Mobot Studios- Steam/Wii U (version tested) – Out Now
Paper Monsters Recut is a cutesy platformer in the ever increasingly popular paper art style. Like the best platformers, there’s little to nothing in way of storyline, other than the cardboard box-y looking protagonist rescuing his animal fiends which have been turned into monsters, and try and bring harm to our hero. That’s just one of many homages to classic platform games. You’ll notice all sorts of nods to classics from Super Mario to Sonic the Hedgehog. Right at the title screen you’ll spot similarities with Sony’s Little Big Planet series, too. From the level and character design, right the way through to the music, it shares the same style as the Sackboy starring games. The soundtrack in particular has that wonderfully chilled out atmosphere that’s present throughout LBP, as well as the wit, which were it not for lack of a level customisation option, and Stephen Fry, you be forgiven for thinking this was a version of Little Big Planet.
Paper Monsters Recut is classic platform gaming. It’s your typical side scrolling fare, with plenty of collectables, meaning there’s reason to revisit each level if you don’t get all pick ups in the first instance. In each level there’s three gold paper clips and a gold button to find. These all contribute to your progression throughout the game, unlocking new stages as well as bonus levels. Speaking of the bonus levels, if you’ve seen Wreck-It Ralph, they’ll remind you of Sugar Rush, with its confectionery themed environments and upbeat poppy music. It’s also quite reminiscent of platforming ninja from the Nth dimension, Zool. In fact, as already mentioned, think of a platform game you’ve played prior, and you’ll probably find a part of it in here, as it’s got the 90s feel down to a tee. Even the boss fight music sounds like you’re fighting them on your Amiga back in 1995. There’s a lot a variety throughout the game to keep things from going stale, featuring wonderfully constructed environments in this delightful paper world, ranging from forests to deserts, and caves to an alien planet. Depending on the level, there’s also different abilities. In space, you’re given a jet pack and ray gun, and on some of the snowy levels, you get a sled, and underwater, you even get to control a submarine. Although how a paper world would function under water is another thing altogether, but that would be splitting hairs! As with all platformers, it starts of relatively simple, but the further you get through, the tougher things get. However, after getting through to the last boss, it is underwhelmingly simple. The stage incorporates the moving screen style, which should add to the tension of the final boss, but once you get to face it, one blow and it’s done. Which came as quite a surprise. But as with the majority of games, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, and it’s an enjoyable one from start to finish.
If you’re a fan of old 16 bit platformers or Little Big Planet’s design, you’ll enjoy Paper Monsters Recut. It’s a charming, visually delightful 2.5D throwback to the era when the platformer was king of the consoles.