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Game Profile
Red Fly Studio
GENRE: Action
December 02, 2008

Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars

 Written by Kris Rosado  on June 19, 2009

Review: There's a fungus among us.

Here we have Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi for the Nintendo DS. Rise of the Fungi offers up plenty of changes from it's Nintendo Wii counterpart, unfortunately they are for the worse.

The story changes from a hero named Pax to a hero named - nothing. Instead we are given the option of choosing between three mushroom classes each with their own strengths. But choosing your class is the least of this game's worries.

I'll get the good out of the way now - the game retains the imaginative look and presentation the Wii version had but at the cost of the DS's less powerful hardware. Colors don't pop as well and determining what's an object and what's not is more difficult but nothing that will make the game unplayable. The audio even sounds surprisingly good coming out of the DS's speakers.

Prepare for the downhill slide.

The gameplay gets the shaft as what was once just a generic platformer, has been turned worse by punishing us for letting our nameless hero miss jumps or simply falling off ledges - and no you can't have your friend grab another DS and tap ?A? to replenish your health this time. You do have a grappling hook but using requires you to desperately use the stylus to guide it onto a designated grapple-able object before your mushroom goes splat. Finding these grapple areas isn't hard, just inconvenient if you don't jump from the right spot.

The smooth motioning of Pax's is lost on these nameless heroes since no matter how hard or precise we try to in our attacks, they won't register as accurately as they should especially when facing airborne foes. Basically, if the falls don't kill you, the combat will and that's NOT what you want to find out about your combat heavy platform games!

Combat is further hampered by the fact that makeshift weapons are no longer automatically assembled for us, but instead we have to make them ourselves. Which would really be fine if that didn't mean stopping a ridiculous amount of times to bring up menus for our forging of better weapons.

Bottom Line
I'm going to digress here as I'm sure you get the idea. Both Mushroom Men games are lacking but at least the Nintendo Wii's Spore Wars is just hampered by generic gameplay rather than the Nintendo DS's Rise of the Fungi's complete unplayability. Having a platformer that punishes players for missing jumps would be fine if determining where a jump begins is clear or even grappling areas, but that's not the case here. Couple that with the combat system that has frequent problems registering hits and you have one frustrating to play game.

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