The developers have spilled the beans on their upcoming Mushroom Men games. Here is some insightful information:
Rise of the Fungi (DS) Weapon Descriptions (Part 1)
In order to survive in the world of Mushroom Men, players must concoct grand scale weapons out of mere knickknacks. The arsenal is entirely based on how creative players can get. But modifying flimsy weapons such as sticks, batteries and nails into deadly creations is only a fraction of the arsenal at the player's disposal. The most valuable armaments will be fusions between multiple weapons already in possession. As a result of the wide range of weapons that can be created in Mushroom Men, players must choose one of three classes which will determine which weapon types they will specialize in, based on their class' fighting style.
There are three main classes in Mushroom Men: Sage, Scout, and Heavy. Sage specializes in Spore powers. Spore powers are magical skills that give wielders the power to move inanimate objects and attack enemies, among other abilities. However, Sages are very weak at hand-to-hand and ranged combat, leaving them almost completely dependent on their powerful but limited magical abilities. Scouts are expert ranged attackers. However, their agility and attack accuracy only benefit them at a distance from enemies. Once in close range, Scouts are quickly overwhelmed by moderate to large numbers of attackers. The Heavy class excels in melee combat, relying on their brute strength to quickly overtake opponents in tight-quarter battles. Unfortunately, their brawn also makes them very slow fighter, making them easy prey for large groups of well-equipped opponents.
Weapon Name: Shock Baton
Ideal Class: Heavy
Composition: wire, broken flashlight
Weapon Name: Rubber band Shooter
Ideal Class: Sage
Composition: wooden pencil, rubber band
Weapon Name: Fork Bow
Ideal Class: Heavy
Composition: fork, rubber band
Weapon Name: Plastic Bayonet
Ideal Class: Heavy
Composition: toothpick sword, wooden rod
Weapon Name: Poison Javelin
Ideal Class: Sage
Composition: Syringe, wooden rod
Weapon Name: Spark Scraper
Ideal Class: Heavy
Composition: spark wire, pipe cleaner
Weapon Name: Popsicle Sword
Ideal Class: Heavy
Composition: popsicle stick, razor blade
The Spore Wars (Wii) Weapon Descriptions (Part 1)
Your weapons are divided in four different combat styles: Bashing, Slashing, Thrusting and Radical. Within these categories, your weapons are ranked by stars. Weapons with higher durability and faster attack times require more complex components. Items with one to two stars are very slow and do minimal damage to enemies. Striking opponents with 2.5 to 3.5 stars does moderate damage and is significantly faster than most weapons. The best weapons available to you are four to 5 star weapons. They are fast and also deal heavy damage onto multiple enemies at one time.
Bashing Weapons use an up-down motion to hit one target. These blunt weapons are best used when confronting one or two foes. The higher star bashing weapons can be used on several enemies but does take more practice to master.
Weapon Name: The Iron Thumb
Components: thimble, PDA stylus, bubble gum
Star Rating: 0.5
Weapon Name: The Terrier Terror
Components: dog collar, screwdriver, glue
Star Rating: 1
Weapon Name: Jumping Jack Bash
Components: jack, pencil, thread
Star Rating: 1.
Weapon Name: Lucky Harm
Components: rabbit's foot, can opener, thread
Star Rating: 2
Weapon Name: Malice on the Cob
Components: corncob holder, sardine can key, rubber cement
Star Rating: 2.5
Weapon Name: Beat'em Down Scottie
Components: toy dog, smoking pipe, rubber cement
Star Rating: 3
Weapon Name: Thor Stopper
Components: Viking, doorstopper, rubber cement
Star Rating: 4.5
The Spore Wars Gameplay Mechanics
Camera & Boss Fights
The camera and player perspective plays a big role in each of the boss fights. Koji Igarashi, of Castlevania fame, pointed out in his GDC lecture last year was how important perspective is, and how much it changes gameplay between 2D and 3D games. With the typical behind-the-back 3D camera used by many games, depth-perception is very difficult to judge, and even having a shadow grow larger as it approaches is not enough. In Mushroom Men, for the boss fights that have a mix of action and puzzle elements, the camera is manipulated in a way that it provides the best perspective for the battle. In some instances, this is pulling the camera way up, giving more of a three-quarter view, and in others, it is locking the camera in place to do some 2D battles.
One of the core components of Mushroom Men is that players are encouraged to explore and experiment in the environment – which can often lead to death. The player will re-spawn in a nearby area; this proved troublesome in boss fights, as the player could simply die, re-spawn, run at the boss again, etc. and this has a major complaint in other games. Because of this, the player is rewarded for not dying during a boss fight. Skilled players will be awarded an item for defeating bosses unscathed. Players will also be rewarded for dealing with bosses with cleverness and panache.
Old School Influences
Some of the developers behind the game have a strong love for old SEGA arcade and home titles, and borrowed elements from them. The final boss fight, which spans multiple stages, has some "helpers" that were very much inspired by Death Adder's minions in the original Golden Axe. Of course, in Mushroom Men, these helpers can be killed in fewer than 255 hits. Another boss fight is influenced from the old Wonder Boy series, and features a 2D boss on a finite-state machine, but with some unpredictability thrown in, and some genuine challenge.
Other games that shaped the look and feel of the boss encounters include the Shinobi series, Cabal, and the obscure-but-wonderful Golvellius. The epic multi-stage final boss fight of Mushroom Men draws a lot from these wonderful old games. Simple by today's standards, but still packing a good iconic punch that can still be harnessed today.
More Information on Combat
Input Variety and Spore Punisher
Variety was another core aim of the combat system. Melee combat by itself would eventually feel repetitive and tiresome if the game offered nothing else to the user throughout the game. The combat design of Mushroom Men emphasizes variety in the form of motion (melee), pointing (Spore Punisher), and a combination of the two (Telekinesis-Throw). Telekinesis-Throw allows the player to use the environment to make fights end quicker. It provides an opportunity for a gratifying sensation related to picking something up and throwing it at an enemy. The physics objects in each level have been tuned to apply just enough damage to make medium-sized enemies bleed.
Bleeding is an important part of the feedback in the game because it indicates the availability of the third and most lethal attack method in the game: Spore Punisher. Spore Punisher not only destroys the victim completely, but it also has an area of effect that damages nearby enemies. Because it is so powerful, it can only be utilized as a finishing move available only after the enemy has been "softened up".
Strategic Weapon Choice
In addition to the three different actions to use in combat, weapon variety adds a reason for having four types of weapons in the game. Not all weapons work well in all situations and that becomes apparent in specific situations:
The player starts out with bashing weapons, which have a vertical arc but can be a handicap when facing multiple opponents.
Eventually, the player gets slashing weapons, which do less damage, but can be useful against multiple opponents with its wide horizontal arc.
The emphasis with piercing weapons is auto-aiming precision against a single enemy, but a master player can really feel like a ninja with its flying thrust. The piercing jump attack is especially useful against flying enemies.
Radical Weapons use ammo that can run out, but the amount of damage they cause can be the difference between life and death when facing a gang of aggressive enemies.
Miscellaneous Combat Features
There are three features in the game that are never taught to the user for various reasons and will probably be discovered by the more core players. These three features deserve more than just a mere mention in the instruction manual.
The first unmentioned feature is the passive co-op mode where anyone can pick up the second Wii remote and help out the first player by using reticule actions or quickly tapping the A button to regenerate health for Pax. This came to be known as the roommate feature.
The second unmentioned feature is batting non-physical projectiles back at the shooter. This is a fun thing to do against enemy sage characters that shoot unblockable projectiles at Pax.
The third unmentioned feature is the ability to flick the nunchuck to switch to the last equipped weapon. Switching back and forth between radical weapons and melee weapons can be very convenient in tight situations.
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