Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Luis Launch

You've got to give credit to anyone who fills half their title screen with an advertisement for another game. Wow, that shows confidence. All snark aside, Luis Launch comes to us from those good, good people at Newgrounds, the home of the equally talented and depraved. Because so many members of Newgrounds are actually really good at programming Flash games, it makes reviewing one of their titles a bit difficult. After all, their crap is many other websites' gold. But hey, I'm not the Big Mean Flash Gamer for nothing, so let's jump head first into the inevitable shit storm!

Before I write anything else, I must admit I enjoyed playing Luis Launch. I enjoyed it more when it was called Hedgehog Launch and had a lot more features to it, but then that's just me. In all seriousness, no one who regularly plays games like this could miss the huge similarities between the Armor Games favourite and this knock-off.

You play Luis (based on the creator himself, which makes me worry) and your goal is to get into space to celebrate Luis Day. That's right, Luis has such a huge ego that he dedicated a day to himself. Anyway, most people would consider astronaut training if they wanted to visit space, but not Luis! No, he's going to propel himself into the heavens through the use of one giant elastic band.

Oh, and the the power of his own farts. hey, I'm a guy - I understand that farts are funny. But it seems like flatulence occupies way too much of the average Flash developers' minds. Luis powers his gaseous discharge by eating beans, because there's absolutely nothing stereotypical about a flatulent, bean eating Hispanic man.

I can't really write too much about the gameplay. It's pretty solid, using either the arrow or A and D keys to control Luis' movement and setting off farts with the left mouse button or space bar. And hey, that works perfectly fine.

What I don't understand is why Luis explodes in a mass of blood and bones every time he hits the ground, then reappears without a scratch on him. Does Luis possess advanced regenerative powers? Does he reincarnate? Are these merely Luis clones, forced by the original Luis to play this horrifying game of death? These questions are never answered.

There are, of course, upgrades you can purchase to make space flight a little easier (a Saturn V rocket is not among them.) My problem here is that everything costs exactly the same, whether it be a stronger rubber band or extra beans. Strategy goes out the window in cases like this, and to be honest there isn't a whole lot of strategy involved to begin with. Each level is technically a crap shoot where you might get a string of beans that send you sky high in one level, then barely any in the next.

I can't find any fault with the art, which is simple but effective, and it might raise a smile as you whiz past aliens and Superman through the power of your intestinal gases.

I've also got to admit that the ending appeals to my sense of humour. But again, this is too similar to the end of Hedgehog Launch, just like so much else in this game. Even the titles are almost the same! I know derivativeness makes the Flash game world go round, but you do have to draw the line somewhere. Use your influences, but don't ape them. Luis Launch isn't a bad game - maybe a little boring after a while, but by no means awful. Its problem is that a far superior game in this same vein already exists, and if they want to take that particular crown the developers are going to have to try harder.

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