Welcome back, ladies and germs! Being disgustingly sick all week has crippled my throat and lungs, leaving me high and dry on streaming and podcasting. As it turns out, however, my lucrative mind and fingers still function as intended and brings us to yet another TAKEALOOKSEE! With Jason giving us the deep cuts back in its PC release in February, indie developer Splashteam’s Splasher takes to the field on Switch consoles this time around!
So, first impressions tossed right into the mix here, I got a chilling Sonic vibe from Splasher- and as I have said obnoxiously so, I have barely touched any Sonic games. I don’t know how to explain it; maybe this is what I picture a decent Sonic game to be like? To call it a Sega classic ripoff would be doing it injustice, however; this game is creative in getting your nameless, purple wigged in-need-of-a-haircut hero in getting from point A to B, with half a baker’s dozen (don’t think too hard on that) different side ventures to collect along each level.
We’re talking about a goop shooting fanatic flying along a slime factory run by the “evil” Docteur who, since no one dares put a subtitle in this game and rather do animated comics, apparently is taking janitors like our hero and injecting them with happy juice and morphing them into blobs. Why is he doing this? I would be among the majority to think it’s for vicious, Geneva-convention banned human experimentation. However, this entire game is littered with these massive balls of spiky goop; am I to believe that the improperly spelled Docteur, whose Ph.D. is anyone’s guess beyond factory architecture, is doing the same experiment over and over with exact results?
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
–Someone said Albert Einstein but who the hell knows nowadays
Let’s back it up a bit before I criticize our cigar wielding, hazmat-suited villain even further over here.
So our fella, who was once a minimum wage clean crew member, catches wind that Docteur is paying them crap wages. Also, instead of offering a 401k retirement fund, he gives them a premature and somewhat painful looking death. Going rogue (because who just quits their job nowadays), the player is tasked with surveying through the factory and saving as many of their coworkers as they can. HR is apparently a bunch of butthole robots (I’m not crazy, this screams Sonic to me) that wants nothing more than to murder you. Talk about bad press if this gets out.
So based off the pretty little picture I painted for you, you imagine a jumping champion running around a green oozing fortress of twisting gears, blobs of death, and murder machines that make Sony’s customer support like a dream, right? Stop right there, my friends, because there’s a catch where the game’s namesake comes in. Behold, you have the power of Pure Michigan Water™ to start off with, slapping foes and ooze alike to their impending doom! Also, a poop ton of other slimes you can eventually splash anywhere you go. Starting off with the hydration station pack (I made that name up, credit goes to me and me alone), you will encounter machines just spitting away red and honey-colored slime onto the walls of this 2D platform, each offering a wild casting effect on the movement of your character.
They start off with Knuckles colored-red goop, slowing standard movement on the floor but granting wall climbing and ceiling movement. Another, a highlight yellow slime this time, offers you a ridiculously high jump. So, if I were to best summarize how this game feels, I would summarize it as a Mega Man shooter with Sonic motions of flying around, wrapped in the color scheme of Splatoon. Collecting your coworkers as they spell out “SPLASH!” on your screen Donkey Kong Country style is also an invigorating sight without needing to do tedious tricks. It’s also a bit satisfying when you accidentally murder your co-worker as they plummet into a saw you were supposed to jump over. Whoops.
It’s fifteen American buckaroos over on the eShop. It’s mindless fun that offers platforming challenges that forces you to go back into thinking- usually after a horrifying death as I learned. The platforming paint/goo/slime/whatever it is can be frustrating as, for example, the bouncing material trajects whatever direction you may be moving (even if you’re leaning) and it launches you into the wilds, whether you wanted to go to your death or not. The music is a catchy techno theme, keeping you in tempo as you progress the vivaciously thrown platforms (some pop up last second just to keep you anxious). I also regret the lack of the “hold your ground and fire”, forcing you to move in the direction you’re shooting and often leaving you to choose between running from an enemy or risk falling off a platform.
It’s very clear that the developers wanted this to be a fast-paced and smooth transitioning game, especially considering there’s a speedrun mechanic built into it. In fact, I would go to say that this game lives and dies behind the idea that it needs to be done as fast as theoretically possible, leaving the slow duff platformers like me to feel rushed when I just want to sit back and shoot something that resembles the past terrors of Human Resources.
Overall, it’s a good PC-to-Switch release that will have a welcoming audience by their side. It offers a decent challenge, amazing graphics, and contemporary methods of progression that will leave a positive taste in your slime filled mouth. I’m pretty sure it’s toxic, though, so don’t swallow it.