The Smurfs – Mission Vileaf

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The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf – Review

The Smurfs are iconic. Originating in Belgian, this 1958 comic rose in fame through the decades. When I was first introduced to The Smurfs though was in the 80s when it was made famous and even more popular by Hanna-Barbera Studios in the form of a cartoon series, these little blue humanoids were pop culture royalty. This was where I was introduced. Saturday morning cartoons were never finer in the ’90s. Available now on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One, with the PS5 coming late 2021 & Xbox Series X|S slated for 2023, ‘The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf’ developed by Osome Studios, is the 2021 revamp, and this gens reintroduction to such a cult phenomena.

The plot is very basic kid’s stuff, possibly pulled straight out of a T.V. episode with all the classic troupes to boot. Big baddie with no dress sense, Gargamel, has contaminated the land in his ongoing pursuit of the Smurfs. Ensnared in many of the tangles of rotten weeds are Smurfs that need your help.

Forever the knight in shining armour, Papa Smurf is on the case and initially equips Hefty with the ‘Smurfizer’, a weapon that will cleanse the grime that now covers the plants the Smurfs live amongst. As you charge into the undergrowth to find elements to cure this sickness, you get to transfer through a range of the famous cast to much to my delight. As if you didn’t want to play as Smurfette, come on now.

There are surprisingly three levels of difficulty aimed from very young children to even adults. Crazy as you would solely look at this for kids but I had a blast platforming and puzzle-solving through. Most of the environments require you to platform to an objective using your Smurfizer to clean the sludged grass and to take out mutated but endearing creatures of the woods.

There is the typical run, jump, and ground and pound. Later on, as you progress you will be able to eventually use your device to hover or even like a suction vortex. While it is all very simple, there is actually a sense of payoff later in the game when you start to use combinations of moves.

It would have been nice to see a wider catalogue of applications though, as the Smurfizer had so much potential to build upon. The fact the smurfizer’s one purpose to fire often is nerfed with a pretty low rate wasn’t really an issue but you can’t pull the trigger again till it was fully loaded made for some frustrating fights with enemies. Speaking of enemies, it does lack a bit of variety, especially as they wade through swampy areas, it would have been nice to see the enemies kicked up a notch or two in design and aggressive direction.

Visually, the game is animated beautifully. It has that animated charm of retro, 90’s platform adventures such as Banjo or Spryo but the crisp modern feel of the 2020s. Our blue little friends contrast so well of with the backdrops from the luscious forests of their woodland homes to the dark and gritty caverns of Gargamel’s lair.

The 5 level designs were actually quite immaculate, with not one graphical glitch and attention to detail at the forefront. Each is designed for so much replay, each littered with maps to collect in new and challenging ways. The music is upbeat and uplifting and actually very well produced giving off iconic adventurer vibes that our slouch beanie-wearing creatures ebube so well. It is an enjoyable atmospheric experience that is certainly sure.

Now, due to embargos, I didn’t get to test out the 2 player co-op split-screen mode. What I have seen from trailers however it looks great, with a little robot friend being dropped into the playing field so you can duo all those little cretins.

While I DO love The Smurfs, I initially scoffed a bit at the beginning of this experience but once I pushed up the difficulty, I actually enjoyed this neat little platformer. The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf is actually a refreshing and surprising take on not only a kid’s game but a platform/puzzle adventure title. Such a smurfing good time, I’m sure you will dip your toe back into this one, even if you don’t want to admit it.

The Good

  • So entertaining for a young person
  • Full cast of Smurfs
  • Three levels of difficulty
  • Simple to master controls
  • Great visuals
  • Classic adventurer atmosphere

The Bad

  • Pretty generic Smurf plot ran over hours instead of a half hour
  • Mechanics under utilised
  • Smurfizer nerfed into oblivion
  • Enemy design not very varied
7.5
___
10

Written by: StacefaceMayhem

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