It's a Circus in There!
Review written by
April 29th, 2014
Cocoto Magic Circus 2 is a multiplayer game for the Wii U that is more fun to look at than it is to play. While this is very rare for a game, it still has its perks that makes it enjoyable. With lots of different modes to choose from and good controls, this is a title that will keep you busy.
The game is very simple. Enemies walk or fly across a colorful stage environment and you have to shoot a certain number to progress. Sometimes the objective will be slightly different such as getting a certain amount of points or only shooting giant bees. The premise is the same though which makes the game become dull rather quickly unless I was playing with friends.
There are several different modes to choose from in the menu: Exploration, Survival, and Sudden Death. Exploration took me through several different themed levels such as tropical islands, deserts, and volcanoes. There are seven levels per stage with each level getting more difficult. There are different power ups that can be used such as making time slow down so that enemies move slower or making the points double for every enemy hit. However, instead of every stage being harder than the last, they would make the first level as easy as the first level of the stage before it. This made it feel like no progress had been made in the game and that I was starting over at level one every time I made it to a new stage.
Survival is exactly as it sounds: make it through as many rounds as you can on a certain amount of health. It's essentially the same thing as Exploration except there are more power ups and power downs are added. These make the time speed up so that enemies move more quickly, cause the screen to shake so that it's almost impossible to hit any enemies at all, and even spray the screen with oil making it hard to see anything. The stage is only set in the tropical setting and the objectives repeat from getting a certain high score to hitting only one type of enemy. Sudden Death is not what it sounds like. It is just like Survival. I thought I might only have one health bar, but I was given more than one.
It took a while for me to get through the different modes by myself but once I started playing with other people it was more fun and we breezed through. Making the game competitive gives it a completely different feel. I had the option of playing with either the Wii Remote or the GamePad. The GamePad was more difficult to use because the stylus is used to flick the ammo at the enemies. With the Wii Remote it's simply point and shoot.
The bright colors, combined with HD, make the characters and environments really come to life. Each character has their own quirk that makes them easily distinguishable from the others. The levels themselves have their own personality as well. They are set up so that when you hit any part of the level, you can see the cardboard cutout of the trees wobble back and forth like it's the backdrop of a play. My favorite example of the graphics is when the camera is flying over the ocean in between levels. The ocean is going back and forth and the fish are jumping out. Everything is very bright and nothing looks like it was half-done.
Just like the graphics, the music is colorful and upbeat. It is very Banjo-Kazooie in the way that each level's music is a slight variation of each other making the game blend together well even though the levels are completely different. This was one of my favorite things about the entire game.
Cocoto Magic Circus 2 has a lot of potential. If the other modes of play were more than just harder difficulties, then it would be a great game to play with friends and alone. The fact that each mode is just the same game with different power ups is disappointing. It has all of the ingredients for a really great game, the developers just needed to know the proper way to make it.
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