Mercury Meltdown Revolution Wii
Published by: Ignition Entertainment
Developed by: Ignition Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Just lately there has been a real drought for Wii gamers. Nintendo seem to be pushing the release dates of their highly anticipated titles further back (some have been delayed until much later this year in fact) and quite a few of the games that have arrived this year can hardly be called memorable games. What better time then, to bring over one of the better puzzle games from another format? Mercury Meltdown on the PSP was a very enjoyable title and the reworked Mercury Meltdown Remix on the PlayStation 2 managed to be even better still. The very idea of the game coming to the Wii and being able to take advantage of the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii remote is an exciting prospect.
In Mercury Meltdown Revolution you’ll have to guide your blob (or blobs) of Mercury through a variety of levels, whilst avoiding all kinds of hazards, to the finish pad (or pads in some cases). You need to finish a level with a specified amount of mercury as indicated by the gauge on the left of the HUD. Naturally this may seem a little simplistic but thanks to a variety of objects you’ll need to interact with and a splendid array of hazards you’ll need to avoid, the game is anything but a cakewalk. Your mercury blob can be heated up (making it move more quickly as well as more likely to separate into smaller blobs), be cooled down (making it less mobile), separated into smaller blobs, cut in half and much, much more. There are times when you’ll need to divide your blob into smaller blobs, have each portion change colour and then have the blobs reunite to form a new colour. In addition to this there are enemies out to get you to such as the Mercoid, Jerkoid and Spectroid creatures. It’s not just the enemies and hazards that spell danger. Like in Super Monkey Ball the levels are suspended in mid-air so it’s possible for you to fall over the edge and when your mercury isn’t in one piece it’s an all too easy occurrence. Of course the more challenging levels are also tricky to navigate. This all makes for a game that’s both hugely addictive and challenging too. There are also five different party games such as Rodeo, Race, Metrix, Shove and Paint but these will have to be unlocked by playing the single-player game.
There are over 150 levels in Mercury Meltdown Revolution. These levels are contained within eight themed labs. Only the Astro Lab is initially available but as you complete each of the levels you'll unlock the Bio Lab, Cryo Lab, Electra Lab, Geo Lab, Atom Lab, Aero Lab and Hydro Lab. The many levels in the game are structured so as to increase the difficulty in such a gentle way that the game never becomes infuriating. Even if you fail to get the mercury blobs back to the finish pads within the time limit you can still carry on and figure out a strategy before retrying the level. All too often we see puzzle titles that don't encourage you to carry on playing when things become tricky but Mercury Meltdown Revolution doesn't take this approach and it's all the more appealing for it.
As you can probably guess, the big thing with Mercury Meltdown Revolution is that the control system is about as intuitive as it gets. You'll hold the Wii remote with both hands and the buttons facing upwards. Tilting the Wii remote will tilt the platform on which your mercury blob resides causing it to move. It works remarkably well and feels instantly comfortable. Changing the camera angle is done by pressing the directional pad and the camera, by default, turns in 90 degree increments (you can set the camera to automatically turn or to turn in 45 degree increments if you wish). To be completely truthful it is a little strange having to change the camera angle in this way but it's not much of an inconvenience. Should you prefer to switch to a more conventional control scheme, using the left analogue stick to tilt the surface and the right analogue stick to change the camera angle, you can plug in a Wii classic controller and play the game pretty much how you would do with the PlayStation 2 version of the game. Personally I prefer the default, motion-sensing controls, as they feel more natural but it's good to have the choice.
In terms of the appearance and its suitability for deaf gamers, Mercury Meltdown Revolution is pretty much the same as the previous versions of Mercury Meltdown. The graphics have retained their cartoon-like quality which look good and fit in with the bold and colourful styles that most games on the Wii seem to employ. The frame rate is nice and smooth throughout and the load times are quite zippy. What is impressive is the physics of your mercury blobs, in all of its various states, which animate in such a realistic fashion. The game is once again fine for deaf gamers with all tutorial messages and instructions being shown in text. By default a colour mixing guide is shown to make you aware of what colours you'll get from mixing blobs of different colours. Force Feedback can be enabled to add some tactile feedback to the experience if you prefer.
This is now the third format we've played Mercury Meltdown on and I can honestly say that it's the best version. The game really feels at home on the Wii and in all honesty I would find it very difficult to play the game on either the PSP or the PlayStation 2 now. I daresay some will dismiss the game as a port but in truth it feels like it was designed from the ground up for the Wii. The use of the Wii remote is both simplistic and wonderful. The Wii was designed to appeal to those who are normally put off with conventional control systems and the control system on offer here is about as user friendly as it could be. If you enjoy puzzle games and own a Wii then Mercury Meltdown Revolutions is highly recommended, even if you have bought any of the previous versions.
Not only is Mercury Meltdown Revolution the best version of Mercury Meltdown, it's also one of the finest console puzzle games to date.