Flingsmash is developed by Artoon and bundled with the Wii Remote Plus controller. I will be reviewing this game as if it were a 10-dollar disc game, because that is its inherent value.
Flingsmash is a side-scrolling whack-a-ball game. It begins with an overly long, unskippable cut-scene about what is ultimately a throwaway story. Basically, you must save the island from impending doom at the hands of an evil superpower. And you are a special ball named Zip that must be whacked to accomplish this. Can we move on?
The art style is not one the game's strong points, and the music and sound effects aren't anything special, either. At least the game is fun.
The game uses the added motion-sensing capabilities of Motion Plus to track 1:1 the movement of your Wii Remote in 3D space, so that you can hit Zip at any angle, and not on pre-defined axes. The controls worked for me. After a short learning curve, you should be able to hit Zip however you want. It's rewarding to hit multiple targets in a row to rack up points. But the controls may in fact be too precise, and you'll notice this further and further into the game. In the heat of the action, occasionally I would hit Zip on a trajectory close, but not equal to what I had envisioned. I am not going to fault the game for this, however. I can accept that it was my fault. But that doesn't change the fact that it's annoying, because you have almost no control for a few seconds as Zip zips along and bounces back. The game is designed that you must wait until he gets back to unleash another powerful shot, and the feeling of hopelessness as you miss plenty of scoring opportunities after a mis-hit is quite disheartening. I had to restart stages a few times because of this, as I was going for high-scores. But if you're playing casually, it's nothing more than a nuisance.
The game is split up into 8 worlds each containing 3 stages and a boss stage. If you collect at least 3 magic pearls throughout the stage, you may move on to the next. Furthermore, you are graded at the end of each stage based on your score, and there are unlockable mini-games for completing each stage of a world with at least an A ranking. There are quite a few interesting stage designs, such as added gravity, underwater, and every once in a while the stager will scroll vertically instead of horizontally. etc. There are powerups that boost our abilities such as splitting into 3 parts or making Zip huge. There are often multiple pathways within a stage, and mini-challenges to complete. The boss stages are enjoyable, but repetitive, until the last couple of bosses.
Gameplay: you fling, and you smash. The wii-remote icon in the corner tracks the orientation 1:1
Flingsmash has a good amount of content for a "10-dollar title". The two-player mode was enjoyable but ultimately makes the game easy, while in single-player it'll take some real skill to pull off S-rankings, especially in the later stages. You're more likely to enjoy Flingsmash if you are the high-score type of gamer. There's no denying that I had some fun with this one, but I wasn't blown away or anything. In many ways, it presents the same amount of value that Wii Play did, however I believe that Flingsmash is the better game. It has a beginning, an end, and moderately enjoyable middle. Plus, it was fun to finally get to use the Motion Plus add-on in another game. There's no doubt that the game would just not be possible without the more sophisticated tech.
So, I recommend checking out the Flingsmash bundle if you were looking to pick up a Wii Remote Plus, or if you're interested in a fun motion-plus diversion pick it up from a private seller (or used) as I did.
A fair review! Probably a similar score to what I would've given it. FlingSmash is a fun novelty, and considering you can often get it for negative five dollars, I think it's a pretty good value.
You know that you can stop the ball in mid-air, right? My main complaint was that I wish THAT was the action that 'charged' your ball (rather than inaction). Sort of like Kirby Air Ride combined brake and boost. It would've felt more satisfying and less flail-y.
@anandxxx Yeah, you can stop Zip in mid-air by pressing A. But, I didn't find this quite useful...did you use it to "cancel" bad flings? The fact that you have to wait, to charge your ball gives the game more rhythm, I guess. As for the score, I was going to give it a 7.0, but then the last world was particularly good and left me with a smile on my face once I wrapped things up.
@Simbabbad I don't have a problem with Nintendo bundling the Wii Remote Plus with Flingsmash, but I do have a problem with Nintendo not publishing more WM+ compatible games. It's a damn shame, really.
I still think the existence of Wii Sports Resort alone justifies the existence of MotionPlus. Like Wii Fit, I think it was bundled to sell that game, regardless of Nintendo's PR spin. I'd like more support, but I'm just glad that Zelda uses it, since that series needs a fresh spin.
The revised Wiimote is a pretty fucking bizarre move, though, unless Nintendo really wanted another hardware bundle to put on shelves.
I was thinking on the train today, a 3D rocketbelt Lunar Lander-type WiiWare game would be so badass with MotionPlus. Or a Bionic Commando-esque 3D grappling obstacle course. Ah, well...
@anon_mastermind Yeah, you can stop a bad hit in mid-air and make the best of your situation.
@anandxxx Safe bet, but how much will they charge for Zelda and (gold)Wii Remote Plus? It'd be pretty expensive. They could have gotten away with WM+ unit bundled for $60, but the controller itself...I dunno.
This game is a reminder of the unused potential of Wii Motion Plus. But Wii Sports Resort and Red Steel 2 (yes, it's one of my favorite games from 2010) were fantastic, so the accessory hasn't been a complete waste for me.
Well I got the game with the $20 deal at EB Games and it's really not as much fun as it should be. I really, really wish the animation at the end of each level with the pearl could be skipped. Might sound like a nitpick, but having to wait 30 seconds before being able to restart the level for a higher score pretty much kills any motivation I might have for doing that.
So I guess I disagree with the statement that people who like to go for high scores will get more out of the game, and agree rather with the idea that this game's problems are mere nuisances if played casually. I think just trying to finish the stages and not worry about the score is the way to go, if you want to enjoy it at least a little.