I’ve been told plenty of times to Grow Up! In general, it seems if you find childlike humour in anything, this is the phrase that will get thrown at you. It’s also tied to what you deem as fun. If you are supposed to be adulting and still play in a treehouse… People will most likely tell you to grow up. It sucks that there are certain things that we are supposed to like in certain age groups. The moment you enter that age group, you are supposed to leave your “idea of fun” at the door and adapt to the new idea of fun. You don’t like it? Grow Up!
It’s been a tough week for me. Emotionally. From the very common feeling a lot of people experience of being alone to the big questions like what is my purpose in life? It’s funny how sometimes these thoughts can be swift and other times they haunt you. Like a displeased audience these thoughts BOOO your every attempt at getting things together. No roses or underwear being thrown at you. No, the crowd is displeased and you need to somehow win them over again. So, to ease my mind a bit I went through my game library to try and find some mindless fun. Something silly. Something pretty. Something different. During this hunt, I stumbled upon this game called Grow Up! I wondered if this little red robot would be able to latch onto me and sweep me off my thoughtful feet… fingers crossed.
If M.O.M had a score of 12 096 and you a score of an egg (yes, that’s zero), would you still eagerly nod your head when asked if you want to play another game? This just immediately allowed for my mind to say it’s OK to switch off and just get into some plain and simple fun. I mean, if this was any of us (even if its only tic tac toe) we would’ve rage quit so hard after the first few times our backsides got handed to us. If we got asked if we wanted to play another game, our excitement would probably lean the other way. Unfortunately, their games were cut short by a fast approaching meteor storm.
Shipwrecked and alone, B.U.D stares off into the distance of a strange new world. Remember those old string collapsing toys? Man, I remember my first one I got. It was a dog on a little black platform. If you pressed certain areas on the platform certain areas of the dog would collapse. Back in the day, this was amazing fun. You would check the moves some people could string together and you would spend some time trying to perfect your own moves, so that you could also go around impressing people. Needless to say, this was the first thing that came to mind when I started moving BUD around. I spent more time, than I’d like to admit, jerking my joystick around seeing what I could make BUD do. If that wasn’t enough, the button we all know as the plain and simple jump (A), brought me even more pleasure. With the illusion of being weightless, I jumped around with a small voice in the back of my mind singing “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky”. I tried to string a few moves together whilst in the air, but alas, that proved to be fruitless. The pointless jumping around, trying to be the best dance BUD out there wasn’t getting old, but I needed to move on.
After allowing myself to Grow Up and move on I got to experience my first interaction with a POD. A Planetary Observation Droid. The Ubisoft Reflections team found a fun way of accessing the world map, via the eyes of this POD. I really did find it quite amusing how the POD got caught off-guard when it realized that BUD can see through its eyes. The map allows for us to view points of interest, ability locations for example, and let you set a way point to it. Setting the waypoint really does take some time getting used to. I feel that they could have done a better job here, by adding some sort of pointer to the screen… Am I really the only person unable to set a waypoint on first try here? But wait, there’s more! Here you also get to change BUDs suits! Not only does this give us a fresh look for BUD, but also a unique ability with each new suit. For instance, jump into the Ninja suit and enjoy added stealth and bounciness!
The Ubisoft Reflections team did an excellent job at making you feel part of the game. Simply by allowing more manual grunt work with the buttons. The climbing of objects took me by surprise as I had to LB, RB, LB, RB to get up them. It’s pretty cool that I control each hand and the movement of them up and down. Sometimes tiring as I climb a very tall object. But climbing supposed to be tiring, isn’t it? I’ve already talked about movement but want to praise the fluency of how fast you can move if you find the rhythm to left and right when you climb and well-timed jumps as you traverse the world. You can become the ultimate speed demon, but be careful when you jump from floating land to floating land as you might find yourself unable to stop which leads to falling and having to climb that very same object over again.
There is a blockingly good feel to the environment. In this plant rich planet, you will find lots of bugs and animals which appear harmless… can you imagine my surprise should one of them decide to attack me? And it seems the only true round objects you’ll find in this game are confused eyes staring at you. It’s a perfect fit for your 3D platformer type of game. A bit of old, with a bit of new. With the help of BUDs Floradex 3000, you’ll be able to clone 24 distinct plant species that will help with bouncing, shooting and catapulting to that faraway place you need to be. The gigantic star plants on this planet is… well, out of this world. You need to steer pods of these plants to energy sources for the star plant to grow and ultimately reach the moon. The steering of these pods takes some time to get used to. I realised this when I jumped on my first one, steering it into absolutely every direction just to end up in the middle of nowhere.
I’m happy I fired this game up. Is this something that would keep me glued to the TV for extended periods of time? Sadly not. It’s a nice little escape, but with any escape you end up longing for home again. I can see myself jumping into this game for a quick hunt for an ability or two. Or maybe just try and get a few telerouters up and running. Which allows for fast travel between locations. For myself this game is a perfect “short run” game. However, I can certainly see why some people can’t get enough of this game and definitely interested to see what the Ubisoft Reflections team throws at us next!
Have you played this yet? What’s your view on this game?