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    2014-10-23

    Metrico PS Vita Review

    A tad bit platformer, a larger part puzzle game, Metrico is so much more, and trying to describe it just doesn't do it justice. That's not to say it doesn't have its faults (because it does), more, that there just isn't really anything out there quite like it. The game is different enough to warrant a play through for puzzle fans, offering a good number of brain teasers. I'm talking about the kind that has you trying 49 times only to fail, and then that 50th, "that's it, this is my last try!" attempt you complete it without any trouble, realizing how simple it was all along. If you're not into puzzle games though, there is nothing here that will change your mind on that. With questionable controls, and it forcing you to use some awkward combinations of the Vita's features, many may want to just wait to see if the sequel fixes any of these problems.



    Gameplay- 5/10- Now, a lot of other reviews will be overly talking about pie charts and graphs and those sorts of things. Yes, they are in the game, but I will put it much simpler. Metrico has a kind of action/reaction type of gameplay. For example, walking forward may raise a platform in front of you, while jumping may lower another. Walking right may move a platform right, walking left may move it back to the left. Or, it could be up or down, etc. A lot of the time platforms can only raise or lower a certain number of times, so if jumping causes one of them to react, you have to make every jump count. It's up to you to figure out how to use these reactions to your actions to your advantage, running and jumping to clear the screen in order to reach the next puzzle. 
        Speaking of the puzzles, they do, at times, come across a bit uneven. Some can be solved without much effort, while others will have you feeling like you should just give up. There is no rhyme or reason to the order of these either, you will just come across a few that can barely be considered a puzzle. On the other hand, solving a problem in a minute or so after being stuck on the last two for 20 minutes each can help keep you going, just the "pick me up" feeling you need to want to continue a bit more. 
        What will not make you want to continue on a bit more is the faulty controls. This is one of those games that likes to make you use all of those Vita functions, whether they work or not. Camera, both touch screens, and the gyroscope. Now, if I somehow made that sound like it is a good thing or anywhat adding to the fun, I apologize, because it is not and it doesn't. Let's begin with the obvious, the camera. If there was one thing I would like improved on the Vita, it's the low quality of it's camera(we have this thing these days called a ZOOM...), and it's shoddy quality is thrown in your face with this game. Trying to sense light and dark is hard enough(since dark seems to be all it picks up), but trying to recognize colors...., that's just mean. Also, what could be more fun than tapping the screen to shoot an enemy, timing your jumps just right so the platform in front of you doesn't rise too high to reach, AND doing so all while having to hold your Vita at a specific angle!? I'm not exaggerating either, just so you know, this will happen. I understand having all these features is fun to work with, but I have to wonder if anybody who made this game actually tried to play this game? I did manage to work past these problems, "work" being the key word though. There were times I simply gave up and was done with the game thanks to these control issues. I did keep coming back though, and I eventually did pass those stages. Just be prepared for more than some frustration at times solely based on controls or use of features(camera, etc), at times, they seem to take more skill to work through than the puzzles themselves. 
        Some of these frustrating moments could have been easily helped if the game would bother to even give you a tiny hint of what you are supposed to be doing. Maybe that's part of the puzzle thing, but half the battle is figuring out what works when and where. This is fine at first, letting you explore the options, figure out what needs to be done, but trust me, it will get tiring with some of the later puzzles.
        If you do find yourself getting stuck(and you will), you may simply tap the circle button to restart at your last check point at anytime. For some puzzles this is actually required to solve them. On a good note, tapping the X button to make your character jump works just fine, though his leap leaves much to be desired.


    Replay- 4/10 Unfortunately, there isn't much to make you want to come back to Metrico. I can see a lot of people making it half way through and not even wanting to come back to finish it the first time around. Once you solve each puzzle the first time, there isn't much challenge doing it all again. The game itself will take about 3-4 hours to complete depending on your puzzle solving skills(mine took me about 4 hours to get through it total). No online, no secrets or collectables, it's just a straight playthrough from point A to B. There are, of course, trophies to attain, but playing through the game again just to grab them would feel like a "push through", and nobody like that feeling while gaming.




    Graphics/Sound- 7/10 Metrico's graphics are one of the things I enjoyed most while playing. While simple, and in no way utilizing the Vita's power, there is just something intriguing about the look of this game. The game uses very simple shapes and wire frames, combined with the graphs, numbers, and different vectors. All that with just a touch of portrait like scenes now and then thrown in. It all comes together very nicely, and I felt the art style was one of the more enjoyable aspects of the game. 
        The soundtrack is also a treat. In fact, as much as I enjoyed the visuals, the music and sound effects truly stole the game away. Each stage offers a stellar background track, as well as sound effects that, like the puzzles themselves, react to your characters' movements and actions.


        

        The developers of Metrico obviously aimed to offer up a unique game, unlike anything you have played before. For the most part, they succeeded, but in no way does that mean it is a great game. It's a good game, and it's definitely playable, but when it came to controls, I believe things just got a bit out of hand. The Vita has some very fun features to work with, but that doesn't mean you have to try to include every single function. I mean, have you ever tried steering your vehicle in Wipeout using the gyroscope? If not, let me tell you, it doesn't work. In fact, I probably didn't even need to tell you that, you probably just could have guessed it. That's not to say it isn't a good idea, but the developers of that game knew it wasn't for everybody, so you had the option to turn it off. That's just not the case here, the game wasn't built that way. You have to use the shoddy camera, the over sensitive gyroscope, and all the other features. Some do work better than the others, but these things may turn a lot of players away. Because of that, I can only recommend this game to people looking for something new, something different, and are willing to try working through the issues. Stick with it and you will be rewarded with a pretty decent and interesting game. When all was said and done, as much as I got fed up at times, I did continue to play through it, and that wasn't just because I was reviewing it. After putting it down for a while, something about the game made me want to come back and try again, and that definitely factors into my scoring it. The game has it's problems, but Metrico is a fairly decent game with a nice challenge. With an interesting art style and an excellent soundtrack, it's a shame the game's controls, as well as it's lack of offering any reason to ever replay it, hurt the final score. Perhaps Metrico 2 will fix these nagging issues, but for now, while it's not for everybody, I say at least give Metrico a try.




    Gameplay- 5/10
    Replay- 4/10
    Graphics/Sound- 8/10
    Overall- 6/10


           
             

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    Item Reviewed: Metrico PS Vita Review Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Gabriel Watkins
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