GamingReview: MeteoHeroes Saving Planet Earth!

Review: MeteoHeroes Saving Planet Earth!

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Fair or not, expectations can make or break a video game. Crushingly large expectations can fell one as big as Call of Duty or, on the flip side, can give a title a lot of goodwill when it comes out of the indie wilderness such as A Short Hike.

Stop them!!!

Admittedly, my expectations where not particularly high when I received a code for an Italian cartoon adaption from a publisher (Gammera Nest) whose 6 games I’ve reviewed have an average score of 5.33/10, but thankfully I’m not too old to be surprised as MeteoHeroes Saving Planet Earth! defied my expectations with its colorful 2.5D aesthetic, landmark-filled backgrounds and soothing soundtrack creating a relaxing environment in which mistakes are forgiven and responsive platforming is easily enjoyed.

The TV show – Meteoheroes – is basically a more kid-friendly version (no episodes about aids or overpopulation) of the 90s cartoon Captain Planet where a team of superheroes take on environment issues to save the world. As a team with differing powers, the game has you run around 8 cities across the world that are in need of depolluting. From Harbin to Seattle, you platform over rooftops, barnyards and bridges – all with famous landmarks in the background – collecting items and making it to the end of the stress-free levels.

Unfortunately, the visuals don’t exactly shine in the screenshots, but they do look great in-game.

There is some very basic choice-based troubleshooting to bridge unreachable gaps, giving you the opportunity to see each character’s powers and there is also an overall goal at the end of each level that is completed automatically, but this is a very simple platformer that lets you take your time with it. It also looks great, with a bright textureless aesthetic that combines works well with the cities it recreates and is a style that I really can’t get enough of.

Enemies known as the Maculans (controlled by the evil Dr. Mekina) frequent each level aiming to halt your progress. There are a few different ones, but my favorite being the suicidal pollution penguin that runs after you and blows up. Apart from a final stage boss that you need to defeat 3 times though, there are few challenges here as the very easygoing levels aren’t aiming to frustrate.

For anyone remotely experienced with how video games work, MeteoHeroes also won’t last any real length of time, clocking in around an hour or two as the game mechanics are shallow and the levels are minutes long. 

Look carefully for this pollution penguin’s weapon of choice – a black pollution hammer. But, of course!

It’s possible to critique this title till the suicidal pollution penguins come home but its intended pre-teen and younger audience probably won’t care about anything beyond its strengths.

One area that probably should have been improved, however, is the lack of an accompanied story for the superhero group, as those younger players who aren’t familiar with the show may not quite get what’s going on. Scenes where you could learn more about the team and why the enemies are attacking, even just lifting scenes straight from the cartoon itself to explain itself better, would have been appreciated.

The main boss. He looks happy at least.

Perhaps I’m showing my age here yet again, but when did we decide that scoreboards weren’t cool anymore?

All the in-game stats are removed in favour of PS trophies here, but with no visual confirming how far you’ve progressed or what you’ve actually achieved thus far, it’s hard to know how close you are in achieving them. 

MeteoHeroes Saving Planet Earth! has no right being a decent game, but manages to pull off a visually appealing and relaxing environment for kids and adults alike. A lack of overall content is immediately apparent, but for what it’s aiming to achieve – a pretty platformer with casual environmental messages as accompanied media for the TV show – it’s mission accomplished. 

SUMMARY

+Wonderful aesthetics
+Smooth platforming
+Great relaxing energy
+Perfect difficulty for young kids
-Shallow mechanics
-No accompanied story
-Too short

Played on PS4. Also available on Windows.
Alex Chessun
Alex Chessun
Currently obsessed with the Yakuza series (minus no.7), Alex is an avid fan of immersive Open World games, quick pick-up-and-play arcade experiences and pretty much anything else good. He also desperately wants Shenmue 4 to happen - a lot.

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Review: MeteoHeroes Saving Planet Earth!+Wonderful aesthetics<br/> +Smooth platforming<br/> +Great relaxing energy<br/> +Perfect difficulty for young kids<br/> -Shallow mechanics<br/> -No accompanied story<br/> -Too short <br/> <br/> Played on PS4. Also available on Windows.