ichorous green meteor plummets through Earth's atmosphere,
fracturing and showering the earth with glowing green
space dust that affects all forms of life nearby. Some
plant life - like mushrooms and cacti -acquire sentience.
At the same time, the green glow twists and mutates other
life forms like spiders and roaches, transforming them
into semi-intelligent, warlike communities.
Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars picks up after the Rise of
the Fungi story concludes, players end up under the mushroom
cap of PAX, an outcast mushroom trying to find his place
in society. Set in a third-person action-platformer, PAX
learns he’s different for a very good reason, uncovering
new talents he never knew he had.
Using the Wii Remote motion controls, players have
PAX running, jumping, gliding and spore-powering his
way through level after level of everyday scenarios
from a three-inch perspective. Join him in his quest
to help the Bolete and Morel tribes repel the attacks
of the Lepiota and Amanita armies, all the while discovering
what his role is in this wild new world.
WII COMBAT Part 2: Combat Variety
Written by Kain Shin, Lead Programmer/Combat Designer
Input Variety with Combat:
Variety was another core aim of the combat system. Melee
combat by itself would eventually feel repetitive and
tiresome if the game offered nothing else to the user
throughout the game. The combat design of Mushroom Men
emphasizes variety in the form of motion (melee), pointing
(Spore Punisher), and a combination of the two (Telekinesis-Throw).
Telekinesis-Throw allows the player to use the environment
to make fights end quicker. It provides an opportunity
for a gratifying tactile sensation related to picking
something up and throwing it at an enemy. The physics
objects in each level have been tuned to apply just
enough damage to make medium-sized enemies bleed. Bleeding
is an important part of the feedback in the game because
it indicates the availability of the third and most
lethal attack method in the game: Spore Punisher. Spore
Punisher not only destroys the victim completely, but
it also has an area of effect that damages nearby enemies.
Because it is so powerful, it has to be presented as
a finishing move available only after the enemy has
been "softened up".
Strategic Weapon Choices:
In addition to three actions for use in combat, weapon
variety also adds a reason for having four types of
weapons in the game. Not all weapons are good for all
situations and that will become apparent in specific
The player starts out with Bashing weapons, which have
a vertical arc but can be a handicap when facing multiple
Eventually, the player gets Slashing weapons, which
do less damage, but can be useful against multiple opponents
with its wide horizontal arc.
Piercing weapons is a favourite weapon category. The
emphasis with piercing weapons is auto-aiming precision
against a single enemy, but a master player can really
feel like a ninja with its flying thrust. The piercing
jump attack is especially useful against flying enemies.
The Radical Weapons use ammo and can run out, but the
amount of damage they cause can be the difference between
life and death when facing a gang of aggressive enemies.
Miscellaneous Combat Features:
There are three features in the game that are never
taught to the user for various reasons and will probably
be discovered by the more core players. These three
features deserve more than just a mere mention in the
The first unmentioned feature is the passive co-op
mode where anyone can pick up the second Wii remote
and help out the first player by using reticle actions
or mashing the A button to regenerate health on the
hero. They call this the roommate feature.
The second unmentioned feature is batting non-physical
projectiles back at the shooter. This is a fun thing
to do against enemy sage characters that shoot unblockable
projectiles at Pax.
The third unmentioned feature is the ability to flick
the nunchuck to switch to the last equipped weapon.
Switching back and forth between radical weapons and
melee weapons can be very convenient in tight situations.
Bosses as Mechanic Reinforcement
Several of the bosses and mini-bosses are included to
reinforce a specific mechanic, such as the Telekinesis-Throw
(whereby Pax uses his Telekinesis ability on an object
and tosses it back at the enemy). Players had the option
to use this ability during the game to get the upper
hand on an opponent, or could let Player 2 perform this
to help them out in the midst of battle. But it was
never enforced, as developers didn’t want to force
the player to use them. However, with bosses we had
a chance to make a puzzle and to encourage the player
to use those mechanics. Several of the bosses require
this Telekinesis-Throw attack to dispatch. One of the
mini-bosses actually acts as a tutorial for the Spore
Punisher manoeuvre, flying out the player’s reach
until they can successfully execute it.
Boss as Action/Puzzle
Some of the bosses had to be stand-alone encounters,
and that allowed the developers to borrow a trope from
the Zelda series: the boss as an action/puzzle exercise.
In some of these encounters, the player wasn’t
strong enough to hurt the boss directly, or couldn’t
get at them, and had to use environment components and
specific game mechanics to take them out. This framed
the whole boss fights as puzzles to be solved, not simply
a skill exercise (although there is some of that, surely!).
Bosses as the Level
In the Parking Lot, the player will face not one but
FIVE bosses to deal with. The entire area is centred
on these encounters, and it will be one of the most
well-received experiences of the game. Each of the bosses
will use their environment in interesting and unique
ways closely tied to them.