Dr. Muto

Dr. Muto

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DEVELOPER: Midway   |   PUBLISHER: Midway   |   RELEASE: 11/19/2002

The sheer amount of platform games this holiday season is truly uncanny. With the likes of Sly Cooper, Mario, Ratchet and Clank, and Blinx the platform fans are sure to have their fills this x-mas. Midway has decided to join the action with it’s quirky title Dr. Muto. A bizarre game about a mad scientist that can morph into creatures after compiling their DNA structure. While this is a truly unique concept, not not original, can this game survive amongst the larger and more widely known characters fighting for your platforming buck? The answer is a resounding yes and even in some way Muto exceeds their efforts. Let’s take a look at another perfect example of an underground hit shall we?

Visually this game is beautiful, large environments sporting some of the most unique architecture this side of Tim Burton. Very organic in it’s look and design Muto’s worlds are chock full of amazingly animated enemies and colorful hazards such as toxic sludge. The frame rate is as smooth as ice and the animations are flawless. From Muto’s outrageous victory dances to the enemies scattering when being trapped this game has style to match it’s unique look and feel. The only downsides are a lack of super textures, the ones here are damn good but could be better, and some nice XBox touches like reflections and bump mapping. All in all an absolutely gorgeous game.

Having memorable music is a must in a platform game, you can still hear the Mario theme in your head can you not? Dr. Muto comes across pretty standard in the department. With some typical techno beats mixed with peculiar sound effects the fare seems to drive the game forward, yet it fails to excel or leave anything for you to hum along with. The sound effects on the other hand are top notch, creepy sounds of cockroaches, putrid sounds of liquid and waste, mixed with some excellent voice acting add to the strange personality this game portrays. Dr. Muto himself muttering his “sometimes” understandable lingo to Al your personal computer with his monotone jokes about how the current situation is suitable for a videogame but not a mad scientist are of the highest quality.

This is where the game draws you in and doesn’t let go. You are in control of Dr. Muto, a mad scientist with the ability to morph into creatures to accomplish goals. Sounds like a simple concept but the best part is the game does it so well by teaching you only what you need to know thus perfecting your skills for the later levels. You use the X button to perform what is called trapping, by trapping so many of the same creature you are given the ability to morph into it. This adds depth and personality and requires you to learn each function continuing to add more game for your buck. The game also switches styles on you from time to time adding challenge and variety, the screen often flips to the side for some old school 2D side scrolling action. Making jumps and timing are key to these challenges and continue to excel this game further in this department. While easy to pick up and taking a good amount of time to master Muto has certainly been designed with gamers in mind!

What this game does it does well and that is deliver a truly unique and fun experience for gamers. If you are a fan of platforming games and are tired of the same old crap then definitely pick this masterpiece up. It will deliver to you many hours of gaming goodness on top of being just downright entertaining to play. Watching this game is almost as fun as playing it and that is a feat less and less achieved in the gaming realm these days. I suggest giving this sleeper a rent, it may mutate your thoughts on platforming games in general. Highly recommended!

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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