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Review: Mysterious Floating Something
This was a very nice little game that was quite fun to play and perhaps the best new reason why you shouldn't judge a book (or a game!) by its cover.
MFS hits on all 8 cylinders when it comes to presentation. You have a little opening sequence for the programmer's company where the ship flies by and blasts it, followed by the opening game menu where you're given the option to begin a new game or continue an old one. It is here where I have my only gripe about the general presentation, however. I was hastily trying to press every button on the keyboard to get my "new game" selection to work. What I didn't know is that you have to point the mouse over the selections in order to do anything, and this wasn't readily apparent to me since the mouse isn't pimped out to look any different than the regular windows mouse. A string object that says "Use the mouse to select your choice" would have helped anyone who might have been temporarily set back by this too.
What a great, fun game to play! It's pretty original in that an alien ship filled with (surprise!) 4 aliens are flying around with nothing to do. One of them suggests that in order to study the art of partying, they should go and abduct 400 earthlings to show them the way. There's a small tutorial, which was greatly needed as the control takes some getting used to, and then it's off to the main missions from there.
The game plays a lot like an old Sega game called Choplifter, where you had to rescue your stranded people and drop them off at the main base. Only this time, your job is to drop off kidnapped people into a dimensional portal that goes straight to the mother ship. When you do, you'll get "monies" that you can save to purchase upgrades from the shop screen in between levels.
A great thing the author did is that you can also get way more monies by capturing and dropping off abductee combos. So if you drop off 2 princesses, you'll get 2x the money for doing so. One thing that deserves to be mentioned when it comes to combos though, is if you have 2 of one type and 1 of another in your ship to drop them off, you won't get the 2x bonus for the 2 similar people. I wish you could have, as sometimes it's easy to pick up the wrong person when two are close together.
The game boasts some really cool physics too. Your main method of firing weaponry comes from a rotating orb that constantly circles your ship. When your selected weapon is discharged, it fires at an angle from the orb. I'm used to it now, but aiming takes some getting used to. You can even shoot the people you're trying to capture! This is handy when 2 or 3 stick together, but you only want to pick up a specific person to get that combo bonus later.
As for ship upgrades, there are many to be bought! It's weird, but I used my triple powered up regular laser much more often than any of the other ones. It's charge-up time is very slow at first, but for a realitvely cheap upgrade cost twice the thing can fire again almost as soon as you can get a shot off. Grab the dual orb upgrade and you'll soon be a flying wrecking ball!
The graphics aren't very good, but they are charming in their own way. Some of the enemy units that try and stop you would even make the Atari blush, notably the regular yellow helicopters. Fortunately, the different types of people to capture (princesses, rednecks with shotguns, deer? and brown-haired elvises?) stand out well from each other, as trying to grab those combos is what you'll be doing about 80% of the time while playing. If ever there was an example to demonstrate that graphics does not a game make, here it is.
SOUND and MUSIC: 7
The music is very cool, especially the song that plays at night. There's also a good little ditty that loops while you're browsing in the shop screen looking for upgrades. The one knock I have about the music is that it sounds like it came directly out of Lyle in Cuce Sector! I mean, exact same instruments and everything. The sound effects are great, though, as the impacts from your blasters are never tiring to listen to. Oh, and if you shoot the princess around a bit she screams. It's funny, you should try it.
The game is a lot of fun, and there are a ton of special upgrades to be purchased from the intra-level shop, but truth be told the game does get a bit repetitive after you've been playing awhile. I'll still stay up way too late tonight playing it like I did last night though, lol. I guess that's a good sign.
"Mysterious Floating Something" may sound like someone's discovered an unflushed turd, but in actuality it's a very fun and original game that I was happy to play. It's abundance of optional weaponry and ship accessories is nothing short of stellar, and belay a much deeper game than most would gather from the modest screenshots taken. It makes fun of itself, and has a blast doing it. A well-deserved GOTW, great work!
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