- The biggest change is that the Metroidvania stage design seems to be gone. Each rainbow drop appears to be in its own unique stage, rather than a few dozen of them spread out in each large area. So far, it's very linear, though it's still early on. Every stage also has its own puzzle piece to find, and I assume many of them require replaying the stage with abilities acquired in later chapters.
- There is now a ranking system that grades you on how many droplets you acquired and how quickly you reached the rainbow drop. It's not too tough to get the full five stars, but I do think it could be a source of frustration later on.
- The visuals have a bit more "life" to them. Background elements move around a lot, little captions tell bits of story, the puddle and rainbow drops are lively little characters now.
- Tilting the system isn't as bad as I expected, but it still feels pretty awkward. Especially when you have to tilt it upside down. This is restricted to certain stages, though: it's about a 50/50 split so far.
- Gathering for too long now reduces your health. Maybe I'll get the gather-splode later on, but I used Gather a lot to corral straggling droplets, and I kind of miss doing so with less risk. Oh well.
Overall, pretty solid so far. It's a lot like the WiiWare original 30 minutes in, but with improvements in some areas and questionable changes in others. Anyone else get it yet?
Alright, initial impressions are: very happy with the game. Once again, having lots of fun. And I love the theme of the first area!
However, there are also a few things that are holding me back a bit: - I miss the Metroidvania - Not sure that I like the 360 degree stages quite as much as the others, and they seem to make up like half the stages or so - Using both touch screen and button controls seems a bit much (I suspect this will make sense as I gain more powers, as the original game had a ton of powers by the end)
Still, I played for like an hour straight and wanted to play more, so that is a good sign. It's a fun game.
I've played through 2-4. Have to say, I'm a bit disappointed.
I really don't like the idea of being graded on speed and precision in a game that's slow and imprecise by design. I don't expect to be getting five stars on every stage my first time through, but the par time alarm usually rings well before I'm done with a stage and my droplet counts aren't great either. Those time-limited droplet chains are extremely demanding, and if you mess up one or two of them in a stage there's no way you can get a five-star.
I also don't care for the controls. It's bad enough having to rotate the 3DS 360 degrees, what with its wobbly hinge and offset screen angle. Doing so while fumbling with the buttons (or touch screen) is a pain. And now that my 3DS is low on battery, I can't play while it's charging: the power cable would definitely get in the way.
It's not all bad. The strong puzzle design returns. The visuals are more animated, colorful, and crisp. And though I miss the Metroid style stage design, I think Spin Cycle's stage-based design will provide more real estate overall.
I just don't see it living up to the WiiWare original, which was maybe the best game I played all year. There's still plenty of content left for it to grow on me, but I think the design changes made for Spin Cycle do not benefit the game. Oh well.
Found all rainbow spirits. Pretty much agree with @nate38. There's not much new about it, and most of the changes are a step back from the original. Still a solid purchase, though, even as one of the eShop's more expensive games at $10.99.
So... did anyone else even buy this? It's really growing on me a lot. I'm not sure that I like the shift from Metroidvania to stages, and the controls can be a bit odd at times, but it has the same fun and creative gameplay from the first game. With a ton of new ideas thrown in to boot.
I think once I finish this game I will have to review it. Until then, you can tune into the next episode of our podcast and hear me talk about it! (Although actually, the review may or may not hit first...)
I still have about 15 levels to complete but I can safely say this is one of my most loved eShop games. I haven't played the original, however, since I prefer more linear games I think Spin Cycle is a great fit for me. The theme music and colourful presentation make me grin everyday when I turn it on and I have had no problems with the controls (except the Jack & the Beanstalk stage, trying to climb as the ice block was a serious challenge.) I'm plodding through it, maybe 1 or 2 stages per day. Aiming for maximum water droplettes on this playthrough, then perhaps return and play against the clock. Oh, and I've missed so many puzzle pieces! There's plenty of game here.
@Super_Conzo Hey, welcome new guy! Ireland?! Awesome. Our European dominance continues.
You should be coming up to Nightmare Station soon. Soonish. Let me know how you end up solving it. I looked it up in a FAQ and found out that the intended solution was much different than the one I did. Which I sort of knew, since mine was like very... not something they would have made you do.
@Zero Is nightmare station the one with all the water-switches that move the horizontal piston back and forth, opening some notches and closing others? That one gave me so much trouble. I was at it for about an hour and couldn't figure it out, so I quit.
Then I started the game the next day and figured it out immediately, like it was so obvious. And yet I bet if I did it again, I'd have no clue...
I'm about halfway through the second world (book?) with 23 rainbows collected. So far, I'm not feeling this game like the original. Part of it is that I haven't seen any new abilities yet, part of it is the lack of cohesive worlds from the original (which to me was more like Mario 64 than Metroid), and maybe I'm just weary of the mechanics. But I'm pressing on, because people have said it gets better as it goes and it's not like I'm hating it.
I also don't really feel compelled at all to get five stars or whatever. Getting in under the time limit is really just a matter of playing the level again so you know what you're doing the second time and that's not really something I'm interested in. Is there any reward for doing so other than satisfaction? How about getting puzzle pieces? In the first game, they were there own reward I believe.
I do appreciate being able to use buttons to jump and not having to use the touchscreen. Although, are there some parts where the touchscreen is necessary? When you are on a switch to change forms I can press a button to activate it but then have to hit the screen to select which form. Is there a way to do that with buttons?
@Jargon I agree with basically everything here. It's very samey but still good, stage-based progression is disappointing, star rankings and time limit seem obligatory. The WiiWare game is definitely better, and I'm not sure I'd recommend Spin Cycle as a worthwhile "sequel" for the $10+ and the time investment it takes to see its more worthwhile puzzles later in the game. But if you can't play the WiiWare game, Spin Cycle is a good substitute.
As for your questions, I don't remember a reward for the rankings, but I think the puzzle pieces unlock high-score style challenge stages, as they did in the WiiWare game. I also don't think you can activate switches without the touchscreen.