A review by Jeremy Hardin
Developer – Nintendo/KeysFactory
Publisher – Nintendo
Version – 3DS eShop
Time Spent Playing – 14 hours
Price – $6.99
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Nintendo of America
Legend has it that long ago Ketzal, the god of creation, made the sacred shrines. But Koruptal, the god of destruction, stole the source of Ketzal’s power, his hearts. Xolo, Ketzal’s loyal servant, sensed Koruptal’s presence and summoned the mighty guardians to confront him. Xolo and the guardians were defeated. Koruptal broke the spirit world into three lands, cast the guardians out, and scattered Ketzal’s hearts. After that, Koruptal vanished and the lands fell into chaos and disarray. Many years passed and now Xolo has decided to gather the guardians once again (with your help) and try to defeat Koruptal, once and for all, thus awakening Ketzal and restoring order and peace to the spirit world.
Gameplay and Controls
This is where you, the player, comes in. Set across three different lands, players assume control over the guardian from each land. Each guardian has a distinct shape. Every level is on-rails, so as you are pushed forward through the level, you will comes across walls with distinct shapes cut out of them. The goal of each level is to rotate your guardian to fit through the hole in each wall, before you crash into the wall. The real challenge comes when you are having trouble rotating to the correction position, because you have roughly 3 seconds to get it right or you lose. Combined with the timer on each level, you will experience quite a challenge at times. At first, the levels aren’t that difficult, but this will change at a fairly moderate pace. Eventually, you will be enjoying the challenges and the victories that come your way. Most levels have about 20 walls each, this number does fluctuate from time to time as the game goes on.As you busy yourself rotating and flipping, you must also collect the hearts you see in order to unlock the map, gaining access to later levels. Now, if you happen to explore the map and look at all the locked levels, you will see the unlock requirements of each. Some of which state you have to beat ‘x’ level first, but the major component is that you must collect 5,000 hearts before moving on to later levels. Okay, so 5,000 hearts, that’s a lot right? Yes and no. While there is no way you can collect 5,000 hearts one at a time, you can however earn them by performing ‘tricks’. Tricks are essentially combos and the major move in particular is that if you can match your shape to fill every empty spot in a hole, you will collect all the hearts, even the ones you didn’t physically touch. In addition, for every consecutive heart or hearts you collect as you pass through the walls, you will be rewarded with a combo multiplier. So as long as you keep up the trick and the combos, you are sure to reach the 5,000 + mark with a little time and effort.
In addition to the main story mode, you also have access to a few other areas in each of the three lands. First up is the Shrine of Beginning. The Shrine is used to teach you all the positions you can rotate in and allows you to practice through them all at your own pace. Then, there is the Tower of Training, now this is a fun distraction. The first level has you matching ten shapes as you travel up a tower. The same 3 second timer applies here per wall. The second level has you matching 10o shapes, talk about a challenge, in the last few tiers, the 3 seconds drops down to 2! Finally, the third level goes on forever, supposedly and you keep going as long as you can. The goal here is not only to complete the challenges, but to do so in a record time, thus earning medals. The medals and record times are also attainable in every level of the main story mode as well. One final note on gameplay, multiplayer. You can play multiplayer over local wireless or by sharing the 3DS with someone else. In sharing the 3DS, one person using the d-pad to rotate and the other uses the face buttons. The only mode available is “Side by Side” which is a shape matching race. Over local wireless, you can compete in either a “Tower Trial” or a “Ruin Run”. As you can see, there are several reasons to come back and play time and time again.
Now that I have explained how it all works, I want to go back and very briefly introduce you to the 3 guardians you will be controlling. Then, it’s on to controls.
As you can see in the image above, King Prana is the first world guardian, King Leo second and King Croco the third. The Hootzil Bros are part of the side levels and they are some of these most challenging to work with. Looking at King Prana, you can tell he doesn’t have much of a shape to him so there isn’t too much of a challenge when rotating him to the correction position. After King Prana, all bets are off, but in a good way!Alright, so the controls are very easy and straightforward. You can only rotate your guardian in 5 different directions. Press A to rotate to the left one turn, Y to rotate to the right. Press B to rotate backward and X to rotate forward. Your last move is to press R which will rotate your guardian sideways in a clockwise direction. By pressing and holding L you can increase you rate of speed which allows you fly through the level quicker, this is helpful in breaking record times. That’s all there is to the controls, it’s really quite easy to grasp.
Concluding Overall Impressions