Mercury Meltdown Remix PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

A blob of liquid metal may not sound very interesting, but Mercury Meltdown Remix shows the world that the titular mercury can add as much personality to a game as a small fluffy animal. Perhaps it’s the appealing cel-shaded visuals or the charismatic movements of your blob, but the contents of a thermometer does somehow manage to bounce out of a colour-filled screen.

The striking visuals are a sharp contrast from the original PSP games rather cold and drab look, yes the developers have opted for a brighter, less realistic and much friendlier appearance instead. It’s an approachable visual style that might prove an attraction for some, but it’s the puzzle-filled and stupidly addictive gameplay that will surely warrant the attention of most.

To put weight behind the added Remix to the title, this PS2 version has exclusive levels, resulting in the level count now passing 200, whilst improvements to the camera controls – thanks to the Dual shock’s second stick – makes things that little bit easier.

Like the PSP original you control your mass of mercury through varied stages, and your objective is to keep as much liquid as possible whilst trying to hit the finish line under par time to earn yourself a nice amount of extra points.

If every level was a Roman road with nothing to stop you in your path to the finish line, then the game would probably get boring after, oh…level one. Fortunately there’s many obstacles to hinder your attempts at not only meeting the finishing line under par time, but reaching the end of the stage at all. There’s colour-mixing puzzles that must be completed to progress, narrow ledges that must be passed through, Mercoid’s and other enemies meanwhile provide your mercury with some organic obstacles, whilst moving platforms and pendulums challenge your timing. These are just a few of the lab contents that are often the difference between reaching the end of the stage and complete failure.

It’s a satisfying game when you sweat out a really touch stage and reach the chequered line, especially if all your mercury remains intact and/or you collect all the bonuses that score you additional points and contribute to unlocking party games. It can be somewhat tense as you navigate your blob through some tricky paths and obstacles, and due to the often difficult stages, frustration can also overwhelm you at times, and as a result you may put your Dual Shock down, but given time you‘ll return to its delights, as it does little to really spoil your enjoyment.

Those earlier mentioned party games are an interesting bunch, although sadly the opportunity to play in multiplayer has been entirely removed, despite being an option on the older PSP version. Nevertheless, the Party games include a twist on rodeo, a colour matching puzzle game, and blob time trial racing amongst others. They’re a nice enough diversion from the main game, but multiplayer would have made them even more appealing.

Mercury Meltdown is a fantastic sequel, and thanks to its exclusive content and improved controls, it‘s even better on Sony‘s larger machine. You’ll be as frustrated as you are addicted as you progress through the game. This may not necessarily be a good concoction of feelings, although it’s such a great game, that the damage to your Dual Shock and your new existence as a blob of mercury is all worth it in the end!

8/10

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