Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Retrospective: Mister Mosquito/Mr. Moskeeto (Ps2)

 Yesterdays post seemed fairly popular. I guess people like reading what anime's others are watching. I bet you've watched a bit of Upotte now, haven't you? Today though its back to business as usual looking at a niche game in every sense of the word - Mr Moskeeto (PAL)/Mister Mosquito (US)

Story (Wikipedia)
The player controls a mosquito named "Mister Mosquito", the game's titular hero, who has taken up residency in the house of the Yamada family, life-sized humans that serve as the protagonist's food source in the game. The goal of the game is to stock up on blood through the summer so that the mosquito will survive the winter ahead.

As you'd expect with a wacky niche title like this, Theres basically no story with only a quirky premise to keep you intrigued! At the time a contributor, Matt Cundy, comically summarised in a list that contained the game, "Given that mosquitoes kill millions of people every year, we'd have thought a game that put players in control of such a notorious serial killer would have met with more controversy" Hilarious.
The gameplay is all about one thing: sucking blood from the Yamada family while they go about their everyday lives with wanton abandon. That's about the extent of the game. You can only suck blood from certain areas of the body though which can only be accessed at certain times. With each family member following a set looping pattern of movements, studying these will allow you to pick the opportune moment when they arrive. You will have to fill a quota of blood for each stage to progress. The main challenge in bloodsucking comes from each victim having a "stress meter". You must make sure that the victim stays unaware of your activities as you stalk your prey. Sucking blood too fast or too slow will increase the victim's stress level, causing the family member to take notice of you! If Mister Mosquito is swatted while sucking blood, obviously instant death occurs. If you are noticed by a victim while flying around, Battle Mode begins, involved something similar to a boss battle. The family member at this time try to attack Mister Mosquito  while its of your best interest to dodge said attacks or be swatted. To calm them, You can hit a number of pressure points on their body's, relieving them of tension and they return to their business. The game is made up of a series of stages which are unlocked in order. You can choose your own path through each stage, giving the game a somewhat 'sandbox' feel. The rooms in each stage are fully explorable too with each room having items hidden away which can bring you various benefits & bonuses once found. The whole game is single-player only with no other means of replay value than to replay previous levels to attain the hidden items.
As you'd expect from such a niche title as this, the graphics aren't anything to write home about. Textures are dull for the most part and the character models are serviceable. The developers haven't gone for a stylised look which was surprising. Still, the life-size nature of the Yamada family contrasts perfectly with the diminutive size of the mosquito and there is a decent amount of detail in some areas. The stages/rooms are also just as life-size as the family which gives you an awful lot of 3D space to move around in. The games visual perspective as a mosquito is one of its best assets. While the game looks somewhat dull, a look on the Internet will show bright colourful stages! These screens are unfortunately from the games sequel, which only saw a release in Japan, so be careful if seeking out a copy of this game. Voice acting and music are surprisingly amusing. As the IGN review states, it comes across as being based on music in porno's. It does give off a cheesy elevator/porno vibe so I guess I agree on that one. It all makes it amusing from an audio perspective though. Things could be worse on the presentation side of things but it gets the job done at least while being amusing on the odd occasion.
I haven't played this game for quite a while. I found it in a bargain bin as a kid and in hindsight, its a game I should have kept hold of as its somewhat hard to find these days in stores. Its as quirky a  game as you'll find to be honest and I actually had fun playing it due to its unique premise. Its a shame oddball games like these have pretty much vanished from the retail scene, only being found occasionally via digital means on current systems. Mr Mosquito is worth trying just for how bizarrely fun an arcade mosquito based game can be. With such a limited print at the time its surprising that it can be found for roughly £10+ on Ebay, so if your interested that may be your best avenue of success!

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