Can Ethan measure up to the likes of Speedy Gonzalez and the Rescuers, or is his debut adventure simply a Mickey-Mouse affair?
I believe it was Scottish poet Robert Burns who said, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often lead to mediocre Vita titles”. Granted, that might not be the exact quote, but in the case of Studio Seaven’s Ethan: Meteor Hunter, it does seem somewhat appropriate
Originally released last October for PC and PS3, the astronomical adventure stars the anthropomorphic rodent, Ethan, who acquires psychic abilities after a run-in with a glowing meteor. These powers allow him to freeze time and levitate objects using only his mind – an intriguing conceit that serves as the game’s primary mechanic.
With the exception of a stilted introductory cutscene that swiftly sets up our hero’s telekinesis and meteoric crusade, there is little story to be found here. Instead, the focus is placed squarely on gameplay – a blend of brutal twitch platforming and perplexing puzzle-solving. Unfortunately, due to persistent control issues and some confusing design choices, the resulting experience fails to excel in either area.
This is not to say that this side-scrolling squeak-’em-up is awful by any stretch of the imagination. It provides over fifty levels of solid puzzle-platforming, whose bite-sized stages are well-suited for playing on the go.
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Rob Gisbey is a games journalist and music production graduate from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. To listen to his acoustic demo, read his articles and listen to the VxM Videogames Podcast head to his blog.