Plutobi: The Dwarf Planet Tales Review

Pluto may not be a planet (due to contrary opinion) but it definitely is now a game. Can it stay in orbit?

I love space. I love it so much that I study the whole thing academically and as you could gather from a bunch of curious and often intoxicated cosmology students, practitioners and professors, we debate A LOT. Over anything, it doesn’t have to be related to science and often the times, these debates aren’t even intellectual but they’re fun especially when you really dive deep into them. However, there is one debate that not only causes multiple different opinions not just within the astronomical community but in the mainstream community also is one muttering of one question: Is Pluto a Planet?

It gets my blood boiling every goddamn time. Not only is my answer ”No…duh!” but I’ve always wanted when a separate entity other than the human brain would come along and give in their insight, their knowledge, their opinion on the matter…I mean, I haven’t wanted that actually or thought about it but nevertheless, we have Plutobi to sort us straight in the ever-controversial question.

Plutobi: The Dwarf Planet Tales is a game based around each planet of the solar system including the Sun as a group of forced acquaintances in this small community and during the period where scientists deemed Pluto (or Plutobi) as a dwarf planet. From hearing this disastrous news, all the other planets and the Sun disown Plutobi and you play as Plutobi going around to each planet (or stage) destroying them because you were manipulated to destroy them all by your neighboring dwarf planets and comets who you thought were lesser than you when really, you’re unanimously classed as one of them. If this isn’t an allegory for any political dispute in history, I have no idea what is.

First off, the story in this game is not only presented in an awesome graphic novel style that gives the player a sense of epic scope, but it is extremely well paced and told which I did not expect. Not saying that I expected anything bad, I was instantly attracted to the concept but going off the plot, I didn’t expect for the dialogue to be as comically well-timed as it was or for the story to have such a good character and story structure to it. Also, it is quite factually accurate as far as I could tell. Obviously, planets don’t talk to each other (as far as we can comprehend…fourth dimension theory!!) and some facts had to be altered a little for the sake of story but what I found most interesting is that they attributed the characters (planets) personalities and traits to the actual planets structures and features which I appreciated so much.

I would really love for this to actually be a graphic novel rather than a game which ultimately brings me to the part I had a problem with which was gameplay. As a platform game, the stages and levels are dynamic and laid out well but in terms of the gameplay and controls, it sucks to play it. It also sucks that it is completely justifiable as to why the controls suck. The controls of Plutobi are represented in the same fashion and mobility as a planet would in space or how anything or one would move in space, it would be insanely troubling to control, and this game inherits that in its gameplay. Sure, I did get kind of used to it the more I played the game, but it still didn’t make it fun for me. I had to 100% focus on the game and not in a good way, it was quite annoying most of the time especially when it came to the boss planet battles. The gameplay might work for others but for me, it was insanely slow, and it slowed down the game for me a lot which is a shame since like I said, the story is so well paced.

Although there is that almost game breaking fault to it, I do have to admit that it further proves the point that this game knows what it is. It deals with both the fictional and non-fictional aspects in an excellent fashion and it was a real treat to witness. As a story, I highly rate it because it was the story that actually kept me engaged in continuing playing the game but on the opposite end, what held me back from playing it was the gameplay and controls with how slow and frustrating it was. It didn’t affect the story too much for me, but it definitely did affect the combat (which was sometimes fun) and overall flow of the game.

If you can handle a slow control system, then I’m happy for you because you will love this game. I don’t know if this game will intrigue you into delving deep into the world of the Cosmos (see what I did there…) but it certainly will broaden your perception of it. I was struggling on a rating for this game. Do I give it a generous rating due to its respectable and comically crafted story or do I stay fair and accept that if your game just has a great story, it doesn’t necessarily make it a great game? I would have to go with the second option.

I’m not going to be too harsh though. If you love space, love a humorous take on things and love dragging controls, this is a game that you might love to play and even though I do love the story, in my opinion, it wasn’t fun to play most of the time but in that case, since it is fun to play some of the time, it doesn’t downgrade the rating too much.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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