At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Screenshots
Matt Bailey Wii Ignition Entertainment Ignition Banbury 1 Here
Requirements Also on... Buy from Amazon.co.uk
2 Blocks PSP (as MM), PS2 (as MM Remix) Click here to buy Mercury Meltdown Revolution.

Mercury Meltdown Revolution review

It's quite strange to be reviewing what is fundamentally the same game across three different platforms. Each game was released separately, and each comes with their own tweaks and additions, justifying three reviews. It's rather like reviewing Resident Evil 4, which has transitioned from the GameCube to PlayStation 2 and, as of last Friday, to Wii. While shooting zombies using something you can point and aim with might seem a logical progression, no transition to the Wii feels more natural than in the case of Mercury Meltdown Revolution. In fact, this is evidenced by the fact that while a lot of publishers are now jumping on the bandwagon with regards to Nintendo's platform, Ignition actually announced this just after (an admittedly very successful) launch. The most likely reason is this; Mercury was always designed for motion sensing.

Back in the days of developing the original Archer Maclean's Mercury, there were plans to release a motion-sensing device for the PSP to allow control of the game through tilt. Alas, it never came to fruition (specialist peripherals are traditionally not very successful anyhow), but it is clear from the implementation on the Wii that is was always meant to be. Mercury Meltdown Revolution features one of the most natural implementations of the Wii Remote's abilities, and does so without being developed by Nintendo themselves.

So, is there a revolution in Mercury Meltdown Revolution? Well, admittedly, there's little truth in the title. The game is essentially a port of the PS2's Mercury Meltdown Remix, which I recently reviewed, but it's that shift in control scheme that really makes the difference. While it's not doing anything radically different from the PS2 edition, it does make a couple of important display changes: it now supports both widescreen and progressive scan (480p). While they may only be issues for those with high-end televisions (although widescreen is fairly common), they are features many wanted before, and were missing in the previous port. As I said earlier, the game was originally built for the PSP's 16:9 screen, so the inclusion of the option is most welcome, and makes the viewing angle feel comfortable once more. Why this wasn't included in Remix I don't know, but I'm glad it's here.

If you want to know more about the fundamentals of this game, I recommend you read either the Remix review, or the one for the original, as nothing has changed here at all. As I've said above, a couple of important issues, widescreen and progressive scan support, have been addressed, but some from the PS2 remain. The number of levels and the rate of unlocking extras is still somewhat of an issue, but progression is often quicker, with the game arguably easier with the new controls. Those extras, however, still feel relatively useless with the continued lack of multiplayer. While the motion sensing may make them a bit more enjoyable, the lack of multiplayer support seems even more out of place on the Wii, a console whose focus seems to be about bringing people together to play. Again, inclusion of even a competitive time trial mode would have been good.

At the end of the day, though, Revolution exceeds Remix because of its control scheme. Ignition have managed to make motion sensing controls seem right; they are natural and quite importantly they make the game accessible to all, another vital aspect of the Wii philosophy. The gauge of the motion is spot-on, with a helpful icon indicating how the Wii Remote is positioned before you begin each level. If you're not convinced, then they've even thrown in a Classic Controller option, adopting controls similar to the PS2 edition, though you're unlikely to need this in what is probably the best third-party usage of the Remote so far.

Ratings

Graphics The new visual style may not be popular with some fans of the original, but it's bright and bold colours provide a more mass-appeal design. However, while the animation might be good, the graphics don't work so well on the big screen as they did on the PSP, but at least there's 16:9 and 480p support. 8/10
Gameplay Enjoyable, addictive, and sometimes frustrating. The motion-driven controls are spot-on, and deliver a natural and accessible experience. The fact that all frustration is because of you not the controls is testament to this. 10/10
Value There's a lot included in the package, though some may not like paying full price for a puzzle title, particularly one without multiplayer. 8/10
Lifespan There are over 150 levels here, ready to steal your time. However, the lack of multiplayer is disappointing, particularly on a platform where this would be most natural. 8/10
Audio The soundtrack is fine, but its repetitiveness can get annoying over time. 6/10
Overall At the heart of Mercury Meltdown Revolution is the excellent puzzle game seen before, but this time the translation has fared very well, thanks to an excellent implementation of motion sensing that was always meant for this series. 9/10

Click here to buy Mercury Meltdown Revolution from Amazon.co.uk.

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