Revoltin’ Youth Review—Viva la Revolución
The third title to be released by Irish developer Open Emotion Studios, puzzle/platform game Revoltin’ Youth is much like the 1992 hit classic The Lost Vikings. Instead of Vikings, though, you control three youngsters who set out to stop “Big Wig,” an evil advertiser who is brainwashing their city. Badger, Cole and Kamiko each have their own special abilities which will help in the solving of any puzzles and the crushing of any evil minions you will inevitably stumble across in your attempt to stop Big Wig.
You start the game playing with just Badger, the graffiti artist who can activate switches and even create hang gliders with his spray can. As you progress, you will meet Cole, who uses his strength and size to overcome obstacles, and Kamiko, who is much more agile than her teammates. With each character’s strengths also come weaknesses; for instance, Kamiko can be used to get to hard to reach areas but is weak and therefore unable to take much damage at all, whereas Cole is the opposite. He is strong and can take more damage before dying, but he is also slow and cumbersome, almost unable to jump. It certainly is fun trying to figure out how to get your team to overcome certain obstacles or tasks throughout the levels, although some levels are easier than others. This would probably have to be one of very few complaints that I have about Revoltin’ Youth, that a few of the levels are too short or too easy. Although there are over fifty levels, if they had put a few of the levels together to make one, they would still have had a fair amount. There are several different areas that you will progress through, from a docking district, to the city and even out into a nature park.
The control scheme is typical of most platform games on the PSP. To jump, you use the X button; the L and R are used to switch between the characters; and, the Square is the action button. The only complaint I have with the controls is the fact that they have made absolutely no use of the analog stick, which I found extremely frustrating. They could easily have used the analog to explore the level around your characters to get a better feel for your surroundings. There were many times when I felt that if they had made it possible to look around the vicinity of your player, it would certainly have helped to avoid a few pitfalls.
In version 1.0 of Revoltin’ Youth,there were a few occasions when I encountered some glitches in gameplay; for instance, when I reached a checkpoint (which will resurrect any teammate you may have lost before this point), the player it brought back would instantly die as soon as they appeared on the screen. I also found the collision detection was a little off, with projectiles damaging or killing your character when they clearly should have passed overhead, or a spiked ceiling that, instead of passing beneath you, killed you instantly. This doesn’t happen a lot from what I noticed, but it does put a slight damper on the game. In fact, most of the problems seemed to occur with Kamiko, even just climbing down walls—on occasion, she won’t grip the wall, which generally causes her to fall to her death. Open Emotion Studios did remove the game briefly from the PlayStation Store to fix some bugs; unfortunately, all these particular bugs are still present in version 2.0, which leads me to think they haven’t actually done anything for these issues.
Even with these slight problems, Revoltin’ Youth is a very absorbing game, and although most of the puzzles are far from mind-bending, it is still a very fun and rewarding experience. The graphics are great, with the characters looking distinctive, and even the people who look doped up are quite amusing . . . although I’m not too sure what was with the bears. You’ll also face a nice variety of enemies in the game that look pretty cool, from ninja robots with afros to gorilla bots and even evil robotic handymen who throw hammers at you. Strangely enough, most of the enemies, if not all, are robots. The game also contains some great cutscenes that are done really well, which you can watch again from the Extras option on the main menu screen. The BGM fits the game perfectly, although there were a few points where I could swear I had heard the same music from a Scion car commercial. The rest of the sound effects feel as though they could have been taken straight from an 8-bit platform game, which helps give the game a bit of a retro vibe.
Revoltin’ Youth packs a reasonable 50+ levels, an awesome soundtrack and a brilliant pixel-art graphics style. If you’re a fan of puzzle/platform games, you could do much worse than this, and for less than £2, it is definitely worth taking a look at.