The human mind is a trying thing, and many average people have problems hidden deep within the subconscious recesses of their minds. Imagine if it didn’t always have to be that way. If there was a way to release all the wrong that we had stored away. Crush 3D for the Nintendo 3DS by Sega is based on this idea. An Inception-style storyline draws the player into the game, where they are challenged by creative and ingenious puzzles. However, is this game a turn-around for the name of Sega? Keep reading to find out! -Ryan Baxter
You play through the game as a young boy named Danny with an estranged older friend, who just happens to be a mad scientist! You are automatically cast in the role of guinea pig, as well as assistant. The elder man straps you into a odd-looking machine, called C.R.U.S.H. (Cognitive Regression Utilizing Psychiatric Heuristics). You are instructed to count down while the machine begins whirring in the background. When you awake, you are in the world of your subconscious. You must then collect marbles to fix the problems the machine finds with your mind. As the game progresses, you move farther and farther into your unconscious mind, and things get weirder. Physics are bent more and more as you proceed and the puzzles become more and more difficult as you proceed. His only guide on this journey is his scientist friend, who appears occasionally in the form of a hologram. So Danny works to put right what appears to be wrong, hoping each next leap will be the leap home.
This game is like no game I’ve ever seen before. It is like a platforming puzzle game, but, as the box says, with a twist. Impossible jumps can be made by simply taking a step. In other words, this one small step for you would be one giant leap for mankind. This is accomplished through the flattening of a 3 dimensional world into a 2 dimensional world. Also, there are several different types of blocks, and more and more are exposed as the game continues to unfold. For example, the main challenge in the game is to navigate around solid blocks in the 2 dimensional world. Also, there are blocks that offer no support, and the floor can fall out from under you if the floor is covered by a “ghost block” which is a non-solid block. The puzzles become more and more difficult, but despair not, casual gamers! There is not a point where the game will become to difficult for you, guaranteed! The game offers hints with a press of a button, ensuring help will be given to those who need it, but won’t make the more skilled gamer feel like a simpleton!
In each level, in addition to the marbles, there are two special collectables. A book and a trophy. The book is a simple addition of art to a collection in the extras section. The trophy is a bit more special. It unlocks the challenge mode of the level it’s acquired on. In this special, extreme mode, you are set under several expectations. On the list are collection of all marbles, limited number of crushes, collection of all other objects (books and trophies), limited number of crushes, as well as a clock ticking away in the background. If you cannot comply with these challenges, you will fall dead in the middle of the level, which is never good. However, this mode allows the extreme hardcore puzzle master to enjoy the difficulty of a puzzle mode made for him or her.
The interactions in Crush 3D are rather simple. They don’t give a lot of connection, and they don’t add another angle to the game in any way. The online interaction consists simply of placing presents at certain spots in a level where they can be found by others that you StreetPass that happen to have the game. As this game hasn’t sold incredibly well, it is a rare happenstance that this event occurs, and even then, you must search high and low for this gift left by a total stranger in some spot that may or may not be at some weird spot on a level that you never want to see or hear of again. Ultimately, the wireless interactions are not the main focus of the game.
Crush 3D is focused mainly on the gameplay, but the picture is not half-bad either. The opening scene is drawn, and though there is no incredible animation, once the true gameplay begins, the 3D models take over, and it is quite amazing. The game certainly takes advantage of the 3D ability in it’s many different shapes and switching of the angle in-game. The levels seem like they are intended to pop out of the screen towards the player in an almost intimidating fashion. It is truly a sight to behold!
Crush 3D by Sega breaks the mold of platforming games, and even destroys our concept of the world around us (in a good way). It is certainly a way to stay sharp, as you must constantly adapt to an ever-changing world that has, conceivably, 6 forms (3D and from each side). I assure you it is most likely like no game you have ever played before. The storyline is interesting, the gameplay is revolutionary, and the puzzles are ingeniously set up. The varying difficulty that is available allows all players to feel accomplished and pushed, and though the online interaction leaves much to be desired, it doesn’t take away from the game at all. This game is definitely worth a play, no matter how serious of a gamer you are!
+ Revolutionary gameplay
+ Incredible puzzles
+ Optional hints for the casual gamer
+ Challenge mode for the hardcore gamer
+ Unlockable art and costume to provide additional challenge
- Little to no online interaction
- Storyline is slightly dry at times
- Unsatisfying ending