hands on with mekazoo coming november 15th
The Seattle-based indie developer, The Good Mood Creators, are looking to swing onto consoles and jump back into a time where gamers swung by stores and rolled into their favorite platforming games. Their game is Mekazoo, where players can take the form of one of 6 animals in their quest to protect the natural world from the forces of evil. PlayStation announced the release of the game and launched a new trailer. I happened to have a hands-on preview of the game at PAXWEST 2016 in Seattle Washington back in September. This is certainly shaping to be a great platforming game and one that even dedicated gamers should check out.
On the 6th floor of PAXwest, many games were abuzz in activity. From the corner of my ear, I heard something that sounded quite familiar. I initially thought it was the SEGA booth for a new sonic the hedgehog, but I came closer and saw that it was something different, though I wasn’t too far off. This game was Mekazoo from The Good Mood Creators, and living up to their name, Mekazoo put me in a good mood. in fact, a very good mood.
Drawing inspiration from classic platforming games, such as Sonic The Hedgehog and Rocket Knight, Mekazoo is a unique game about speed, momentum, and changing forms to navigate levels. You are a mekanimal, a robotic version of familiar creatures, like frogs and armadillo.
The unique part about this game is your mekanimal can instantly transform into another creature. For the demo I played, I used a frog and armadillo for the course of the level. The armadillo could roll, building momentum and destroying enemies. However, there would be points where the mekanimal would have to anchor and swing to another point. The armadillo cannot do that, but a frog could with its tongue. Each form of the mekanimal, which includes a pelican and panda, will serve a purpose in a level. As a mekanimal, your job is to stop the evil instectoid Army and protect the world.
My demo had me switch between the armadillo and frog forms. The first thing I noticed was how fluid the game was. This is a fast-paced platforming video game, where you can switch forms instantly and keep the speed high. I began in armadillo form, rolling across the vibrantly detailed levels, and suddenly switched to frog form to swing on platforms. It took a bit getting used to, quite frankly because I was playing so many games that day, but I caught on very quickly. I was able to swing to platforms with ease and maintain the transformation as the levels switched. I eventually encountered enemies, such as flying insects, and managed to the use the armadillo form in mid air between swinging.
As I navigated the level, the game really took full effect of it’s 2.5D visual styles. I jumped into foreground and background and took moments to appreciate the visual style. The animals are mechanical and have the cybernetic look to them, with glowing lines and optics. The levels had good mechanics and the environment had an interesting glowing hue, as the level took place in the nighttime.
The game clearly had an inspiration from Sonic the Hedgehog, especially with the fun, nostalgic-inspired music from music group The Quiggles. The game features scenes of nature and robotic animals, mixed with fun platforming and speed. The music really drove home the energy that Mekazoo has.
Before I knew it, the demo was over, but I had a very good time playing Mekazoo. The game really harkened to a time period where platformers were equivalent to today’s first-person shooters. Every developer wanted to be the next Mario or Sonic and so, built plenty of platformers to compete with the two iconic mascots.
While some ideas were to survive, others were not, but in the process; they left behind neat ideas, music, and interesting designs. Mekazoo feels like it came from an era of great designs and innovative ideas. From the fantastic visuals to the fluid gameplay, Mekazoo looks to be a fantastic game, and a title that seasoned gamers should definitely give a go.
Mekazoo launches for the PlayStation 4 on November 15th. Find it on the PlayStation Store.
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