also acts as a handy way for the player to identify which things are which just by the color alone, which makes a lot of the levels very easy to get the hang of since there’s little need to worry about missing a jump due to not being able to tell what a platform or hazard is. The same applies to Blackbird’s Kraken too and the town areas of the game, though Sheeple’s Sequel swaps out the organic backgrounds for more fitting mechanical ones.
The music in general is surprisingly good and memorable, with a lot of good tracks that pick up in intensity as the game progresses, going in line with the difficulty. There are a few duller tracks earlier in the game, but overall this is a surprisingly good OST.
Regardless of which campaign you go with, the basic controls remain consistent across all three of them, with the left stick and D-Pad being used to move Slime-san, the X button being used to jump, the L1 and L2 buttons being used to phase through green objects and slow down time, and the R1, R2 and Square buttons being used to dash. Each level in the three campaigns consist of four screens each, where the main goal is to reach the signpost and proceed to the next one as quickly as possible without dying. Take too long, and rising acids will approach and kill you on contact. The good news is that these stages don’t take more than 30 seconds to clear, and thus entire levels only take a few minutes at most, give or take depending on how many times you die or if you make detours to pick up the apple hidden in each stage.
Sometimes during a level you’ll be able to find a secret tunnel, usually next to a tougher part of the current stage. Enter this tunnel and you’ll often find a hidden NPC, who will give you a special coin and join the town. In this town are even more things to do, and it’s also where you use those apples you collect during the adventure to purchase cosmetic goodies, from extra borders to surround the screen with, filters to change the look of the game, costumes for both Slime-San and his bird companion, and most importantly of all, brand new characters with different playstyles! These playstyles range from not being able to dash but having a better jump, to a spring slime that can do a super jump while being terrible at pretty much anything else. These extra characters aren’t really of much use in the main campaigns, but they have special levels made with them in mind that are exclusive to the Superslime edition, and can be accessed from the campaign menu to offer some new takes on the fast-paced gameplay. There’s even a dojo with a few target challenges that can be accessed in the town, as yet another way to test your skills, and some unlockable mini-games ala Retro City Rampage.
With the basics of the main campaign and bonus levels out of the way, discussing the other two campaigns is the next logical step, with Blackbird’s Kraken being a pretty short set of sequel levels to the main campaign, with the same general controls and concepts in play, but with much tougher levels to deal with than the main 100. Like with the normal campaign, there’s a town to explore, this one on an island, and most of the same things that you could buy in the main story are purchasable here, along with a much harder Dojo and new set of challenges to embark on. Overall, the Kraken levels are just more of the same, which is certainly not a bad thing considering how solid the main adventure is.
Sheeple’s Sequel on the other hand, is just not that good. It does a cool gimmick where there are branching paths to deal with, each with a different character to control,(Standard Slime-San, a goofy looking Marble-San who rolls around and rebounds off platforms instead of a traditional jump, and a red Slime-San who can shift colors upon dashing to make red platforms safe and green ones bad, and vice versa) and the levels are all mechanical themed. (meaning the stomach acid is replaced with spinning gears, among other visual changes) Unfortunately, as a result of this, (and due to an in-game story of wanting to make the hardest challenges known to Slime-San) the game loves to throw a stupid gimmick now and then to make certain levels absolutely cheap, usually revolving around making everything but Slime-San and the enemies invisible until you touch the platform.
While this concept worked in INK because the entire game was made with it in mind and you had the ability to color your path with your jump, Slime-San can’t do that, and thus you’re more than likely to die many times due to blind leaps of faith. Fine if you’re going for beating a level normally, but a gigantic pain if you want to obtain all the bugs (Sheeple’s version of the apple) or beat the part times. Despite this very irritating gimmick, the other characters are enjoyable to play as and this is still a decent set of levels in the end. There’s yet another town to explore in this campaign, with it being Sheeple’s lab, with most of the same stores as before, along with one where you can unlock all sorts of cool artwork for the game using the bugs you collect. There’s even an absolutely baffling arcade game that’s meant to be a parody of Superman 64 of all things, with deliberately awful control and everything.
In conclusion, Slime-San is an incredible action platformer jam-packed with lots of content for the low price tag. From an excellent main campaign, a good follow-up campaign, good bonus levels based off the other play styles, and a pretty poor final campaign, Slime-San is a really solid adventure all around! Packed with lots of PSN trophies for extra replay value, along with the need to collect every item in each section of a level while also aiming for the best times, and there’s tons to do in the game, even discounting the bonus campaigns and levels! While it’s disappointing that one portion of the game relies on cheap gimmicks in order to create fake difficulty after such an excellent balance everywhere else, the main game is still good enough to easily be worth a recommendation. Unfortunately, I just wish that Sheeple’s Sequel was balanced much, much better, even if the cheap difficulty is supposed to make sense in terms of the game’s plot.
I give Slime-san: Superslime Edition an 8 out of 10.