Originally posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 on Blogger


Basic Information:


System: Nintendo DS
Genre: blend of ARPG with Strategic tank battles
Difficulty: Easy
Developer: TOSE
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: September 2006
Rating: E for everyone
Retail Price: $ 19.99 US ($ 24.99 CAN)


What’s It About:

You are a young slime named Rocket from the kingdom of Slimenia, and the only slime left. An evil organization named “the Plob” has kidnapped all the other slimes in the kingdom, and as the only one left, it’s up to you to save your fellow slimes from being locked away in little boxes for the rest of their lives. With the help of the legendary Schleiman tank, you may have what it takes to save the kingdom and become a hero.

Gameplay:

Rocket Slime is unique in the way it blends strategy with classic Action RPG gameplay. Most of the time you will play the game like any other ARPG; Rocket moves around each area with the control pad and attacks the enemies in real time with his electro stretch (the A button). What is unique to Rocket Slime is that Rocket can also carry his enemies on his head (along with items and other slimes he rescues). However, he is limited to only three things and will be unable to carry more. Once he is carrying something on his head, he

Hectic tank battles

can throw it onto a passing train cart and the item, enemy, or slime will be taken to Slimenia. Enemies that are picked up will also not attack Rocket anymore, but train carts are located in a few specific locations, so sometimes you will be forced to discard one thing in order to carry another. Of course like in any ARPG, Rocket can also defeat enemies. Defeated enemies will leave behind money and sometimes a healing item or a mysterious loot bag. Loot bags must be thrown onto carts, and after Rocket heads back to Slimenia, the mysterious loot will be his.

Now, one doesn’t have to grab and throw anything onto the train carts, but doing so is necessary for progression in the game. For one, it is much easier to throw a slime Rocket finds onto the cart  than backtrack to the beginning of the level to exit that way. Second, items are used in tank battles and only items transported to town can be loaded onto Rocket’s tank. So if you want to win Tank Battles and progress through the game, you are going to need to collect at least a few items. Third, if you collect enough of the same type of enemy (30 to be exact), they will offer their services as a member of your tank crew.

Now about the Tank Battles. Throughout each area there will be enemies waiting to challenge you to tank battles. You can accept or decline these offers, however there will be a few story related tank battles that you will have to win. Once you accept a Tank Battle challenge, Rocket will summon the Schleiman Tank and the versus screen will appear. Afterwards you will find Rocket inside the Schleiman tank. During a tank battle, Rocket will have to pick up the various ammo (namely the items you have loaded onto the tank) from the shoots located in your tank and carry them over to the cannons. Rocket will have to thrown the ammo into the cannon, either the top or bottom one, and then the cannon will fire the ammo. However, your opponent will be doing the same thing and your aim will be to reduce your opponent tank’s HP to zero before they do so to your Tank. Once the enemy tank’s HP hits zero, the tank will become vulnerable and Rocket will have to traverse into the enemy tank to finish it once and for all. This is accomplished by attacking the tank’s heart. Of course the enemy will be able to do the same, but what prevents this part from becoming difficult is the fact that even with zero HP, you can still win the fight as long as you keep the enemy units away from your tank’s heart (which is relatively easy given the A.I. isn’t too clever).

Strategy comes into play when choosing which units to take along with you on your tank battles; most units will have two commands you can issue to them and once issued, they will continue doing those commands. Commands range from firing ammo to sabotaging the enemy tank. Likewise each peace of ammo is different, some ammo hits strong, some gives lots of protection and some have special abilities. Deciding which to load is very important, especially during multiplayer.

Story & Characters:

Rocket Slime doesn’t take itself seriously and you can tell by looking at the colorful graphics, absurd plot, or wacky characters. Characters don’t have much of a story, but they have very distinct personalities. Some of the female slimes will hint at their romantic interest in Rocket the hero and some will outright say it. What I mean to say by this is that the characters are a varied bunch, both in appearance and responses.

Mascot of Dragon Quest and lovable hero of Rocket Slime.

The story of Rocket Slime is nothing complex or intricate, but what it lacks in intricacy, it makes up in charm. The developers knew Rocket Slime was a light-hearted adventure, so they gave the story as many absurd but funny situations as possible. The villains are never menacing, but goofy, the slimes often have puns in their names and the princess you rescue at the end is a self-centred glutton who happily tells you she is yours.

The story and characters fit very well, as does the overall feel of the game. You will know that Rocket Slime is a light charming adventure the moment you begin to play. The story and characters are there to make the package complete, but they don’t go beyond that because Rocket Slime knew what sort of game it was. Story and characters, although charming, take a back seat to gameplay, which is the real hook of Rocket Slime and the game makes no effort to hide that. This is a good thing because the funny atmosphere actually makes the game much more enjoyable, and the focus is always on the gameplay which is the strongest point of Rocket Slime.

Art & Graphics:

The art and graphics are very simple and lend well to the charming and upbeat mood of the game. They won’t wow you with their realism or detail, but they don’t need to because Rocket Slime is about pure absurd fun, and the graphics and character designs reflect that. If you play games for graphics, you won’t like Rocket Slime, but if you play games for gameplay, Rocket Slime is what you have been waiting for!

Again art is simple, but bright and clear. You will have no problem recognizing enemies and friends. Each slime has a very distinct look (ranging from angelic slimes to the three ninja brothers). Enemies are also taken from the prolific Dragon Quest (from Platypunks to Drakees) . And the bright graphics add to the wacky mood of Rocket Slime. Simple graphics and art done right is the best way to sum up what I think of Rocket Slime in this area.

I don’t usually like busy box art, but Rocket Slime is the exception. While the cover is busy, it still has a vocal point, Rocket blasting off, so I don’t find it too distracting. The busyness of the cover also captures some of the goofy and absurd fun that the game is about, which is a plus in my books.

Sound & Music:

Most of the music is light and simple. There are no majestic orchestral, or ominous tunes, but that doesn’t really matter in this game because the whole premise is about brightly packaged fun. And the music fits that description very well. It sets the mood exceptionally, even if it isn’t the best music out there. I managed to find one song from Rocket Slime on youtube that had decent sound quality. It’s the theme from the town, Boingburg, one of the most happy and light tunes. Just listen to it to get an idea of the rest of the music in Rocket Slime.

Multiplayer:

This is where Rocket Slime really shines! As far as I can tell only local wireless is supported with up to four players (two per side). Multiplayer mode pits you against your friend(s) in a Tank Battle, but before the battle starts, you and your opponent get to choose your tank (from the ones you have unlocked), the HP of each tank, and the backdrop. The ammo remains the same as the ones you have fitted onto the Schleiman Tank. Once the battle begins, hilarity insures as you and your opponent will be frantically picking up ammo and throwing it into the cannons. Once you get your opponent’s HP to zero, you must run into their Tank and deal the finishing blow. What makes multiplayer so satisfying is that playing against a human opponent is tougher and battles can last hours before one side manages to overpower the other. I frankly do not put more then 500 HP per tank, otherwise battles get too long.

One major problem with multiplayer is that both parties need the game. It can get very challenging to find even a single friend who is nearby and owns the game. In fact none of my friends have this game; only my brother has it and I was the one who bought it for him. Multiplayer is thus fun but it can be hard to find someone who has the game as well. Furthermore, multiplayer becomes open very early into the game, and while this may be a good thing, it opens the door to some very uneven match-ups. Ammo that one can only have access to near the end of the game can easily decimate a Tank equipped with ammo from earlier in the game. Thankfully because the multiplayer mode is only local wireless, you can easily tell your friend that he or she had or has an unfair advantage and they better make it up to you (via HP decreasing/increasing).

My Thoughts & Recommendations:

Rocket Slime is a very fun game. The story is plain but humorous, the characters are wacky, and the graphics are bright and vibrant. Although the game isn’t too challenging, it is still a good deal of fun and can be enjoyed by players of all levels. If you know someone with a DS, make them buy this game with you; multiplayer is more then worth the 24.99 CAN. You may even find yourself having quite a bit of fun as you proceed through the main single player mode in order to unlock more ammo and tanks. Likewise, those who finish the main story will find lots to do after the credits roll. First there is a little bit of the story still left to finish, a few quests from the town’s slimes, monster & ammo collecting, Tank Masters, and multiplayer of course. All-in-all, for such a low price, Rocket Slime packs a lot of value.

I was a little disappointed that there was no gender choice involved. However, since I was playing as a little blue blob, I often fancied that Rocket was a she. The pronouns used to address Rocket brought me back to reality, but it was still fun pretending Rocket was a little girl slime out her save her town. It was especially funny when the female slimes would proclaim their love to Rocket, whom I christened a girl. So Rocket slime does have a bit of role playing if you want to imagine yourself as a little blue slime.

Conclusion:

Pros: Cons:
-Charming story & characters
-Music fits the mood of the story
-Bright & colourful graphics
-Tank battles are very fun
-Multiplayer is even more fun!
-Art is cute
-Boxart captures the feel of the game very well
-Keeps the Dragon Quest references even
though it’s a spin-off (how certain monsters talk)
-Lacks gender choice (not a really big deal)
-Some of the music can get annoying
-Multiplayer is multi-cart only

Overall a very fun game. Highly recommended

–SW

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