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DEVELOPER: Taito   |   PUBLISHER: Ubi-Soft   |   RELEASE: 02/14/2006

In a gaming world dominated by puzzle games that are focused on blocks, gems, or any other kind of shape, along comes a game with a fresh template. Exit tries to make a mark in the gaming world with a style that combines puzzle solving with platform side scrolling; and although the game provides a fun puzzle solving experience, it has a few flaws that keep it from becoming a genuine classic.

The whole point of Exit is to help trapped victims in various building disasters escape. You play as Mr. ESC, an escapologist, who ventures through 2-D buildings to find victims who can also aid you in finding others to rescue.

Exit combines the normal puzzle and platforming elements such as box pushing, jumping over ledges, climbing up and down ladders, etc, but this is only part of what you need to escape most of the 100 levels. In most of them, you also need to rely on the abilities of the victims. They come in the form of children, adults, and patients each with their own set of abilities and problems. Children, for example, can’t jump and they need your help to get up and down from platforms, but they are able to crawl through small tunnels and can walk over weight-restricted areas. Adults aren’t very agile, but can push larger boxes by themselves. Patients can’t do anything. They are called patients for a reason. You need to either carry them or cart them out on a gurney.

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice!

Controlling the victim is fairly simple. Once you rescue them, they automatically follow you. If you want them to stay put, just push the L button. Push it again to get them to follow you, but herein lies a problem with The AI. If you have more than one victim following you, and you get to a ladder or rope, only one of them will follow you down, the other just stays put. The only way to get the victim down is to use the analog stick, which brings up an arrow. Drag the arrow with the analog stick and point it on the victim, a box will appear around the victim, and then press the triangle button. Drag the arrow down to where you want the victim to end up. Hit the triangle button one more time, and down they will come. It doesn’t seem like a lot to do, but when every second counts, it can become tedious. You only have a certain amount of time to help everyone escape. The rest of the controls are basic. R button lets you run. X is jump. Square button picks up and uses items. Circle button opens doors.

Another thing that kinda annoyed me was the old school platforming elements. You have to plan most of the jumps and you can’t simply climb up or go down ladders. You have to stand in front of it and push up or down on the D-pad depending on which way you want to go. This leads to a lot of levels being completed by trial and error. If you move a box to an area it’s not supposed to go, oh well. You have to retry the level because you can only push boxes, not pull them. This is one of the frustrations that make the game monotonous.

The graphics are really sharp and surprisingly colorful. The characters are inked black, but all have a touch of color. For example, MR. ESC wears a yellow hat and a red scarf. The surrounding building looks cell shaded and cartoony. Needles to say, this is one of the better looking PSP games out there.

We don’t need no water let the mutha [email protected]#$% burn y’all!

Exit also doesn’t contain any kind of multi-player, but you will eventually be able to download new levels via the WiFi connection. You might ask yourself, “doesn’t this game have 100 levels to begin with? How many more levels will they make?” Try 200. You’ll be playing this game for quite some time.

All in all, Exit is not a bad game. It’s fun and addicting. The controls are simple, the graphics are sharp, and there is plenty here to keep you coming back for months. It just has those pesky AI problems and too many trial and error levels, but for all of those in search of an original PSP game, look no further Exit has arrived.

Justin is a quiet fellow who spends most of his time working on things in the back-end of the site. Every now and then he comes forward throwing a controller, but he is attending anger management for that.

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