STAFF REVIEW of Slime-san: Superslime Edition (Xbox One)

Thursday, July 5, 2018.
by Adam Dileva

Slime-san: Superslime Edition Box art I generally don’t like to compare games to others, as each is unique in its own right, but sometimes the comparison is simply the easiest way to describe it, or it's so heavily influenced by the source material that it’s near impossible to not compare directly. This is the case with Slime-san: Superslime Edition, as you can tell that it’s been heavily inspired by the classic, and challenging platformer, Super Meat Boy. There’s been plenty of games trying to replicate its success, but nothing really captured what made it truly special, so when something similar releases, I’m understandably a little skeptical. Truth be told, I really wasn’t expecting much from Slime-San before starting it up, and you’d think that after years of reviewing games, I’d learn to not judge a game by its cover. This is one of those instances where I’m glad I was wrong, as Slime-san completely took me by surprise.

Not only does Slime-san hide its greatness behind its simplified visuals, the gameplay is so spot on and perfect that I have no qualms comparing it directly to Super Meat Boy for its quality of gameplay. Are you a fan of super challenging gameplay, speed running and want a massive amount of gameplay and replay value? Slime-san has you covered in spades. Don’t let its confusing and simple graphics fool you like it did me, give Slime-san a shot and you’ll be greatly rewarded with a fun and lengthy experience that simply gets it right.

Included in this Superslime Edition is 3 separate campaigns, each of which are unique and entertaining in its own way. The core campaign, Mama’s Madness, revolves around your slime being swallowed by a massive worm, and you need to get out by platforming your way back up its stomach and out its mouth. Beware the deadly stomach acid that will creep up on you during levels though. The Blackbird’s Kraken campaign is a similar tale, but this time you’re swallowed by a huge kraken, so again, you much jump and platform your way out before it’s too late.

More unique is the Sheeple’s Sequel campaign. In this tale, Sheeple comes to realize he’s simply an NPC in a video game, so he decides to re-code himself as the villain and challenge you in much more challenging ways than simple platform jumping. In total there are a couple hundred levels, almost feeling like too many at times, not even including all the extra bonuses, New Game+ and the handful of exclusive levels included in this wonderful edition. The best part is that the bulk of the content is not gated behind progress, so you’re welcome to jump between campaigns freely without having to slog through hundreds of levels before trying out the newer content.

You play a small slime, hence the title, and you’re tasked with progressing from level to level in an attempt to escape the giant animal that has eaten you. You’ll need to not only jump, but dash, swim and more, but with accuracy and speed. Each level has 4 smaller segments that should only take you roughly 10 seconds or so to complete, but that’s quite a stretch, as it will take a lot of time and practice to become that proficient, but it does eventually click, resulting in not having to think so much about what you want to do and simply doing it by reaction alone.

Part of Slime-san’s charm is its simplicity, not just in its gameplay, but the visuals as well, but this design choice has a purpose other than aesthetics. White lines and platforms is regular ground that you can walk (do slimes walk or slide?) on, red are traps and enemies and should be avoided, and lastly, green, which can be used as a surface to pass through or interact with. While this color scheme seemed natural to me (green good, red bad), you’re freely welcome to change the colors to whatever works better for you including a number of colorblind options.

While it might sound like a simple premise with only a couple moves to worry about, it’s anything but. Levels become increasingly more difficult and complex, but Slime-san does an excellent job with its learning curve, slowly introducing new enemies and mechanics at a steady pace, as to not completely frustrate you suddenly with a sudden difficulty spike. That’s not to say you won’t be challenged, and you will die a lot, but I found I never really became overly frustrated, especially with the levels being broken down into four smaller bite sized sections. While there is a timer always present, it can be ignored until you have the confidence at working towards those faster times and collecting the bonus coins and apples along the way.

So you’ve played the original Slime-san and wondering what’s new in this Superslime Edition? Essentially it’s a GOTY edition with all of the campaigns included along with some bonus content, including 10 exclusive levels where you get to play Grandpa-san himself. Honestly, there’s almost too much content here, and will take you quite a while to get through it all, so the value is easily there for the price.

Controls in a platforming game need to be on point, or else you become frustrated from unfair deaths. I certainly became frustrated at times, but it wasn’t because of the controls, it was simply due to not having the skill needed to do what I needed to complete the level yet, something that I gained in time. I never had an unfair death, and every time I did die, was because of my miscalculation or mistake, not the game.

You move your slime with the Left Stick, jump with A, dash with X or phase through green blocks with Left Trigger. The bonus with phasing is that it also slows down the gameplay, so in really hectic situations you can slow things down slightly and be a bit more accurate. Luckily, you’re also able to completely remap your buttons however you wish should a different control scheme suit you better. Different slimes and characters will have different abilities, so even if you can’t get the hang of it, there may be a different playstyle that suits you better, or if you want a bigger challenge. Again, the amount of options and content offered, even small, is staggering.

Levels begin basic, slowly introducing more elements, obstacles and enemies. Eventually some puzzle elements get introduced and need to be tackled as well as speed. It can, and does, become overwhelming eventually, but that’s the beauty of having the other campaigns not gated at all, as I can switch to any other one at any time should I become bored or stuck. Sheeple’s Sequel for example is much more puzzle based than the other campaigns, having you touch every specific block before the exit opens. I wasn’t great at these levels, so I decided to play the other campaigns more, but the freedom to switch back and forth on a whim was a brilliant design decision, as I probably would have shelved the game long ago if not.

When you want a break from the seemingly never ending levels of the campaign, you can leisurely explore the large hub city where you can spend the apples and coins you may have collected along the way. These areas are filled with NPCs to talk to, many of which are hilarious and unique. More than a few times I found myself laughing at their writing, names or situation, so kudos to the writer for all these characters. You’re able to shop for many different types of items, ranging from background art, sketches, cosmetic items for your slime, new characters (with unique abilities) and even some mini games and arcade titles.

I thought this hub world was going to be a thing I just visited once, but I kept going back once I had a handful of apples to spend (there are different items to collect based on the campaign you’re playing). There are hidden areas to uncover and a bunch of unique mini games, including a purposely terrible rip-off of Superman 64. I’m not even joking. You’re also able to purchase different shaders to have as a filter for the game, one of which is literally the red and black Virtual Boy style. Tons of little details like this is what gives Slime-san so much charm. If you manage to uncover some secret areas in the regular levels, you’ll come across some rare coins which can then be spent on arcade games that mimic a Mario Kart, Doom and more.

The retro graphics simply work well for this type of gameplay, and the varied options are a welcome addition for those that want to customize their experience. The soundtrack is filled with some fantastic chiptune music that keeps the energy high and matches the tonality of the gameplay. The music is very catchy and doesn’t simply devolve into a boring loop like some games rely on.

For how much I really appreciate the plethora of content and the options given, oddly enough that was also my main gripe with Slime-san as well. Campaigns are almost too big and can drag on and on. Because of this, I found myself getting a little bored at times, and while the campaign switching and bonus games help with that a bit, it’s hard to see the end in sight when there’s hundreds of levels to get through.

Slime-san: Superslime Edition is hilarious, perfectly tuned and has an astonishing amount of content, more than enough to keep you going for quite some time. Don’t let the simplistic graphics fool you like it did me initially, as the gameplay is near perfect and can suit nearly any play style or preference. Even after a dozen hours or so, I’ve still a long way to go and much to master. For its price, the value and replayability is enormous and near unbeatable.

Overall: 8.8 / 10
Gameplay: 9.2 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.5 / 10


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