Saturday, February 21, 2009

Game Guys Review "Big Bang Mini" for the Nintendo DS

Big Bang Mini is the latest offering from Southpeak Interactive for the Nintendo DS. The game is fun, but describing why is difficult. It's similar as to how Katamari Damacy and Fantavision are fun for some reason, though you can't quite put your finger on why. The overall concept of Big Bang Mini is to fire firework-like projectiles from the bottom screen at enemies on the top screen by flicking your stylus in the direction you want to aim while at the same time protecting your little spaceship (also on the bottom screen). And...well...that's about it. I guess you can say it's the next evolution of classic top-down flying shooters like 1984.

The music and graphics in this game can only be described as quirky but good. Each world (level) is set in a different real-life area (ie: Taiwan, New York, Paris, etc.) with a different piece of background music and a different overall aesthetic to match. Each world has nine stages and a boss battle at the end. Once the boss of the world is defeated, the next world is available for play. The final world, though, isn't someplace you can easily travel to on this earth..."The Abyss".

Throughout Big Bang Mini, the standard straight-shot projectile will be your basic weapon, though upgrades such as the weaker-than-your-normal-shot homing missiles that are unlocked later in the . To add an additional challenge to the game, if your projectile hits a side of the screen instead of an enemy, it explodes like a firework, dropping small bits of fallout. It must be avoided like enemy fire, lets your ship gets destroyed. I suppose it's to discourage "spam" firing.

There are negatives, though. To move your ship, you put your stylus onto it and drag it somewhere else. If you are flicking the stylus to send up projectiles, but you touch your ship, the game will assume you're trying to shift your ship's position, and will cancel the fire of the projectile you were trying to shoot -- probably not good if you're trying to beat the level. Also, despite the aesthetics changing, the game can at times seem a little repetitive.

Overall, Big Bang Mini is rather engaging and entertaining. And while it can get repetitive if played for a while and accidentally moving your ship into danger or misfiring in an odd direction is a pain, the pluses outweigh the minuses in this title.

Big Bang Mini is rated "E for Everybody" by the ESRB and our final Game Guy Grade is "B+".

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