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Kororinpa Box Art
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Kororinpa
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Puzzle
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Out now!

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Kororinpa - Review
Written by Phil Thompson

Iíve been spending the last month ploughing through Kororinpa, playing it for all I could. And you know what? I had fun. For a few hours. Then it got boring. Very boring. Almost as boring as reading several short sentances in sequence. Yep. Boring.

kororinpa Screenshot
Absolute happiness.
Kororinpa is, in essence, Monkey Ball without all that stupid physics stuff nobody paid attention to at school. The confines of all logic have subsided, allowing players to manipulate each level in ways which were simply unachievable in the aforementioned puzzle game. The object is simple Ė guide your ball (or panda, or pig, or mass of crushed taxis) to the goal without falling from the level, making sure you collect every red crystal along the way, without which the player can not progress. Various obstacles have been implemented to make each level that little bit harder, from simple holes or gaps in the level itself, to steep curvatures, and even cannons.

However, while gravity (the same thing that makes naughty bits dangle frivolously and keeps cars stuck to the road) does add some weight to your ball, the absence of any apparent center of gravity results in your ball being able to traverse any surface, on any angle, with ease. This opens up the game to developers, allowing them to do a wealth of things with the game world. In a very similar fashion to that of Playstation 1 game Kula World, levels are designed on a central axis, which allows players to traverse up walls, and even upside-down, giving the developer many opportunities to create some truly unique levels. Itís a shame then, that Hudson didnít exploit these opportunities nearly as much as they could have, resulting in a game which, while fun, does feel slightly rushed.

The control scheme is absolutely similar to that of Monkey Ball Ė tilt the controller to manipulate the angle upon which the course lies, and let in-game physics take care of the rest. However, unlike Monkey Ball, which has a clear center of gravity ( meaning that the player will always drop in a certain direction ), in Kororinpa the Wii Remote effectively represents the level itself, so by tilting the controller, you are controlling the center of gravity. Basically, rather than just being able to tilt the level forwards, backwards, left or right, you're given a full 360 degrees of control over it, allowing the player to roll their ball across any surface. This means that the developers have the chance to design some very intricate levels.

While there are some very well designed levels in Kororinpa, there simply isnít enough of them. There are less than sixty unique levels. Sixty unique levels which are all too easy. Far too easy. In terms of sheer quantity, Monkey Ball is fairly similar, also having around sixty obvious levels. However, some of Monkey Ballís levels are absolutely rock solid, whereas there isnít a single level like this in Kororinpa. Every level has been designed to be completed by a two year-old. It generally feels like one huge tutorial Ė it has the content, but it never seems to go anywhere with it. Itís all far too easy. The crystal collecting certainly could have added a degree of difficulty to the game, however this opportunity is ignored, even abused. Even the last few levels only take a few attempts, and thatís if youíre rubbish. Hell, thatís if youíre me. Me, who canít get any more than a single star in Metroid Prime Hunters. If I can complete a game without chucking the controller at the display, itís far too easy. Thereís nothing to discuss.

Not only that, but the game doesnít support 16:9 widescreen, nor 480p resolution. To pay £34.99 for a game, and not even get 480p is disgusting in itself, however the lack of Dolby, downloadable levels or a level creator ( which should probably be standard in all puzzle games, in my opinion ) only adds vigour to the rather expensive blow.





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