WTF?! is on PSP Minis.
Mediatonic’s last PSP Mini game was the rather fun, upwards-scrolling platformer Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess and saw the player take on the role of “The Duke” as he chased down and kicked the butts of monsters who may, or may not, have been responsible for the abduction of his Princess. There may be a trend forming here for the developer as their next game seems also to be following the humorous path, albeit with a completely different style of gameplay.
The player takes on the role of “The Guardian of Earth”, an invincible super-being charged with, you guessed it, protecting Earth from the intergalactic menace known as The Ravagers. The most recent attack has become a cause for concern for the Galactic Council and The Guardian has been summoned to answer to the charges that he did not do enough to prevent it. Could this have been because he spent too much time posing for photos with his adoring fans? Surely not.
Thus begins the story behind WTF?!, or Who’s That Flying?!. The Guardian must defend himself before the other Galactic Guardians by recreating exactly what he did to stop the invasion. In a series of flashbacks, the player takes control of The Guardian and fights back this invading menace. The story follows the invasion stage by stage, in between funny cut scenes involving dialogue between the various Guardians (For some reason no one takes The Guardian of Uranus seriously).
So, WTF?! is a side-scrolling shooter with just a little bit of tower defence thrown in. How so? I hear you ask. Well, as previously mentioned, the hero of the story is invincible and thus cannot be killed. To raise the stakes, the city of each level has a certain number of health points and each of the little ravagers that get past our hero without being destroyed removes one of those health points. If all of the health points are taken, game over. Like a tower defence game, y’see.
Flying across the city skyline from left to right, The Guardian will be bombarded by wave after wave of little Ravagers. They will come across the screen in formation, with the trick being to anticipate the formation and destroy them before they reach the left side of the screen. The player has a couple of ways to do this. First up is their laser gun which does a good job of taking them out. If the player manages to extended periods without letting any Ravagers through, they will be greeted by cheers which will allow the weapon to improve, offering a rapid fire, a constant beam and then a huge “wipe out everything” type effect. With the hundreds of enemies to deal with, this is invaluable.
The other way to deal with the little aliens is simply by getting down and dirty, and kicking their butt old school style. This method is highly effective and useful if the player gets overwhelmed. However, it would seem that butt-kicking takes time and this can result in more of the Ravagers getting through. Use with caution.
Of course, there are not only the little Ravagers to deal with. It seems that they have brought friends. The larger types of Ravagers won’t try to damage your city, but they will get in the way and do their best to stun you and let the little ones get through. The finally there are the bosses. These guys take a serious beating before succumbing to your awesome intergalactic power, and will require a combination of attacks. There are five cities to defend, each with three levels to complete.
But that is not all you get for your pennies with WTF?!. I am sure that, for the price, most players would have been happy with the frantic gameplay and funny moments of the story. But Mediatonic have decided to throw in some more stuff as well. First up there is the challenge mode which contains 24 varying challenges for the player to complete and prove their utter awesomeness. But the truly awesome will be heading for the infinite mode. Last as long as you can and achieve that high score to be proud of. This here is the reason to keep coming back for more.
WTF?! has a unique visual style, quite cartoony looking, that looks great on the PSP screen and not half bad if played on the PS3. It is all fairly basic, but looks good at the same time. A bit of variety in the enemies would have been nice, as there are only a handful of different types, but at least it saves on confusion, and you are going to shoot everything on screen anyway.
WTF?! is a difficult game to fault. It looks good, sounds good and has oodles to keep the player busy. It will offer a challenge to all but the most hardened shoot ‘em up players, which is always good. The game does not take itself seriously either, providing the player with plenty of chances to break into a grin. It won’t appeal to everyone, but those that enjoy some shoot ‘em up action would do well to pick up this game.