While it’s true that Mutant Mudds made its way to the 3DS first (receiving a great reception from press and gamers alike), the definitive edition it was not – lucky for us Vita owners though, as developer Renegade Kid has delivered just such an edition in Mutant Mudds Deluxe. With twenty new ghost levels as well as all the goodness contained in the original, this is sure to be the one to get…. or is it? Let’s have a look.
Mutant Mudds Deluxe throws you into a world where you play as Max, a young kid equipped with a water gun and a jetpack. One day (while Max is playing video games) a meteor hits, Mutant Mudds emerging from the impact crater. Seeing as how Max is the only one equipped, it’s up to him to get rid of all the Mudds – so he sets out to collect the Water Sprites he needs for the job.
The player must navigate through 2D worlds, encountering Mudds that you use your water gun to kill. There are many different types of Mudds, each with different strengths and weaknesses; some you might have to crouch to kill, while others may have a shield you have to get behind to be able to shoot. This variety in enemy design is what keeps you thinking about your next move – especially since a wrong move could cost you a heart, and in the beginning you’ve only got three to lose. This balance of risk and reward is what drives you, and what makes the game such a successful throwback to the retro years.
By using your jetpack you can hover over things such as spikes or enemies in your way, but this hover effect will only last for a brief amount of time. Good news though; if you collect enough coins you can go to the level select screen, enter Grandma’s Attic and upgrade your gun or jetpack to better help you against the Muddy invasion. The only catch to this upgrade system is that you can only have one of the three abilities equipped, so choose wisely.
One of the key features that probably worked quite well on 3DS was the ability to jump between layers. This mechanic can drastically change how you approach new things, as the camera doesn’t change but your character can look much further away or very close. When Max is up close it’s much harder to see when an enemy is going to appear, thus making you have to react sooner or just move slower. This would be a bad thing if this was how the game was always viewed, but luckily this works perfect for what Renegade Kid was trying to do. This layer jumping feature offers you a unique challenge that changes how you play the game. All the levels have this feature and you have to be very careful when deciding to jump to another layel. If there’s an enemy on the other side when you jump you can take damage so time your jumps perfectly.
The game starts off quite easily but in no time picks up to be actually quite a challenge. This can be good or bad depending on what type of gamer you see yourself as, but for me it was a warm welcome to what classic style gaming is all about. Each level is designed in a similar format, you spawn in and make your way through the level collecting coins, killing or avoiding mudds, jumping between layers, and eventually collecting the Water Sprite to end the level.
There are also hidden doors that require you to follow a certain path to get into them. These doors bring you to a new level to find another Water Sprite and are typically harder than the level you were just in.
As for the controls, the game uses very little button control – the only real inputs you need to worry about being those for running, jumping, and shooting. Moving is simple you can either use the analog stick or the D-pad. Jumping can be done with either the ‘x’ button or the ‘o’ button. To activate your jetpack for hovering just hit the jump button while in air. Now one of the most important buttons would be shooting your water gun. By hitting the square or triangle button you can shot your gun. Very simple game control wise but they still manage to make this game a challenge.
Renegade Kid has done a fantastic job with the graphics. Just as vibrante and colorful as Super Mario World on SNES, and still just using a few colors they were able to make things pop perfectly on the Vita’s screen. Although this is not going to blow you away like what Killzone Mercenary or Tearaway did. This doesn’t take away from how great Mutant Mudds Deluxe looks on the Vita however, it’s simply a classic look that fits the game well and does so without taxing the system too much.
Mutant Mudds Deluxe is meant to be a classic feeling game, so being as they’re going for that look they should go for the sound as well. That’s exactly what they do here, as the sound in this game is wonderful. The gun effects, music, jump sounds, and coin collection effects all sound like a classic NES game, which in turn really makes you feel right at home with this retro-styled title.
If classic NES style games are what you look for (and you don’t mind a very difficult challenge), then Mutant Mudds Deluxe is the game for you. Renegade Kid really brings out that classic feeling, and with a ton of levels to go through you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.