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[Review] Mercury Hg

I fell in love with this game from the moment I first turned it on. I really don’t recall ever seeing such a lovely menu anywhere else in my life. Of course, no game is made of menus, but I honestly spent about 10 minutes just admiring such fine work. It’s clean, simple, gorgeous, very white, and full of mysteries; it kind of reminded me of my girlfriend, without all the tattoos, that is. Anyway, I don’t know what kind of genre this game fits into. I don’t care really, but if I had to choose, it would be something like a “rotational racer platforming puzzler” (whatever that is) and you should get it now if you like that. It’s really good, seriously, go.

Now you have a couple minutes to keep reading this review while you wait for the download to finish, which shouldn’t take long surprisingly; the game is only about one hundred megabytes. It’s hard to describe a game that feels like this, I’m not that great of a writer and I’m certainly no poet, but I swear I’ll try my best. Starting with the basics, like any fine woman, you’ll look at her face first. If she’s beautiful, you’ll then worry about the rest, and let me tell you, this game looks amazing. Nice textures, colorful environments (to be 100% honest, it could use a little more anti aliasing on some corners, but that’s about it), effects are fitting, and the design work is perfect. Everything is accurately placed to make your immersion a one way road, and it won’t be interrupted by loading times, because there are none. This game is like that one girl on the other side of the bar you can’t take your eyes from.

When you finally decide to go and talk with her, you’ll find out there’s a lot more to her than a pretty face. She’s interesting, too. The game has tons of content and three different game modes; enough to keep you playing for a really long time if you’d like to complete everything or climb the leader boards. You play as a mercury blob and the objective is to reach the finishing point. You move by tilting the environment and, in case you’re as heavy handed as I am, this will be plenty difficult enough, but that’s not all… You’re compelled to complete the level without losing mercury (that will easily fall of ledges), finishing under a given amount of time, and collecting all atoms scattered around the levels. The only complaint I have about this game is that it is exceedingly difficult (for the coordination impaired), but if you’re anything like me, this will only encourage you to replay the same level over and over again until you beat it. Let’s face it, this game is exactly like a woman, it will drive you insane because you’re never in control, but at the same time you can’t keep your hands off of it.

After a couple hours chatting, when we’re already hooked, you realize you can’t hear anything else in that loud environment with some pesky DJ and people screaming; only her voice. This game has a nice sound track, with soothing songs and some more aggressive beats to keep your blood pumping. It’s basically a lot of electro-pop, which isn’t really my thing, but it really fits the game. It’s cool because the environments dance to the song playing, given it can get a little distracting at times, but it’s like when you’re lost in your own thoughts, staring at the beauty standing in front of you. Sound effects are few and simple, but do their job well; exactly as you’d expect. If it wasn’t enough, you’ll realize this girl can talk about anything you’d like: cars, video games, Italian Vogue, whatever suits you best, well that’s because you can easily listen to your own tunes in this game, which is always a thoughtful addition.

A couple years into the relationship, we’re frequently reminded that women, unlike games, don’t come with a controller and they’ll do what they want, when they want. Fortunately for you, this game isn’t like that and it has some simple and very responsive controls. You can choose from a lot of different settings, but there are basically two kinds: standard (dual sticks) or SIXAXIS. The later works out great (I found it to be a lot harder though, but I’m clumsy as hell), but requires you to play sitting with the controller on horizontal position. This is not a problem at all, but I play my PS3 laying in bed, holding the controller high on a vertical position, so this really wasn’t for me. Everything is easily controlled: zoom, angle, inclination and navigation are easy to handle, but difficult to completely master. With time, we all learn how to handle our ladies properly, but that will never mean we can fully tame them. We shall try our best to never take a false step, but we know that sooner or later we might slip off the edge like small blobs of mercury. I’ve already said this, the game is extremely difficult to handle at times, but all men are born masochists and we just love our better halves more for it.

We’ve all known summer love, but true love lasts forever and this game offers a bunch of content that will keep you entertained for a really long time. With over 60 “campaign” (called discovery in the game) levels, plus challenges, plus bonus levels and leaderboards for everything in it, anyone is sure to spend many, many hours with this great game. There are two DLC packs underway, so it seems like the developers are in it for the long haul, too.

Reading through the whole thing, this game sounds a lot like I want Dark Souls to be, but since I’ve spent all my poetry meter with this game, you can all look forward to a great technical in-depth review of that one later this month. I’d like to go into a lot more details about Mercury Hg, but honestly, I’ve run out of metaphors. This is an exceptional game, I’ve truly enjoyed it and it’s guaranteed to entertain anyone else interested in such an experience. It’s kind of obvious that I miss my beloved girlfriend too, so this was a good way to express my feelings on a rainy Sunday. Fortunately, I can now enjoy the colorful company of this fine game, so if you’ll excuse me, there are some leader boards I need to climb.

[review pros=”The most beautiful menu you’ll see
Sharp graphics
Very addicting gameplay
An enormous amount of content” cons=”Extremely difficult, some players might feel discouraged to play” score=90]

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Mercury Hg provided by Ignition Entertainment.