Letís Catch is far from a definite recommendation to anyone, but it is pretty interesting and original, perhaps not in terms of gameplay but certainly in concept.
The gameplay itself is nothing too special: you flick the Wii remote to throw a ball and press A and B at the same time to catch it. Flicking the remote with just the right amount of force nets you more points, whereas when catching, your timing determines how well you're doing and how many points you will get. Do well several times in a row to build up a combo.
What makes the game interesting, however, is the story mode. In it, you throw and catch a ball with your neighbors and get to know them. Play well and they'll keep opening up to you about the issues they're facing. Do poorly and they'll stop playing with you. The more you listen to them, the higher your "friendship level" gets, and eventually you unlock new characters to play with.
You will find yourself throwing a ball while listening to a widower dad who thinks his daughter is emotionally shutting down, or a woman who is thinking of cheating on her boyfriend with a married coworker. Indeed, inside the cute and childish wrapper lie some serious and adult issues.
I don't want to say too much because really, the enjoyment you get in this game is in the discovery, in listening to these characters confide in you and in piecing together the puzzle.
The story mode is about 3 hours long, and as far as Iím concerned itís the main reason to play the game. Beyond that, the game offers several score attack modes that could appeal to fans of arcade action, but unfortunately I find the gameís mechanics a bit lacking and frustrating when going for high scores. When you fail, you simply do no receive enough feedback to know exactly what you are doing wrong. Some players may feel like they're throwing consistently the same way, yet not always getting consistent results. You can see on screen if you've thrown the ball too hard or too softly by looking at the character animation, but it's hard to get a feel for it when you're actually doing the motion.
In the end, the game remains niche and slightly flawed, but if you can easily part with $10 and are intrigued by the gameís concept, I definitely recommend checking it out.
I WILL get this game one day. I'm a big Let's Tap fan, and I want to reward Naka and team for indulging their wacky sides. This tiny suite of games is so interesting. It's a shame that everyone slept on it.
Seems like the actual mechanic of Let's Catch is a bit sloppy, though, which is a shame. It would be nice if it could also be played as a simple, tight arcade-style game.
I wouldn't say it's sloppy exactly, more like the visual cues aren't sufficient to know exactly how hard you should throw or what the timing to catch a ball is. So you have to basically learn from your failures. You learn you have to throw harder when you fail to throw hard enough and the game tells you, in short.
It just dawned on me that this game would benefit ENORMOUSLY from being displayed in 3D. Too bad a baseball-catching simulator on a 3D-capable console is something that is never, ever gonna happen.
This is one of those quirky games I've been thinking about getting, off and on, since its release. Maybe I should give it a try once my Wii is back online, 'cause your description of the story mode has pretty much convinced me. Makes me think of Chibi-Robo, a game that also is cutesy on the outside, but carries a bit more complex themes at its core, although that game might not be quite as heavy as Let's Catch sounds.
Nah, actually that is a very apt comparison. The themes in both games can be similarly innocent on the surface and saddening once you understand what's going on, though it never gets full-on disturbing or anything like that.
Got this game about a week ago and have been playing a little bit of it here are there. It's a really great concept... kind of like Papers, Please, but three years earlier. If the execution was a little better and it wasn't a WiiWare game, this would probably be a big indie darling.