Mighty Flip Champs
- PSN Minis - $5.99. Coming soon to the EU PSN Store.
- Previously released on DSiWare - 800 DSiWare Points (£7.20)
Given that Mighty Flip Champs was one of the most celebrated titles ever to grace DSiWare, it's more than a little remiss of us to have passed over reviewing it the first time around.
No matter: WayForward's level-switching mini-classic has been given another chance to shine, more than two years on from its US debut.
If you enjoyed it back in 2009, you might wonder how a game designed specifically for dual-screen play could possibly work on a mono-screened handheld.
As you might recall, this innocuous-looking platformer essentially involves guiding Alta around the kind of single-screen environments we frequented in 1984. The twist is that, in order to get to your goal, you have to flip between up to five other screens to work your way to the destination.
On the DS, once you 'flipped', the environment that was previously shown upside down on the lower screen replaced the one you were standing on. On the PSP, the principle is exactly the same, except that rather than the next environment is placed on the right hand side rather than below. By and large, it makes minimal difference, the game is just as devilishly engaging as it ever was, and with around 40 levels, it's here for the duration.
As before, the look is sparse and simple, but given that the gameplay actually relies on this style, it matters little that it hasn't received a facelift.
It has, though, been priced slightly more competitively. Whereas the original is still going for £7.20 on the eShop and on DSiWare, the PSN Minis version is expected to come in at under a fiver in the UK when it appears in the near future. Those with a US account can, of course, grab it right now for $5.99. It's a small price to pay for arguably the best game to hit the Minis this year.
- 3DS eShop - £2.70/$2.99/€2.99.
The many dozens of fans of Qix will be ruefully aware that I've managed to spot references to Taito's 1981 landgrab classic in other games at least, ooh, 12 times in the past year. Well now we can all just relax: daddy is back, and he wants his £2.70.
That would be just fine if the version concerned was the celebrated arcade original. As crusty old relics go, it's the kind of abstract nonsense that was nailed the first time around, as you guide a diamond marker around a playing field trying to section off territory while a cluster of gyrating sticks try to spoil your fun.
Subsequent attempts to produce a sequel have been little more than cash-ins, but nothing is quite as redundant as a version that misses the point entirely, as this Game Boy port from 1990 illustrates.
The simple territory-claiming premise remains, but the feel is hamstrung by horribly sluggish controls. Without any sense of urgency, the tense spirit of this simple but absorbing relic becomes mired in frustration, and we have yet another eShop release that makes a mockery of the current pricing.
If you really need to have your Qix fix, seek out the Xbox Live remake from a couple of years back and give this one the short shrift it deserves.