Halfbrick Echoes Review (PSP Mini)
Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Nov 30, 2009 10:26
Chop a brick in half and you have Halfbrick. Shout out in an empty room and you have Echoes. Put them together and you have one heck of a cool game. Unfortunately, I think the major obstacle for getting gamers into the groove is that it takes a bit of playing to really get into.
But it certainly is worth that time. While I was slightly frustrated when I began playing Echoes on the PSP, eventually I settled in and realized the true greatness of the game. The major problem is there’s no sort of tutorial to help you get down with all the potential controls and things you can do in the game and those pieces really help you solve the puzzle and unlock the fun.
In Echoes you have to run around in the top-down world and collect gems. Some gems have special powers and some don’t. Every gem does create an echo of yourself that will begin wandering in portions of the paths you took to get the gem before. Eventually the screen can get rather crowded and you have to weave your way through them because if you touch an echo it’s bad in some specific way.
Now like I said, a tutorial would do this game wonders and really help gamers get into the title quicker. I suspect that if a demo version were made available with some basic levels and help, it would sell like lemonade on a hot summer’s day because you doesn’t love Lemonade? There are some help pages that load before the game introduces something new, but it’s just not the same. Some levels that went through all the things possible might really help the game sell.
The game’s main art style reminds me of water colors but then there are some incongruous menu elements that look too computer-y. But overall the art is cool and the music is reminiscent of SNES days but with slightly better quality. It’s one of those songs that you could never hum but doesn’t annoy.
Each level in the game is different and that adds a lot of variety to the game along with the four game modes and three difficulty levels.
The game modes are:
- Arcade - play through all the levels to get to the end
- Jackpot - Time limited levels where the score per gem continues to increase as long as you don’t touch an echo. Touching an echo forces you to begin at 1 point per gem again. Goal - Highest score.
- Survival - Time-limited levels where picking up gems adds to your score and your time. Hitting an echo removes time. Goal - Highest score.
- Clockwork - My personal favorite. Run around collecting gems which creates Echoes. But the echoes are frozen in time. Use the L and R buttons to move time forward and back to move the echoes out of your way. Very cool game mechanic.
Along with all of that Halfbrick included its own set of Trophies for doing various things. This game seems to have certainly been made on a tight budget as there is nothing overly flashy about it besides the game play. That’s not at all a bad thing because it certainly looks to me like they took the time and money and put it exactly where it should have been - cool game mechanics, fast-paced controls and gameplay and addictive puzzle solving.
As a PSP Mini this game should rocket to the top of the charts (which it failed to do on Xbox LIVE we’re told). Echoes from Halfbrick is so cool that calling it a mini, sounds like an insult.
Rating: 4.0, votes: 1