© 2012 QubicGames
NA release date: November 1, 2012
# of Players: 1 player (1 save file that can't be deleted)
Available on 3DS eShop: price tag $4.99
Genre: runner platformer
The King of Gnomz is in trouble. He needs a princess to marry to and hundreds of socks immediately. You should know how difficult it is to write a script for an auto-running platerformer. In 2 Fast 4 Gnomz, available now on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in North America, you play as a “fun size” gnome that must collect as many socks and kissing as many frog as possible. Are you up to the challenge?
Your Gnome runs off towards the first of 10 levels taking place during the summer. After completing the summer levels in order once, the gnome then progress the rest of the seasons with 10 levels each with the average length at 30 seconds at default speed. During the summer, the only thing the gnome needs to worry about while purposively running through multiple checkpoints is to jump (A button) over spikes and using the gliding pants (hold up when in the air) over long gaps. Hitting a wall, touching a spike, or falling into a gap will immediately return to the last checkpoint. After realizing that the princess is in another castle, your gnome goes berserk and obtains a transformation that can vigorously smash (hold down) through tall tree stumps and can drop to the ground rapidly while the momentum is still the same. Other transformations includes a more increase in speed (holding right) and traveling back in time (holding left when near a clock) and restart in unexpectedly unfair position. The more levels you progress, the more commanding the sequence of directional abilities will need to perform in quick succession.
Each of the 40 levels has three types of challenges with star rankings: getting the most amounts of socks, getting the fastest time, and getting the fewest amounts of do-overs. Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle all three of them simultaneous. Once you ranked three stars on one of the challenges, if you choose to restart a level, focus on one of the remaining two. Another thing to keep in mind is that some levels have branching paths and also returning to the last checkpoint will also return the timer back to it’s previous time of which you pass through that checkpoint. After collecting enough stars from each season, you then have access up to 5 Nightmare levels and they are nightmarish indeed.
The game controls responsively. However, to get the best performance you must avoid the Circle Pad because it feels very awkward and it’s not as tight as the D-pad. When speeding faster, there is one annoyance that you must avoid, and that is landing on the edge. Your gnome will instantly make a small hop when not landing straight that will more likely to lose a life. Challenge is definitely the main enjoyment for the memorization gameplay. If you don’t favor games that uses reflexes as progression instead of skill, than this isn’t the game for you.
After playing the first level of 2 Fast 4 Gnomz, I already notice the improvements from the WiiWare original even though I only try out the demo. In the demo, the scenery layering between the background and middle ground of where the action takes place is cohesively patch to the middle ground that it’s difficult to determine any obstacles especially with the uncontrollably speed. In the 3DS version, the visuals are layer more correctly and the hue for each layering is more definable without the need for stereoscopic 3D, although the 3D really does deliver a sense of speed for the Gnome especially when the camera zooms out during the increase speed transformation. The Nightmare levels are where the 3D becomes helpful due to the levels artistic hollowness, darker, unfriendly coloring palettes. The Nightmare levels are both visually and physically haunting (to your thumb); think of them as a late Halloween tweat.
The art direction is insightfully adorable and yet the whole world is uninhabitable except for socks. The music is catchy, while limited, with different moods for each type of level. The only disappointment in the presentation is the alarmism from the loading screen before the start of each level. During the loading screen, the bottom screen is not the issue as it instruct an action that you'll use the most in the level. The top screen, however, shows a clock that the hands slightly move during every loading screen with cottons covering the rest of the screen. I assume that the cottons will slowly reveal some sort of conclusion when collecting more stars. Unfortunately, there is no purpose other than it’s a very suspicious loading screen.
2 Fast 4 Gnomz is right up there with Mutant Mudds for using the most impressive stereoscopic depth in a platformer. However, it also has a similar major complaint from Mutant Mudds with the fact that there are no boss encounters. For 5 bucks, it’s a good investment to challenge yourself on directional coordinating with the rewarding accomplishment is to brutally challenge yourself some more. On the Nintendo 3DS XL, Gnomz size does matter.
7.7 / 10 eShop points
7 - Good: This game may have a few flaws or may have somewhat shoddy controls, or minor sound/graphics flaws, but the game itself should be fun if you like the genre, and can overlook the potential flaws
Wii U NNID: SkywardL
3DS Friendcode: 1590 - 4719 - 1381
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