WackyLands Boss Review—DESTRUCTION!
Most of the time, in video games, we are put into a situation that requires us to be the good guy, the one that saves the day and the one who slays the horrible-looking monsters. Well, the tired old Beowulf days are over, because in WackyLands Boss, you can be the Grendel, for a fresher point of view.
WackyLands Boss is an action-adventure game, and it is a port from the iPhone. The Square button of my PSP is currently wobbly. If I had played this Mini on the iPhone, the touchscreen, for sure, would already be busted.
This Mini reminds me of the PS1’s Rampage World Tour (though the Rampage series started in the arcade, I wasn’t able to play the first title because I was not even born yet), in which you control a gigantic monster and wreak havoc on major cities. WackyLands Boss, however, is set in the medieval era, with all the knights, the princesses, the castles and the ninjas.
Yes, WackyLands Boss has a tongue-in-cheek approach to its storytelling, with a lot of ridiculous things going on in all directions. Though there are some corny attempts at humor, the ones that hit the mark hit it really well.
The gameplay is easy to learn. You are to traverse a level across a 2D plane with hordes and hordes of enemies. Left and right directional buttons make your monster move…well, left and right, respectively. You can roll around with the shoulder buttons in both directions. Though rolling is primarily used for defensive purposes, it can be utilized to initiate offense, too. Square is for light attacks, and X is for heavy attacks.
There is a meter that fills up to perform special moves, the RAGE bar (situated below the health bar). The more you are buried in the chaos of destroying buildings and human lives, the faster the bar builds up. The bar is divided into several blocks, and by pressing Triangle before the bar is completely filled, you unleash fire breath that incinerates enemy units on the ground. But, you can hold on to your RAGE meter for an ultimate attack (can only be used if the RAGE meter is full).
There are several kinds of enemy units, like archers, knights and swordsmen that throw bombs. There are several structures to destroy, too. And, the princesses are used like potions. Eating these damsels in distress heals your monster. At the end of a level, a common enemy unit is transformed by Merlin (’cause he looks like one) into a gigantic monster. By defeating this gigantic monster, you can earn its evolution, meaning you can acquire the monster’s “blueprint.”
The gameplay is average at best, for it’s mainly button-mashing with some minor strategies here and there. The upgrade system is what makes this game absolutely enjoyable. Each monster has a “blueprint,” or more appropriately, a canvas. It is basically the torso, because you are to choose its eyes, headgear, mouth, armor, weapons, legs and more! Each of the canvases has an inherent skill that makes it different from the others. One particular canvas adds freezing effects to the monster’s ultimate skill. In addition, you gain experience to level up. Leveling up also unlocks new items to purchase in the shop.
There are four stats to watch out for: Attack, Defense, Attack Speed and Speed. Equipment enhances these stats and is available for purchase. These sets of equipment are handled with humor from their definition to their very existence (a mortarboard is available!).
As a whole, WackyLands Boss is very enjoyable even with its repetitive nature. The gameplay may not be on par with the deep character customization and wide array of unlockables, but I find this not to be a flaw. Children will enjoy this game a lot, with its uncomplicated button-mashing bonanza. And of course, these children are wildly attracted to cute things and dress-ups. And so am I.