Left to Die in Zombhai Review—BoringZZzzzZZZ
When I saw the screenshots of Left to Die in Zombhai for the first time, I thought the graphics of this Mini would be hideous. The shots definitely looked like they might be from a Flash-based browser game of the mid-2000s. I was so wrong; Left to Die in Zombhai’s graphics are detailed and bordering on great. Nevertheless….
If I am not mistaken, this is the third side-scrolling non-platforming action game for the Minis lineup. Creat Studios and Sanuk Games previously ported Wackylands Boss and Twin Blades, respectively, as Minis. In fact, Twin Blades is also a zombie-killing game. Both Wackylands Boss and Twin Blades received favorable reviews from us. Despite its graphical prowess, however, Left to Die in Zombhai won’t experience the same fate.
One of the several problems with the game is its lack of charm. The nerdy, pimply, skinny character you are controlling in Left to Die in Zombhai is forgettable. And that’s not because of him being all nerdy, pimply and skinny. In fact, one of my all-time favorite video game characters is Norimaro, the Japanese version-only character in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter of the original PlayStation. The character you control in this Mini reminds me a lot of Norimaro, but my feelings toward him are not the same.
There is no story, in any form, in this game. Once you start the Story Mode, you are just thrown into a zombie-infested street, and there is no introduction presented, not even in comic panels or at least in text.
The gameplay is also broken, repetitive and not enjoyable at all. You are given the entire weapon arsenal right from the start. You don’t need to unlock or earn them. The game at its core is about pumping bullets at zombies and requires little to no strategy, unless you consider keeping a distance and shooting zombies a strategy.
There are a total of eight weapons, but I won’t list them all because if I told you what weapons you could wield, there would be nothing left in the game for you to discover. You can only possess no more than four of those weapons at a time. You can switch active weapons by using the shoulder buttons or Square. You can move with the left and right directional buttons, but you can’t use the analog nub. You can shoot with X, and you can mix it up by pressing the the left or right buttons while shooting, but there is truly no difference at all. You are just shooting while moving in the pressed direction—the game bothered to list it in the Help menu, so I took the liberty to relay it, too. You can unleash melee attacks with O, but it’s not effective at all and does not serve any purpose but to endanger yourself. A foot attack can be used by pressing Triangle. It pushes a single zombie right in front of you if things go awry. The up and down buttons are used in climbing ladders, upon finishing a sewer level and ascending to the streets and vice versa. You can also access the ammo store and the weapon stash by pressing up if you pass by them.
There are three kinds of zombies: the regular ones, the bloated ones and the giant zombies wielding butcher knives, listed in ascending order of difficulty to kill.
The art is commendable, but the level design is nothing to get excited about; you simply repeat a loop of street-sewer-street backdrops. I tried to wait for the game to improve, but it didn’t. Playing it is a chore, the entire game being about pumping out bullets, reloading, buying ammunition, shooting zombies, diving into the sewers, climbing to the streets, rinse and repeat. In the later levels, a new kind of enemy is introduced, but it would be too late, I suppose, as players would probably have abandoned this game in the third cycle of the street-sewer infinite loop.
I finished the Story Mode at the most difficult setting. I couldn’t believe it myself. I was surprised. You are treated to a short animation of your character coming out of the sewer into the sunny green hills as the ending. And then you unlock the run-on-the-mill Survival Mode. Would you really want to replay the game after all I’ve said?
One good thing about Left to Die in Zombhai, aside from the above-average graphics, is its sound effects, arguably the best in the Minis lineup. Still, the game locks up, freezes and resets my PSP. It might be my old PSP’s fault or the game’s. So, consider this technical hiccup if you still have cravings to purchase this game.
There is no room for haphazardly done games in the Minis program, since the Minis of late are amazingly done or ported. Left to Die in Zombhai feels like it is an unfinished mess that is a waste of your time and money. Even with a price drop or a sale, this game won’t justify every penny spent.