On November 02, 2023, publisher Microids and developer OSome Studio will release their latest platform game of the cult characters created by Peyo back in 1958 for PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch™ and PC. In my review I would like to introduce you to this cute game.
When the enemy becomes a friend
Handy, the tinkering Smurf is always ready for new ideas and also in the latest adventure, the industrious Smurf invents again a groundbreaking invention, which bears the name SmurfoMix, but to complete it, he is missing an important ingredient, a green stone, which is located in Gargamel's house. Together with a few Smurfs, they go to Gargamel's house to steal the green stone, but something goes mighty wrong, causing an explosion that scatters all the stone fragments across the Cursed Land and frees the evil Stolas, who now terrifies the whole world. It's now up to you, with the help of Gargamel, to slip into several characters (four in total) and save the world by reassembling the stone fragments.
Focus on battles, multiple difficulty levelsSimilar to the previous game, "The Smurfs - Leaf Plague Mission", you once again have the SmurfoMix with you, with which you can shoot different projectiles. However, the focus in "The Prisoner of the Green Stone" this time lies in the battles and not in the platforming, although this is not neglected either. You also now have the option to choose between three difficulty levels to make the game as easy or tricky as you want. I played the game on Normal and found it somewhat easy, with the difficulty level going up when you have to fight bosses and the hordes of minions hunting you down. I was a bit disappointed with the challenges that go to time, here you have to defeat hordes of enemies, use the sub dances and jump through portals to reach the different platforms, unfortunately the challenges are felt identical, even if more and more enemy types appear. Also, the time is pretty tight, so you really have to hurry if you want the highest medal.
Variety opponents and substances
In the latest sequel, you'll once again encounter different, colorful and detailed worlds and a variety of enemy types that have their own attack patterns, from giant frogs that throw spiked balls at you, to petite flowers that try to finish you off with karate kicks and pollen dust balls, to cute little mops that explode in joy in front of you. Thanks to your SmurfoMix, which you can improve during the game by collecting green crystal stones, for example, by strengthening its attacks, improving the reload or reducing the cooldown, you'll be able to defy even difficult situations. If your shooting power is not enough, just use the different substances that are available in the battle arena, with e.g. Klebri your opponents stick and can't attack you for a short time, which gives you the opportunity to bash out everything your SmurfoMix has to offer. The different substances are not only meant for your opponents, but also for the game world, because you have to use them to reach certain paths, so you can use e.g. Klebri to make moving windmills stick for a short time, while you hop to the other side unharmed, with Schockschubs you can make white ice flowers burst, which trigger an explosion chain to push e.g. big stones, which help you to cross gusts of wind or to reach higher platforms.
Long levels and boss fightsIn Die Schlümpfe 2 - Der Gefangene des grünen Steins sind die Level ziemlich groß geworden, es dauert also im Gegensatz zum Vorgänger, länger bis man die linearen Episoden abgeschlossen hat. Sie fühlten sich jedoch nie deplatziert an, auch wenn ich nichts dagegen gehabt hätte, wenn sie minimal kürzer ausgefallen wären. Die Bosskämpfe sind gut gestaltet und haben mir sehr gut gefallen, die Angriffsmuster sind verständlich und schnell gelernt, die Horden an Gegner die vom Boss freigelegt werden, können manchmal etwas unübersichtlich werden, vor allem wenn sie von allen Seiten gleichzeitig angreifen, man muss sich daher gut überlegen, welchen Gegnertyp man zuerst ausschaltet. In der Kampfarena, die recht groß ausfällt, so dass man sich gut bewegen kann, findet man zudem immer Herzblumen, die sich genau wie die Subtanzen regenerieren um erneut eingesaugt werden zu können, nach einer kurzen abklingzeit versteht sich.
Graphics and sound
I played The Smurfs 2 - Prisoner of the Green Stone on the PC and the graphics were quite colorful, gritty and charmingly designed. The worlds are vivid and detailed, and the Smurfs and enemy designs look fantastic. The animations are also well done and offer plenty for the eye. The voice actors do their best, but I have to be honest, I didn't like them very much, especially the voice of Schusselschlumpf. But the game is completely dubbed in German, except for the menus and upgrades, so you don't have to read anything. The soundtrack is nicely designed and fits the three different areas that you discover during the game.