Mercury Meltdown Revolution - Wii Review - 21/06/2007

Who said Mercury was bad for you? They may have taken it out of dental fillings, but you'll want to bring this blob of mercury onto your Wii.


Mercury Meltdown Revolution was released to great acclaim on Sony's PSP; it was a mind bending puzzle game with extremely nice cel-shaded visuals. The only thing missing was a revolutionary control system to match the action on-screen. Sony had originally had a tilt sensor designed for use in the PSP, and unfortunately (for Sony) it was cancelled to make the console more affordable. Great news for Mercury fans is that Nintendo's latest console has that very same control system all accounted for in the use of the remote.

Like many of the titles on the Wii, the controls really do make the game something else, this game was designed for a tilt sensor and the remote's one was made for this game, it's as simple as that. The level of control is brilliant and you can tell a lot of development time has gone into making it just right - you always feel in control of your blob(s) and the game never seems to get away from you. Options such as moving the camera and zooming in and out of the play area are sensibly mapped to the top face buttons on the remote and are always in reach, the camera rotation can be disorientating when moving at the same time, but this is a minor niggle. If you're really stuck on all this motion controlling, the Wii's classic controller is also supported.

Mercury Meltdown is a massive game (and challenge) and contains a huge 150 levels with others unlockable as you progress. Levels are grouped into 'labs', each lab contains sixteen 'test tubes', each a different challenge - you don't have to complete all of the levels to progress to the next lab, but by doing well, either by finishing the level within a time limit, finishing with all of your mercury intact, or by collecting the level's stars, extras are unlocked. These can be extra levels or a change in colour for your blob or the grand-prize party games to play against friends.

Presentation is sublime throughout this title, from the loading screens to the main HUD, it all remains uncluttered and it's easy to see what you should be doing and what you have done. A bar on the left of the screen shows how much mercury is left with a timer above, the right of the screen shows how to mix your mercury into different colours if and when the puzzles require it.

The physics on the blobs of mercury are excellent, whether it's in the usual state or if you have solidified, melted or frozen it, the mercury moves exactly as it should, it's the most impressive when split into two or three individual blobs all moving around the tables.

The difficulty curve is pitched to perfection and what follows the tutorial is a masterclass in how to entice the gamer into the fold without ever patronising them. The levels certainly get progressively harder and some levels can be very frustrating, but never unfairly so. The party games are perhaps the weakest link, but even they are superb and provide an ample distraction from the main game.

What you have in essence is a great game taken to a new level of interaction, a game that was great to begin with, but now with added motion controls the game transcends all boundaries and will hopefully become one of the most successful games on Nintendo's outstanding console.


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