"Middling Desires": Ambition of the Slimes Review
Slimes have been a staple enemy in console role-playing games since the days of the NES. I can still remember the first time I encountered a Slime in Dragon Quest; it was a quick fight and an easy victory, but I earned that one experience point. Honestly though, I can't say that I've ever thought to myself that I wanted to play as one of those adorable, squishy creatures. Well, I may not have asked for it, but that's exactly what I got with Ambition of the Slimes on the 3DS.
Ambition of the Slimes is a little light on narrative and from what I've gathered from the game's "cutscenes"you play as a group of slimes that appear to be out for revenge against the humans. There is no dialogue from the slimes. The only time anyone speaks is when the people begin trying to attack you at the start of a battle. The game doesn't offer much in the way of story, but it doesn't need to. You play as a group of monsters, and they shouldn't talk. They do exactly what monsters do in RPGs, and that is attack the humans that are trying to kill them.
If you are familiar with games like Final Fantasy Tactics, then you should have a good idea of what Ambition of the Slimes has to offer. Using a grid-based isometric map, the game tasks the player with controlling their slimes to defeat their human enemies. However, much like their position in a standard RPG, the slimes are too weak to handle the humans under their own power, of course, they do have a way to fight back. The unique ability of these slimes allows them to enter the body of their opponent and take control over it.
This unique mechanic certainly makes the game stand out, but the game is hurt by the game's difficulty. Even during the first chapter, the game's difficulty takes a substantial leap after the first two battles and gets to the point where the game becomes far more of a slog than it should be. Even when playing on easy the game ends up being more about trial and error than any kind of strategy.
Unfortunately, this leads to the game becoming more of an exercise in frustration and quickly ruins any semblance of fun the game may have initially offered. This is unfortunate because Ambition of the Slimes showed a lot of promise when I began playing it. This ridiculous spike in difficulty makes the game hard to recommend, even at its five dollar price tag.
It's only fitting that a game highlighting one of the lowliest of creatures would be given an 8-bit style. This style fits the game quite well, and it looks great on the 3DS screen. The sprites for the slimes may look cute on the overworld screen, but once you get into battle, their appearance changes significantly. These battle sprites look fantastic and really stand out when compared to the rather basic appearance of the rest of the game.
Audio doesn't help much either, while the music that is here is catchy at first, the lack of variety causes each of the tracks to quickly become repetitive. Aside from some basic sound effects, there isn't much else available in terms of audio, leaving the game barren regarding sound.
Ambition of the Slimes was a game that I wanted to like, and it's a disappointment that I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I wanted. The game's emphasis on trail and error versus the use of any actual strategy is the biggest disappointment. While the game looks fine, and I love the look of the battle sprites, the presentation leaves a lot to be desired due to the severely lacking audio package. Ultimately, the game isn't worth its five dollar price tag and there are far better games available on the eShop than Ambition of the Slimes.