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Planet Crashers

For: 3DS   Also on: iPhone, iPad
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Stop the world, I want to get off

Product: Planet Crashers | Publisher: UTV Ignition Games | Format: 3DS | Genre: Action, Arcade, Location- based, Multiplayer | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Planet Crashers 3DS, thumbnail 1
It's great to see developers finally gelling with the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Teams like Shin'en Multimedia, Keys Factory, and Renegade Kid are slowly but surely making this generation of Nintendo digital store one to remember.

Renegade Kid gave us the lovely Mutant Mudds earlier this year, and now it's following that up with an RPG, which is cause for celebration.

Or, at least, it would be if the game were any good. Unfortunately, Renegade Kid has completely missed the mark with this second 3DS release, giving us an RPG that fails to entertain whatsoever.

Crash and burn

Planet Crashers features your typical RPG setting. You play as an adventurer burdened with lots of little tasks, like finding items or saving people in dungeons. Through completing these quests, you level-up your stats and eventually take on more challenging dungeons and planets.

From the very beginning, it's obvious that the game isn't going to be the slickest experience the 3DS has to offer. The whole first planet is left wide open for you, which is nice enough, but leads to you wandering around aimlessly.

Planet Crashers offers barely any explanation regarding your goals or where you should be headed. At first we accidentally ventured into one of the tougher dungeons and got destroyed before we had even realised what was happening.

We eventually got into the swing of it, but the terrible design choices were in evidence throughout. Dungeon design is the main culprit, with empty hallways and rooms all over the place. Even the names of the dungeons are boring: a developer who uses the names Green Dungeon and Blue Dungeon just isn't trying.

Then you get into the turn-based battles and discover just how tedious these are too. Characters move towards each other, slap a few times with a silly weapon, and go back, all in slow motion.

The available abilities and items - pieces of cheese, potions - are very generic, simply bolstering your HP or temporarily increasing stats in such a way that it's really not obvious which items are more useful than others and at which particular moments.

Plan-it next time

The poor game design doesn't stop there. You grab missions from a quest board and from people around the planet, but you can't complete more than one mission at a time.

Instead, when you complete a mission the game yanks you out of whatever dungeon you've just battled your way through and dumps you back at your house, leaving you to travel all the way through the dungeon again.

And the hurt continues. The interface menus are wildly confusing; the music is irritating beyond belief; the stereoscopic 3D effects are not calibrated properly, creating extensive shadowing; the list goes on and on.

There's online battling, but we couldn't find a single person to play with, even after leaving the 3DS running for over an hour.

All-in-all, it's one of the worst RPGs we've ever played. It's as if the developer decided to ignore every refinement made to the RPG genre over the decades and instead.

Perhaps the most damning thing we can say about Planet Crashers is that we enjoyed StreetPass Quest, the free RPG that comes packed with the Nintendo 3DS, far more. 
Planet Crashers
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 16 August 2012
Planet Crashers is the perfect example of how not to do an RPG, with awful game design and nothing to enjoy at all
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