Review: So Many Me

So Many Me is the latest puzzle-platformer to hit the scene, but still manages to stand out thanks to some interesting gameplay mechanics, sharp controls and stunning visuals. As a little green blob with limbs named Filo, you’ve got to traverse platforms and solve puzzles. This is quite the daunting task since switches and levers are involved, so it’s a good thing you find dopplegangers early on to aid you. They’ll start off enabling you to cross larger gaps by forming stones you can cling to in mid-air, but evolve into something so much more with teamwork. This is a challenging, but rewarding experience that¬† succeeds at a great many things and falls short in very few areas.

The most impressive thing about So Many Me is how robust the dopplegangers are. Beyond getting from point A to B, they can be used for buttons and levers. Trial and error is key here since the correct order to place a Me on a button must be figured out to reach certain levers or items. Item collection is a large part of the overall experience since there’s three items to find per level. Finding them all nets a gold rating, which means you’re that much more awesome than someone who just finds their way to the end of the level. Some of the puzzles forgo Mes for the environment itself. A part may need to be added to a microwave to open up a previously-inaccessible part of a stage, and doing so can net a new item.

2014-07-14_00003
Of course, it could also put you face-to-face with new enemies. There are slower land-based ones that may need to used to jump to a higher point as well as longer-range projectile-based enemies. A basic head bop ala Mario will take out enemies or, if you have enough of a crew together and haven’t spread them too thin, you can go through a gate and transform into a giant monster. Said giant monster looks adorable, but packs a mighty punch thanks to his large size. A single swipe will take an enemy out, although you’ll want to be careful with your timing since his range is short and it’s easy to miss and take a hit. A hit here equals certain doom, but unlike classics of the 8 and 16-bit days, So Many Me is very forgiving. You’ll generally start at the same point you were before, and usually only a few steps behind that point at worst. Any items collected are retained — so if you wind up making a leap of faith for one and grab the item, but fall into a pit, you won’t have to worry about figuring out the proper solution right away.

So Many Me‘s controls are fantastic overall. While there are some issues using an Xbox One pad instead of an Xbox 360 pad, you’re golden if you have a wired pad. There is a basic keyboard setup, but you’ll be flying blind with it as the game doesn’t tell you which keys do what. Keys can’t be rebound nor can the controller be configured. What you can do is control the game perfectly with a 360 pad. A jumps, while X turns a Me into stone wherever you need them and the triggers move your Mes from their platforms and buttons to your troop instantly. The button layout is easy to remember and very intuitive. I like that both sticks can be used, with either the left one or d-pad for character movement and the right stick shows you more of the world so you can plan your strategy and get an idea for what lies ahead.¬† The lack of Xbox One pad support for the PC version presently is a bummer since many have defaulted to using that pad for their PC now. When the game is properly updated with X1 support, we’ll be sure to mention it here and see if it makes a notable difference in the controls.

So Many Me uses a vibrant color palette and smooth animation to please the eyes. Bright shades of every color imaginable adorn the screen, while your Mes in both regular and monster form move smoothly. Unlike some games that blend visual styles (like 2D foregrounds and 3D backgrounds), a cartoon style is used for everything. This results in a uniform world where everything makes sense and looks correct to the eye. Beyond that, there isn’t much to say about the graphics — they’re quite impressive and almost appear on-par with the newer Rayman games, just with less lush animations. Musically, there isn’t much to write home about with the game. While the soundtrack is nice and cheery, none of the music sticks with you after a play session. In a way, this isn’t a bad thing, as really good music could prove to be an in-game distraction. With things as they are, you can safely mute the music and know you’re not missing out on much.

level1-7
Closing Comments:

So Many Me is an outstanding puzzle-platformer that fans of the genre should pick up. It makes brilliant use of the doppleganger mechanic allowing you to both solve puzzles and beat the crap out of enemies at will. It controls marvelously with a 360 pad and plays smoothly with both the regular characters and their large monster form. Fans of the UbiArt engine will love the sharp colors used in the game as well. Unfortunately, the music isn’t quite on par with any other element of the game. Still, So Many Me is a fantastic gateway game for those who prefer platformers to puzzlers as the puzzles are all logic-based and the platforming controls are nice and tight.