Review by SneakTheSnake

"A so-so shmup"

The amount of shoot-'em-ups on the PSP can be counted on a person's fingers and toes. R-Type, one of the kings of the genre, appears on the PSP - as a strategy game. What we're left with is Platypus, a low-budget, rather by-the-numbers experience. There's nothing inherently bad about this game at all; nothing's broken, nothing's out of place. It's simply a game which, though one of the few of its kind, hardly stands out on its own as a good product.

There's hardly anything remarkable about Platypus, though I can say that the one thing the game has going for it is its graphics. The aesthetic of Platypus reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon, or even Fantasy Zone; it's one of the more colorful games in the PSP's library, featuring stark greens, blues and yellows for the models and backgrounds. The backdrops are cheery and, while not chock-full of personality, were clearly handled with care. This nice aesthetic is probably all because it's a claymation game. Haven't heard one of one of those in a while, huh? If that doesn't make a game's graphics unique these days, I don't know what would.

However, the rest of the game is so tepid, it's hard to remark on anything else truly notable about it. There are no systems in place to make this side-scroller stand out. Upgrades pop up every now and then for shooting consecutive rows of enemies, and these stick around until your ship's shot down - as a one-hit kill, of course. The upgrades are not customizable as they are in other shmups, but they can help boost firepower. Bosses occasionally show up, and these, beyond their appearance, act the exact same way as a boss would in any other shooter. Platypus is been there, done that material.

If that doesn't bother you, then Platypus might be a good pick; after all, it is still a functional and competent product. With games like LittleBigPlanet 2 and Blast Works, we know it's possible for shooters to be invigorated with new and innovative gameplay ideas, but Platypus is behind the curve. It's old school in its gameplay and is just about as difficult as its ancestors. I may have just been holding my expectations too high; either way, if you're looking for a shoot-'em-up that holds back on the bells and whistles and focuses solely on old-school gameplay, then this confusingly-titled game might be up your alley.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 01/24/11

Game Release: Platypus (US, 11/17/06)


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