Young Thor should be money well spent if you need a cheap game to satisfy a young gamer for a day or two
- Simple controls, lots of collectible items and achievements
- Sloppy combat system, static environments, difficulty seems to spike randomly due to unbalanced enemy types and chokepoints
This bite-sized peek at the formative years of the God of Thunder is a simple, charming distraction that's unfortunately overburdened by sloppy combat and unbalanced difficulty.
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Frima Studio's development experience has revolved around a lot of kid-friendly titles (think Nickelodeon), and Young Thor definitely feels like one. Colourful art, a pint-sized kid version of a powerful god, and loads of easily dispatched minions are all the standard ingredients that go into this "PSP Mini," and the result is more of less what could be expected - a decent side scrolling beat ‘em action game that will likely appeal to your 8-year-old nephew, but probably no one else.
Although it's one of the cheaper DLC releases in recent memory, Young Thor actually does a lot to goad you into spending more time with the game than one might initially expect due to the inclusion of in-game achievements and a healthy amount of collectible artifacts that can boost Young Thor's godly powers. However, this involves re-treading though one of four already-beaten levels in order to find items in out-of-the-way places, with the difficulty ramped up slightly each time.
Since enemies largely aren’t much of a threat, even when Young Thor is low-levelled with few abilities, repetition sets in fairly quickly. Also, the game’s enemies aren’t very well balanced, which creates difficulty spikes that come up out of nowhere. In some areas, you’ll go from beating down rows of minions that bleed health items to getting flayed alive by one or two enemies that take advantage of the game’s claustrophobic camera angles and narrow spaces. At this point, you’ll have to grind through the same levels in order to level up Young Thor just to get through the chokepoint, although the action doesn’t get varied enough to remain enjoyable after too long.
Still, given how cheap it is, this really isn’t a bad game. Young Thor may be decidedly average, but considering the likely target audience, it should be money well spent if you need a cheap game to satisfy a young gamer for a day or two.
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