The title FlingSmash is the most accurately-titled Wii release we’ve ever seen at D+PAD. In much the same way Wii Boxing could be described as FlailSweat or Wii Tennis might be boiled down to FlingBreakTVByAccident, the core mechanics of FlingSmash involve flinging your grinning avatar and smashing whichever stands in their way.
Packaged with a Wii Remote Plus controller for £44.99, the substantial cost of a remote is such that in many ways it helps to consider FlingSmash akin to a £10 budget title, or even a WiiWare release rather than a full release. Or perhaps that’s what developers Artoon may have hoped. The inclusion of a Remote Plus is no gimmick either, as this is not the sort of game that can be extensively debated or requires multiple control schemes – you grab the remote, you fling and then you smash.
Excellently titled in Japan as Super Smash Ball Plus, FlingSmash discards with award-winning story design to allow players indirect control of their ball-like avatar Zip, who smashes through a continuously scrolling level that is packed with bricks and enemies of varying sizes.
Wii Motion Plus is a necessary inclusion here as player’s success is dictated through the direction of the swings, with angled ‘shots’ bounding their character across the screen. Precision is always needed and rarely do you feel as though your actions aren’t corresponding to the on-screen actions, while your first couple of playthroughs will undoubtedly put a smile on your face.
So why the two stars at the bottom of the page for a well-polished title that literally does as its title suggests? Sadly, FlingSmash does little else other than allow players to fling and smash – the game can actually be completed in around two hours and offers very little in the way of challenge or variety along your campaign. Boss battles are predictable, mini-games are derivative and due to the pinball-style nature of proceedings, success or failure can sometimes feel like a frustrating process.
Frustration is actually a continual theme during a playthrough of FlingSmash, with the auto-scrolling nature of the title squarely to blame. Lining up precise shots is typically not worth the effort, as the more time you spend on having the perfect lob of your character, the more time has elapsed and all sorts of enemies may be circling or collectables have passed you by. Instead, you’re positively encouraged to ‘fling’ the remote as frenetically as possible and hope it turns out well executed – there’s simply no time for accomplishing much more.
Outside of its regular gameplay, a co-op option tries to become an amusing diversion though it’s evident that the level design wasn’t initially planned for two players. Much like Super Mario Galaxy’s own version of co-op, one player ends end up hoovering up as many items as possible (though here the second player is visible on-screen), while the other will look to bounce onwards towards the level’s finish line. Much like the rest of FlingSmash, the lack of depth on offer won’t sustain two player’s interest, even if you do end up with a greater collectible haul.
FlingSmash is an interesting title that is at once uninspired yet unpredictable. Harking back to the gimmick-heavy games that clogged the Wii’s shelves during the console’s tentative steps, it’s a title that fulfils its mission statement but does little to justify its pricing as a full release (Wii Remote Plus pack-in or not), especially in light of far greater tie-ins such as Wii Sports Resort, Wii Party or even 2009’s EA Grand Slam Tennis. Even if you really, really want to get your hands on a Remote Plus, you can do a lot better.
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