The Wii U is the butt of many jokes on social media, especially since many think it’s the console with no games. While it’s certainly not a PS4 or an Xbox One, the humble U actually does have plenty of games, they just don’t come attached with fancy labels like EA, Konami and Square Enix. It does, however, have plenty of family friendly games that are often entertaining, simple and don’t require constant updates. Paper Monsters Recut is just one of the many games available on the Wii U that glitters a little bit more than the rest.
Paper Monsters Recut, is a very simple 2D platformer. Visually it looks like a cross between LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway. Play-wise, the game is quite close to Super Mario Bros., but with some of its own flair. You play a little cardboard box man, who is tasked with saving the paper creatures of the world. There’s not much story to go on with, in fact, I completely forgot there was one by the time I got close to the end.
Looking past the lack of a storyline, the game is filled with very well designed themed levels. The world is divided into various different locations, like the Wild West, outer space, a forest and a few more. While they’re all geographically different, the paper theme connects with each level nicely, and so does your little hero. While he doesn’t have much of a personality, his design is rather cute and no matter where he is, he just happens to fit in.
Controlling your little paper man is very easy. The controls are so simple a child wouldn’t have trouble dealing with a control learning curve – though the gamepad might be too big for the little guy or girl. Most of the time you need to move either left or right and jump, and double jump, around the level until you reach the end. Some levels shake things up a bit by including a submarine, a sled or equipping Mr Paperman with a Spacesuit that comes with a jetpack and a gun. Overall the controls are very easy to figure out, although I do think it’s a little too simple.
In most cases, level progression follows the same formula: Move from the start and jump over all obstacles, double jump to reach high cliffs, run and jump to reach far cliff and collect the three paper clips in each level, oh, and dodging some monsters. This would be a lot more fun if it wasn’t for one thing: Mr Paperman makes this very annoying “hooting” (like an owl) noise each and every time he jumps and double jumps. Considering that you’ll jump over 100 times in one stage, hearing that sound gets annoying very quickly. Another thing that bugged me was the length of the levels. Most of them are very short and simple to navigate. With a little effort in searching, it’s quite possible to find all three paperclips that are hidden in each level the first time you play it. So, if you were to collect them all the first time round, the life expectancy of the game is going to be short. Having said that, there are bonus levels for you to explore and mini-games that add some well needed bulk to the game.
Minor problems aside, the biggest issue I had with the game is the sudden loss of frame rate late into the game. It felt very odd considering that most of the game is silky smooth, but at one point my framerate dropped significantly. It only happened once, but who’s to say it won’t in the future. What does work, and what works well, is playing the game on the gamepad. You have the option to play on the screen or on the pad. I liked both versions, but I did have more fun while playing on the pad, especially when it came to the trickier parts. The bosses, who are all tackled differently, are easy to deal with, but a nice change of pace from the usual left to right platform jumping.
Paper Monster Recut is not a game that’s going to put up much of a challenge. It’s a good game to play when your brain is switched off and younger kids would like the simplicity of it. And since it can be played on the gamepad, there’s no reason why your kiddie can’t play the game while you channel flick.