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CONSOLE: PSP / PlayStation 3 DEVELOPER: Mediatonic PUBLISHER: Mediatonic
RELEASE DATE (NA): October 4, 2011 GENRE: Action
// review by SoyBomb

That's a LOT of claws...

NOTE: I am reviewing the PSP version of this game, although it also plays similarly on the PlayStation 3.

Are there really 1000 tiny claws in this game? No, there are not. There are actually MORE. And they all want to sink themselves into your eye sockets, rip out those succulent ocular nerves, and have a bloody retina feast.

You play as Rana, the first mate after Captain Bluebell. Thanks to their yearning for seeking booty amidst the rocky seas, they have accidentally unleashed "The Swarm", wave after wave of creepy insect monsters, each with their own set of — you guessed it — claws. Tiny ones, mind you, but claws nonetheless. You have 24 hours to remove this threat, or else that's... pretty much it for the planet. Sounds a bit serious? You bet it is. Armed with only her trusty sword and her possibly not-so-trusty wits, Rana is sent to the various nearby islands to wipe out this scourge of nature.

Meh.

Rana has a few moves in her arsenal, though this is hardly an epic adventure. She can swipe her sword a few times to make a little hack'n'slash combo and beat up those bugs that are all trying to deliver you employment... as a cadaver apprentice! That's what you'll spend most of your time doing. Just tapping the sword button. Over and over. And over.

And over.

When the swarms of insects get to be too intense, Rana can also repeatedly perform a guarding sidestep... or hop... until she is reasonably out of harm's way. Without this move, the game would be impossible. They say only wusses retreat from battle, but in this case, wussery is a virtue. Rana can also dash when you double-tap a direction button. I say "direction button", meaning "not the analog stick." No analog controls. Just the trusty D-Pad. In 2011. Really?


There are so many bugs to flick, you'll think you're camping.

Each of the game's 25 stages will make you sweat through your shirt and leave a dark stain on the sofa. You'll need to fend off five waves of claw-totin' critters while keeping your life meter intact and not falling off or being flicked off the island. The lower your health, the greater chance of getting the boot into the cloudy abyss below. And it happens. And it's frustrating. The swarm is unforgiving, and the different types of bugs all have their own unique attack methods, often performing them in tandem to give you an even more difficult time.

The more time you hit an enemy, the greater chance it has of being flicked off the island as well. Of course, swiping at one while it's sitting on the fray is also a great idea. The more successful hits you deliver to enemies, the higher your score multiplier is; this multiplier is adversely affected by being damaged. Surprisingly, score DOES matter if you want to earn a gold medal for each It took most of my sanity and any curse words I had stored up in the cerebrum, but I earned those precious gold medals! And if I can do it, anyone can do it. ...Even YOU!

The sad part is that 1000 Tiny Claws gets old fast. It also gets frustrating even more quickly. Luckily, it's a fairly short game that should only take a few hours' worth of time to chuff through. 1000 Tiny Claws does have its fair share of charm — the graphics are somewhat cute, if not simple, and the little cutscenes have those bumbling Banjo-Kazooie style voiceovers — but that's not enough to offset the amount of time spent with my eyebrows pointed down in disgruntlement. The game's relatively inexpensive, though, so perhaps you get what you pay for. Arrr.


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