2D platformers are a dime a dozen, but the charm of Paper Monsters Recut makes it stand out of the crowd. It's a fun indie game for the short while that it lasts, although a few issues get in the way of it being thoroughly enjoyable.
Paper Monsters Recut is a remake of the mobile game Paper Monsters. Players control a cardboard chum who must fight a big evil lizard thing who made some other lizard things evil in order to revert them back to the good side. The game doesn't really explain the story but that's the general idea.
The graphics are super cute and look sharp. The main character is smoothly animated and has a piece of paper for a face which changes expression from time to time. Levels are also visually appealing yet the enemies look a bit too generic and don't have much personality. Scenery will flourish as you run by certain points which adds a feeling of wonder to each level. The music is very impressive and you'll find yourself digging a lot of the tunes. However, some tracks are brief and loop too frequently. Sound effects are silly and bring even more levity to the experience as things squish and the main character goes "oh" as he jumps around. The game looks and sounds great which is its best quality. It will definitely put a smile on your face.
Gameplay consists mainly of running and jumping. Most enemies are defeated by jumping on their heads which makes them explode into confetti. These simple actions are easy to control. Players will discover vehicles and other mechanics that add variety to the formula as the game progresses. You can sled which basically devolves the gameplay into making timed jumps, control a submarine and be able to shoot, and adorn a space suit which lets you shoot and fly around with a jetpack. These are all serviceable yet help to mix up the gameplay. A couple of annoyances when it comes to the controls are that you have to use the GamePad and you can't control with the D-Pad. Why can't I use the Pro Controller, Classic Controller, or even the Wii Remote? Why do I have to use the analog stick? With so many options available, it just seems lazy that there is only one way to control this game.
Levels have themes that include bright green hills, cold mountain peaks, outer space, the old west, Halloween, and ruins. Each theme has a handful of levels in which players can collect paperclips that unlock further levels and golden buttons that unlock bonus mini games. There are a few bosses scattered throughout the game which are incredibly easy to defeat. The last boss is even a piece of cake. You will also come across bonus levels. One is found within each overworld section and they are usually spotted with little effort. These levels require you to collect a certain amount of candy hearts in order to complete them but are otherwise very similar to the main levels. The three unlockable mini games are generally all the same as they each involve a perpetually moving vehicle or character and test how far you can survive. They don't serve much of a purpose with the exception of achieving high scores. Completionists will appreciate the decent amount of collectables and unlockables as they add some replay value for this otherwise brief game.
The entire game can be completed within a few hours with very little challenge. This is a problem for most gamers as it doesn't feel very satisfying considering how easy it is. There are other issues as well that take away from the experience and are difficult to ignore. At one point in the game, players will find themselves in a submarine all of a sudden. Most players will assume that they're stuck since there are boxes blocking your way. After pressing every button on the controller, you will find that you can actually shoot the boxes away. Why wouldn't the game prompt you to do this? Also, the jetpack controls awkwardly. There are separate buttons to jump and fly and you can't fly from a standing position. Why can't they be the same button? Why do I have to jump first and then fly? Another issue is that there are plenty of tubes and teleporters in each level that are used to reach different areas. It's hard to tell if they will progress you in the level or take you to a side area with collectables. This is acceptable as it is common in a lot of platformers. However, you can't go back after using some of them. Why not? Why do some let you go back while others don't? It doesn't make sense as it's frustrating having to play a level again to collect the items you missed just because you took a wrong turn.
Paper Monsters Recut is a charming platformer that will put a smile on most gamers' faces. However, many issues may eventually turn that smile upside down. It is only recommendable by its unique and cute style and if you like that sort of thing then it's worth downloading. If you care more about gameplay, then give this one a pass as there are many better platformers to choose from.
- + Charming graphics and great soundtrack
- + Different mechanics keep the gameplay fresh
- + Plenty of unlockables and collectables help provide some replay value
- - Short with very little challenge
- - Must use the GamePad with the analog stick
- - Many small issues add up to make the game feel unpolished and incomplete