SouthPeak Interactive Big Bang Mini

Arkedo has done it again: made a concept that sounds like it could be incredibly mediocre into a game that you should really consider owning.

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SouthPeak Interactive Big Bang Mini
  • SouthPeak Interactive Big Bang Mini
  • SouthPeak Interactive Big Bang Mini
  • SouthPeak Interactive Big Bang Mini
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Tonnes of design and gameplay variety, well scaled difficulty, lots of modes

Cons

  • Some minor relatively minor control issues with special moves, maybe too much unlocking

Bottom Line

The other day I was talking to my friend — a non-gamer to the extent that he has never even played a Mario game. I pulled out the DS containing Big Bang Mini and he was like, "Ooh!" and I said, "Ahh! Yeah, it's a fireworks shmup, wanna try?" He was absorbed in about five seconds. It's completely accessible, yet at the same time, the gamer type will go bonkers with the later difficulty and trying to unlock all the content. After all, who doesn't like fireworks?

Would you buy this?

Big Bang Mini's title boggles me a bit, mostly because I can't seem to find a normal sized Big Bang game anywhere. Putting aside such sundry concerns, Arkedo has done it again: it's made a concept that sounds like it could be incredibly mediocre (Remember Nervous Brickdown, one of the most awesome break-out clones ever?) into a game that you should really consider owning.

Party All Over The World

Big Bang Mini is a shoot'em up with some 4th of July flare. Use your stylus to flick fireworks at enemies, and drag your ship around to evade enemy fire. Sometimes the level-specific special moves with more precise stylus motions were hard to pull off, but that is my only real complaint.

No plot explains why you are needed in such disparate locations as Rio de Janeiro, Paris, and Kamakura to battle drumming monkeys, evil robots, and other unusual foes, but that won't affect your ability to appreciate the immense variety between worlds, not to mention the sheer amount of stuff to do. Each of the ten locales features different graphics, music, and enemies, not to mention unique themes mean you won't have to deal with boring palette swapping. Right as you feel like the current groove (and its gimmick mechanic such as walls that close in or bonus damage for rhythm) is getting old, you're into a multiform, bullet-hellish boss battle, and then an exciting new area. Occasionally, random chance dumps you in a retro round where, I have to admit, they almost had me feeling the Twilight Zone vibe with their ominous intro, "There is nothing to win."

Pyrotechnophile

Besides arcade mode, you can shoot it out with a friend (using a single cart!) with complete missions involving limited ammo level completion, speed runs, and other hardcore tasks. You can also fight for Wi-Fi high scores in Challenge Mode, "Relax" while admiring displays of each level's exclusive fireworks designs -- I love the New York comic-style exclamations: "KABOOM!" -- and, finally, unlock a cute alarm clock that allows you to wake up to any BGM track. Talk about full-featured-Big Bang Mini is a $59.95 package that is hard to pass up.

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