By: Uma Smith
The team at Steel Wool Games has been known for their time and effort in the world of CG animation. If you’ve seen such films as Toy Story and Monsters University, then you’ve seen their work. Now, they have decided to take on their own project in the form of portable gaming, in particular a PlayStation Vita title called Flyhunter Origins. With such credentials behind this developer, will this be the type of game that players should be “hunting” for?
You assume control of an alien being named Zak, who is also a janitor aboard the spaceship known as the Frog. It so happens that an accident aboard this ship has led to all the giant insects being released into Earth. It is now up to Zak to take on the role as a flyhunter to clean up this mess.
At your disposal, you’ll have the swatter and ray gun to use during your task. The main goal in each level within Flyhunter Origins is to capture these large creepy crawlies that have escaped. However, you’ll have to face a diverse number of smaller insects, each having their own strengths and weaknesses to consider. Your attacks can vary from using just a few swipes of your swatter to zapping with your ray gun to dispose of your enemies.
The controls in Flyhunter Origins are adequate with responsive movement and straightforward button layout. However, the jumps do feel a bit like you’re floating while the hit detection can be pretty lacking at times. If you can forgive these shortcomings, you’ll be able to get around fairly smoothly nonetheless.
Flyhunter Origins plays out like a 2.5D platformer where you’ll have various platforms to get across, obstacles to get around or jump over and dangerous hazards to avoid. With at least 20 levels packed in this game, you’ll be venturing across various environments, including a spaceship, garden and bee hive. It’s quite diverse and helps to keep the overall experience lively. That being said, there’s not much in terms of uniqueness to help differentiate Flyhunter Origins from other games of a similar genre.
Although the gameplay can be satisfying for the most part, there are moments of frustration attached to unfair deaths. This is attributed to occasional lag that can hinder one’s accuracy when trying to get from one point of the platform to the next. Thus it is a godsend that the re-spawn system is there to alleviate the situation. Still, it’s a pity that such lagging issues exist in the first place. Luckily, the game can be enthralling and stimulating enough to get players going, despite the slight setbacks.
While the graphics appear to be attractive and sharp at first, the overall look seems to be disjointed. Upon closer examination, the character animations look surprisingly jerky while the environments have some room for improvement. Thankfully, the music tracks do compensate as they offer some science fiction impression to the overall atmosphere. As a result, the audio effects help to carry what the graphics lack.
Flyhunter Origins may not be the perfect 2.5D platformer out there, but it is fitting for a portable console like the PlayStation Vita as playing on-the-go is the best way to enjoy this game — that is if you can overlook some technical issues.