Super MotherloadOverview -
There is a nearby red planet whose innards contain the precious resources needed to propel the glorious Solarus Corporation further into space. Previous mining operations have ground to an ominous halt, and is up to the player (and up to three local friends) to restart the mining endeavor while investigating the mysteries buried beneath the surface. This set-up is the tagline for 'Super Motherload,' a surprise indie stand-out from the small crowd of PS4 launch titles. XGen Studios' 'Super Motherload' excelled at generating buzz prior to the new console's launch. With the game now players' hands, it is time to see how the charm and intrigue holds up.
Within the confines of a strictly 2D game, 'Super Motherload' looks good enough to make me wish for more SNES style games that exhibit such a crisp, drawn art style. The story communiqués could use more variety, as once you see which character is speaking you can already ascertain what the message will be due to their one note characterizations. If there is one major visual failing, it's due to the limitations of the procedurally created level. The dirt background of excavated areas is visually uninteresting compared with the vehicle and building designs, and when the screen is full of dirt texture, the game takes a visual step back.
Boot up the game and a quick LPCM burst floods the surrounds, but such a workout is limited to the main menu. In-game sound consists mostly of the OST, just as any RTS or Tetris-like puzzler ought to. Most of Eric Cheng's tracks are quite good, and possibly worthy of seeking out. Unfortunately, the time between tracks can extend to long periods, producing excessive disquiet. Other sound effects suit the game well, as does most of the voice acting.
As a fresh alternative to meandering $60 games, 'Super Motherload' nails the kind of value proposition offered by good independent games. My towering expectations burned out during one of the many backtracks through the endgame area, and I can't help but wish for more than what the story delivered. But when the game is humming along, the experience is fun and unique among the offerings of Sony's new system. The game's charm, couch multiplayer, and Remote Play support make me treasure its presence on my PS4's hard drive.
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