More Reviews
REVIEWS NBA LIVE 15 Review
Yes, NBA Live was horrible last year. But this year's entry is a vast improvement. Just give it a try.

Dungeon of the Endless Review
A roguelike that’s equal parts charming and challenging with a turn-based twist.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Resident Evil Revelations 2 Preview
Capcom returns to the episodic format that entertained us in the first game of the sub series published on Nintendo 3DS and followed with a console release. What will Claire and company uncover this time?
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Release date: 11/04/14

Assassin's Creed Rogue
Release date: 11/11/14

Far Cry 4
Release date: 11/18/14

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Release date: 11/18/14


LATEST FEATURES Xbox Downloads October 2014 - Updating Each Week
Microsoft's Xbox One console continues an Xbox Live revolution started over a decade ago. Here's hoping Summer of Arcade makes it to the platform next year.

PlayStation Download October 2014 - Updating Each Week
Sony's PSN platform had new games each week along with free offerings for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Take a look at the weekly additions for October.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP LinksOcarina This is another article from Blistered Thumbs I wrote, back from the dead after being buried in the way-back machine. I posted this back in April of 2013, and many of the issues present seem to be prevalent right now in some cases, namely the decrees of sexism and misogony. Considering current...

Under the Skin Review

Ben_Silverman By:
Ben_Silverman
10/13/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS 1- 2 
PUBLISHER Capcom 
DEVELOPER Capcom 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief

What do these ratings mean?

The joke's on us.


Back in the 1940's, nothing was more terrifying than Martians. People were convinced little green men would come to Earth, maim our livestock, shoot us with ray guns, blow up our houses and explore our daughters with syringes. This fear held fast through the 60's and 70's, freaking us out all the way up until E.T. turned aliens into alcoholic stuffed animals with great comic timing. The 80's ruined everything.

For proof, just spend a day with Cosmi, star of Capcom's quirky import, Under the Skin. Our Smurfish hero from Planet Mischief is sent to Earth in order to prove his mettle as a sneaky little troublemaker by playing pranks on unsuspecting humans. Unfortunately, his timing is way off and the only one doing any drinking will be you, because his repetitive game is about as rewarding as a surprise anal probe.

The gameplay had promise, at least. In the game's main Story mode, you play as Cosmi through eight small levels and set about annoying, irritating, and generally pestering people. This is accomplished by playing any of forty different pranks on them. And when I say "playing pranks," I obviously mean "using items," because that's really all you do here.

The humans might be stupid, but they're not dumb, and do in fact know the difference between a little blue alien and a normal human being, so you have to disguise yourself by shooting them with your handy little zapper. You then scamper over to any of several UFOs floating around on each level to transform into that person. Doing so gives you that person's camouflage and particular assortment of five pranks, which you then use on the other humans in order to scare them out of their'coins.

Yep, your ultimate goal is to collect coins. Either you have to collect a certain number before time runs out, or you have to collect more than an opposing alien. No matter how you slice it, you're grabbing coins. Coins. Now there's an otherworldly concept.

Obviously, much of the game's success hinges on the pranks themselves, but sadly there is little rhyme, reason, or complex strategy here. Basic pranks like laying down tacks, bopping people with a boxing glove or shooting them with a rifle can be just as effective as the more creative ones, like the swarm of land sharks, the giant hamburger of doom or " you guessed it " the pungent fart. Naturally, nailing lots of people at once nets you more coins, but there just isn't much skill to any of it.

As you annoy the masses, they get upset and chase after you. You can take two hits before turning back into your original blue form, at which point you'll also lose a heap of coins. The only way to make the mob chill out is to find a UFO and transform, a feat that boggles the crowds even if they are staring directly at you when you do it. Transforming is also the only way to gain new pranks, so it should come as no surprise that the game quickly turns into a boring routine of pranking, zapping, transforming and repeating. This is not a deep game.

Part of the problem is that the eight levels are categorically tiny. You can scope out the whole level in about one minute, leaving you a good nine minutes to just scare people out of their coins. Under the Skin tries to add some flair in the form of Panic Time, level specific incidents that crop up a few times during the course of a round. The danger level increases, but if you play it correctly you'll pick up tons of coins. More often than not, you can almost ignore it altogether.

However, you can't ignore Under the Skin's graphics, clearly the game's brightest spot. The cel-shaded look is somewhere in between Jet Set Radio and Viewtiful Joe, with sharp, clean lines and surprisingly fluid animations. More could have been done with interactive environmental objects, but by and large the graphics don't disappoint.

Especially when compared to the sound. The shrieks and groans of the humans grate on the nerves after an hour or so, and the music is pretty bland throughout.

If the repetitive nature of the gameplay wasn't rough enough, Under the Skin is also thin when it comes to game modes and replay value. Aside from the Story mode, you can play a Vs. match against another alien from Planet Whatever, try your hand at Co-Op, or eventually open up Training mode, which essentially lets you grab as many coins as possible in a certain amount of time. None of these add any new levels or gameplay tweaks and wind up doing absolutely nothing to heighten the experience.

Under the Skin would be better suited as a free online Flash game than something sold at retail. It fails to live up to its odd premise and relies too heavily on being offbeat, ultimately turning into more of a cute diversion than a full-fledged game. Under the Skin proves that we are not alone, but maybe we'd be better off if we were.

D+ Revolution report card
  • Nice graphics
  • Strange concept
  • That doesn't hold up
  • Boring gameplay
  • Few modes
  • Short and easy
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Under the Skin


More On GameRevolution