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E3 impressions - SPRay

by rawmeatcowboy
16 July 2008
GN 1.0 / 2.0

It was almost as if Tecmo didn’t want anyone to see SPRay on the show floor. They had the title on two demo units, but one was facing a wall, and the other was facing…another wall. Unless you were actively searching each and every publisher’s lineup, you could have easily overlooked the game. I actually did go searching, and was happy to find SPRay. With the game just recently announced, I was surprised to see it on the floor. While the loading and graphics need work, the game actually seemed pretty far along.

While I was playing the game, I couldn’t stop thinking of other titles to compare it to. There were some titles that kept springing to mind. I know I shouldn’t use comparisons, but I feel they are the best way to describe this game and have my explanation make sense. In my opinion, SPRay is a mix of elements from Super Mario Sunshine, Zelda and Vexx. I am not saying that the game matches the quality of those titles, but it definitely retains elements from them.

Basically, the game world is littered with enemies that climb out of this gloop that is spread all throughout the kingdom. It’s your job to clean up this gloop in-order to progress through the game. Basically, if you touch this black anti-matter, you will be sucked into it…and that means game over. You’ll have to clear a path, and fight the baddies while you’re at it.

The way you cover up/clean these black splotches is through a collection of familiars. I am guessing that you collect more as the game continues, but I had some sort of ghoul and a fairy following me around. You select a color with the d-pad, and that picks the familiar you use. After that, pull the B trigger and they will spray their liquid to help clean the game world. While the fairy sprays water that can actually turn into ice later on, the ghoul vomits some sort of…I don’t know what. It’s true, he really does puke this stuff all over the place. There are also different types of puke to work with. For instance, red puke just looks gross…but green puke is extremely sticky. Your character will react differently to the colors while he walks on them.

When fighting the anti-matter enemies, you have to fill them up with one of your paint colors to kill them off. They have a meter above their heads which indicates how much paint they are filled with. Once that circle meter rounds off, the enemy will disappear. Later on, you come across these same enemies, but they are protected by a suit of armor. In order to paint them, you first have to go and attack in a more traditional way. This involves a lot of waggling to attack with your sword. Combos can be performed, and from what I could tell, they seemed to be based on timing. Once again, enemies have another meter for their armor level. Eventually, that meter will become cracked and fall off to reveal the anti-matter enemies you saw before.

As I mentioned earlier, SPRay reminded me of Vexx. This is purely in terms of the visuals. Something about the style of the artwork, and the graphics…they just screamed Vexx to me. I actually liked Vexx a lot, perhaps due to being such a platformer junky. The visual presentation in SPRay gave me that vibe, although things definitely need to be take up a notch. I don’t think SPRay will ever be a visual stunner, but it should come across as a decent-looking title. You can see the aim of the presentation from the demo, and hopefully the devs can achieve that goal.

SPRay was pretty surprising. I wouldn’t call it fantastic by any means, but I enjoyed the time I spent with the title. I’d like to see more of the platforming thrown in, and I’m sure that will happen a bit later in the game. Right now, the title shows promise. Once again, do not expect a game that will below you away. If you are a platforming fan, this game may turn out to be a fun romp.