My favourite thing about this game is the title.
Brought to the PSN store by London based Mediatonic as a PSP and PS3 compatible Mini this game is a little bewildering, maybe it was due to my playing it on a big TV which made it look a little tatty, but it just feels like the kind of game you find in a programming competition.
The protagonist of the piece is the enigmatic ‘Duke’, looking like a Sesame Street Dracula you control The Duke across 24 upwardly scrolling levels as you chase down the Monsters of the title. Even though the levels have a variation in look and layout the method stays the same. Keep jumping upwards, building a combo meter for each platform you consecutively touch, hit the same platform twice and the combo resets.
The faster you jump, the sooner you catch up to the Monster of the level, once you catch them you need to double jump into them three times, each hit makes the monster run ahead of you which turns it into a desperate race, because if the monster reaches the top of the area alive, then you will be starting again. There are also some variations to how The Duke takes down the monster depending on the combo level you reach when the final blow is landed.
Rinse and repeat for the rest of the game, there is little incentive to progress once you know what is in store and for all its charm the title just does not hold any value for money. The purists amongst you may see this game as an opportunity to replay each of the levels and lift that combo score to Godlike levels, most of you will not.
The graphics are 2d and pleasantly cartoon like, however I imagine it looks best on a PSP screen as stretching to fit a 40” TV screen gives it a few rough edges and the sound does exactly what it needs to do.
This game is going to be a reasonable time waster for the younger audience; personally it’s not for me. There isn’t enough substance to hold the attention of the average gamer for more than a couple of minutes and instead of chasing combos with The Duke I’d rather spend the money on an edible combo in a food court.
This is the first time a PSN Mini has graced my console and it would take something special to convince me another title is worth a look.