Knytt Underground [Review]
Knytt Underground is the story of a sprite named Mi Sprocket who has set out on a quest to ring the six bells of fate. It has been six hundred years since the bells were last rung, and if she doesn’t complete her quest a chain reaction will destroy the world. Of course, it could all be superstition.
This game is really all about exploring and navigating the massive maze-like map. There are three chapters to the game, with the first two being more like training so you can learn the controls for each of the two character forms. Once you get to chapter three Mi is then able to transform into a Ball, which gives her the ability to bounce off walls and get to places she can’t normally get to on her own.
Various rooms will have obstacles to get around, such as shooting robots or electrified water. When you are in the Mi form you are able to use different colored stars to give her different abilities, like an extra pop for jump boost, or allowing her to quickly navigate around a room like a fly.
Other sprites have heard you are on a quest to ring the six bells of fate and so they have put up doors to the bells— doors they will not let you through without various kinds of payment. Everything they want can be found somewhere on the 1,800 room map. You will also find people that need your help. Sometimes they will reward you with something you need to open one of the doors, but not always.
Graphically the game is very pretty. In the upper levels of the map everything is very bright, and I love how the backgrounds have photographic quality images of all kinds of flowers. Then, as you go deeper things start to get darker. There are, in fact, places that get so dark you can only see directly in front of you. Thanks to the music and the sounds you really do feel like you are in an underground world; it really sets the mood.
I didn’t love the controls, though. I was playing on the PS3, so the controls might be a little better on the Vita, but I found them to be overly sensitive. This made it very difficult to perform some of the more complicated maneuvers needed to get through rooms. Since there is no way to control the sensitivity I found myself getting very frustrated in many places. I also didn’t understand why Mi has to jump up when she pulls herself up from a ledge. This is another thing that frustrated me, because it frequently meant I got shot by one of the robots.
Overall I felt like Knytt Underground could use a little more direction. There isn’t anything more to this game than running around the map and collecting stuff so you can ring the six bells. Sure the game is visually pleasing, which is a big thing for me, but there wasn’t really any point to the game and the story is too weak.