Review: Ms. Germinator

The original Germinator was an excellent reverse Bust-a-Move puzzler, and now its successor has arrived about six months later. Somewhat unfortunately, this follow-up is more of that game. Literally — all of the modes from the first are back, PS Move support works the same way, but you now have a challenge mode to work with that gives you a new puzzle each week to try and solve. This means that if you enjoyed Germinator, you’ll be able to jump right in and have fun with MG. If you didn’t play that, but love Puyo Puyo and/or Bust-a-Move, you’ll enjoy either entry in the series a lot.

As before, colored groups of antibodies are matched up against the evil greyish-black germs that permeate the stages. They’ll explode by either bundling a group of them together or super-charging up one and hoping that takes care of a large chunk at once — or else you’ll be stuck waiting for a second before you can do anything. Do this well enough and you’ll get rid of all of the greyish-black blobs and beat the stage. The campaign mode gives you over 60 stages to play through, unlocked with stars earned through either sheer determination or skill as you get one for a win, and up to three for doing so really well and/or quickly.

Gameplay is basically the same across all modes, but with some changes thrown into each to help them stand out. Puzzle gives you as much time as you need to solve a puzzle, but a limited amount of germs to solve it. Duel is the same as campaign, but gives you a rival to defeat – very much like Puyo Puyo. Just like that franchise, there’s an addictive quality to beating either a CPU opponent or a friend. Moreso the latter, since you can see them getting pissed off with every loss. Like with the original, my favorite mode is the arcade mode since it’s basically a survival mode and sends wave after wave of germs after you. The feeling of pride you get from knocking the pile down bit-by-bit, then vanquishing it, is something you’ll want to experience.

Visually, it looks the same as before. That means the graphics are nice and sharp, with a lot of silly facial expressions for the germs that add some comedy to things. For a puzzle game, it looks solid, but won’t amaze you like Critter Crunch. Similarly, the music is a bit silly and cartoony, but fun to listen to. Nothing in the soundtrack will stick with you after playing though, but it’s fine to hear in the game itself.


Closing Comments:

Ms. Germinator is simply more of the original game. The gameplay is identical, but you get a lot more stages to play with. It would be easy to say this should just be DLC and perhaps it should have been, but the sheer quantity of the content does make it feel like a complete product — just not a very different one from its predecessor. If you loved Germinator, you’ll enjoy this, but it’s difficult to recommend a purchase for anybody who still has a lot of levels left to play that game. At $10 for a cross-buy title, it’s worth taking a chance on for anybody who’s gotten their fill of the original game or want to jump in and experience the great mechanics the series has to offer.
 Platform: PS3