Mutant Mudds Deluxe review for PS Vita, PS3, Wii U

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS3, Wii U
Publisher: Renegade Kid
Developer: Renegade Kid
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

My problem with Mutant Mudds Deluxe isn’t that it’s incredibly difficult. I mean, it is (difficult, that is), but if there’s one thing I’ve realized over the past year, it’s that I actually don’t mind challenging games. Stealth Inc., Kung Fu Rabbit, Runner 2 — all of them fairly difficult platformers (of varying types), like Mutant Mudds Deluxe, and all of them among my favorite games of the year. Heck, I can even appreciate tough-as-nails platformers like Ethan: Meteor Hunter and Spelunky, even if I can’t say that I particularly enjoy them.

Likewise, I don’t dislike Mutant Mudds Deluxe because of its retro-inspired graphics. Sure, the whole 8- and 16-bit thing has become a little played out, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with looking to the games of twenty and thirty years ago for inspiration. And besides, seeing as the original Mutant Mudds game came out almost two years ago, it doesn’t seem fair to penalize it for something lots of other games have done in the ensuing time period (even if retro-chic was probably in full swing then, too).

Mutant Mudds 1

I don’t even mind the relative lack of story or plot. Aliens have come to Earth, and you have to defeat them. That’s all you’re given, but honestly, that’s all I really need to know. And to the game’s credit, it doesn’t bog itself down in explanation, but rather sets you on your way pretty quickly.

No, my problem with Mutant Mudds Deluxe is much more simple than that: it’s just not very fun. As I said, I’m all for hard games, but this one seems to go well out of its way to make things more difficult than they need to be. Platforms disappear and reappear at seemingly random intervals, thereby making it difficult to properly time jumps. The double-jump mechanic is equally annoying, and is probably more accurately described as jump-and-hover. Enemies shoot at you while they’re still offscreen. Getting hit usually causes you to freeze in place, unless it’s one of those times you’re allowed to keep moving, and good luck figuring out which will happen at which time. And to top it all off, checkpoints are placed at random, and generally useless, spots.

Needless to say, I’m terrible at it. And, consequently, I’m willing to at least consider that there’s a correlation between my suckiness and my feelings towards the game. And yet…somehow, I don’t think that the former directly influences the latter. I may be lousy at Mutant Mudds, but even if I’d breezed through level after level, all the aforementioned problems would still exist (though, I guess, they’d be scaled down from “obnoxious” to merely “annoying”), and there’s really no reason for them to be there.

Mutant Mudds 2

Basically, it all comes down to this: there’s no shortage of controller-throwingly difficult platformers on the Vita and the PS3, and a large number of them are better than this one is. Go for one of those ones instead, because this one just isn’t worth your time.

Grade: D+