Saturday, February 24, 2007

Kororinpa: main levels completed?

Kororinpa is a tray maze game, where you have to guide the ball through the maze by tilting the level. Obviously, towards the end the protective walls disappear and the walkways get thinner.

I've played this for a total of two hours and 39 minutes, and I've already gone through the 45 main levels, and then played through the 12 secret levels I'd unlocked. I have a feeling I've not unlocked levels 46-50, and secret levels 13-15, since there are blocks on the board.

Still, this isn't a game where the objective is to get through the levels. I've set a few best times on some levels, with five or six gold cups and a smattering of silvers. I've collected most of the green gems (which unlock secrets), and unlocked a lot of different balls to use. Some of these are really hard to use - like the planets or the galaxy, and especially the rugby ball. Ouch.

The levels are really well designed. Unlike Super Monkey Ball, there's no limit as to the amount you can tilt the stage - although if it's upside-down then it goes a bit glitchy. As long as you can control your movements, you can rescue just about anything. Consider, for example, Advanced 15 on the original Super Monkey Ball. If the monkey went too far down the zig-zag, and didn't take the corner tightly enough, then there was no way of recovering it. That wouldn't happen here. Indeed, one of the earlier levels is set on a semi-circular cake, and you can effectively travel along the side if you're careful enough.

This lack of consistent gravity leads to some really clever mazes, where you must use a corner to get onto a different side and keep the controller tilted that way for the next part of the level. Some of the later levels get really complex like this, with frequent jumps having to be landed by twisting the controller. I had a job keeping track of where I was sometimes; I dread to think how hard it was for the level designers.

It's not a perfect game, by any means. It does seem really short, although the fact that any level can be replayed as a time trial, and there are a number of secrets to unlock, does extend it somewhat. My save file is on 62%, and I think it'll be a lot harder to get it above that than it was to get it there - gold cups in particular are tricky to get. I've found most of the green crystals though.

Oh, and one last annoying thing - it doesn't use the pointer functionality of the Wii remote at all. No, not even for the menus.

How annoying.

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