Crash Planets Review—Not Bad for a “Commoner”
Back when we were reviewing PlayStation Minis titles, it was a piece of work to look for screenshots of games when the developers didn’t care enough to release press kits or post images on their official websites. With the PlayStation Vita’s screen capture feature, everything is easier. However, for a far easier route, I would still prefer to just click on the PlayStation Mobile game’s link to the developer’s site to get images, as opposed to transferring the images from the Vita to my laptop, which took a longer time until I discovered recently that a Vita-PC Wi-Fi connect option does exist.
Anyways, the point of my long-winded story is that when I clicked on the link to Crash Planets’ official website, I discovered it’s Tomonori Misawa’s (the game creator) Twitter account. If I remember correctly, JeremyR once commented in one of our blog posts or forum threads about the first ever PlayStation Mobile game made by a “civilian.” And it does show, because of the Twitter profile being the official website and the game being very rough to begin with.
Also, I found from Misawa’s Twitter stream that Crash Planets received a patch back in February, so my review of this game is the current state of Crash Planets, not the original release. Still, even with the patch, the game needs further patching. There are careless game design choices in it, like having no pause menu; you have to either win in a level or lose in order to regain access to the main menu. Which is rather surprising, given that there is physical button support for this game, which we often fail to see from “big” PlayStation Mobile titles.
Crash Planets is an arcade game with a premise of planets crashing against each other. You control one of these planets, and you smash other planets until they are reduced to nothing but space dust. You can only “hurt” a planet if you are speeding faster than your opponent, as otherwise you’ll be damaged yourself. The level design is actually good, with additional spikes and other hindrances peppered along as you progress, but then you realize there are only ten levels. Or at least ten levels, since I can’t get past Stage 10! The controls are wonky, and though you have options for different control settings, none of them actually ease up the clunky mechanics.
You can use the touchscreen or the left analog stick to throw your planet across the stage. Since the sensitivity is high, though, you will have problems retaining control! The graphics are way below average, but I do think that it is because of the art direction. There seems to be careful design to it, but it’s still unpleasant to look at. However, the music is annoying and the sound effect when planets hit each other is nerve-wracking. It is just like when a toddler scrapes a fork on a porcelain plate at a family dinner!
At $0.99, it is still not worth the price, but this is not a fundamentally broken game. The game mechanics are actually fun, but the execution is visibly horrendous. Interestingly enough, Crash Planets’ Game Over music is similar to The Legend of Dragoon’s victory theme. Nostalgic, yes, but is it praise? No, that soundtrack is certainly one of the weakest in a JRPG of that era.