Color Guardians Review

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Title: Color Guardians
Developer: Fair Play Labs
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 600 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: Yes

There have been a lot of games that run with the Endless Runner genre in recent years.  As we have explained in past reviews, Mobile has a lot of these as well as console games.  With consoles, these have also been experimenting with different things.  Not only mixing genres but different styles of play with the runner genre.  You still have some that are just plain runners, but also some that mix the formula up a bit.

A good example of one that mixes things up is Race the Sun.  This mixed it up because it was a flying game and it had a 3D perspective, as opposed to the normal 2D perspective for a runner game.  Apart from this, other game modes made it somewhat of a puzzle game as well with its labyrinth mode.  More games are melding genres as well, as you will see today.

A new runner has come out for the PS Vita and PlayStation TV, along with the PS4 and Steam.  This runner is a bit unique as I definitely wasn’t expecting this game to be a runner when I first booted it up.  Mixing platform, runner, and puzzle elements, here is my official review of Color Guardians!

Story

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The world of the Color Guardians is a world full of color and life.  Villages and other environments flourish due to the beautiful colors that they’re made up of, the elemental colors Red, Blue, and Yellow providing these colors and life.  Life was beautiful until a dark entity of every dark and dreary color comes and attacks the land of the Guardians.

The result of this attack was the theft of all color in the world, reducing them to scattered balls of paint throughout each area and town.  After recovering from the attack, the Guardians regroup and head out on a journey to collect the paint balls to recolor their world as well as defeating the enemy that threw their land into dreary chaos.

The story of this game is a very cute and kid-focused theme.  There isn’t a lot of dialogue but the whole aspect and scenario feels like something cute that would come in a kid show, like something Disney would showcase on their TV stations or movies.  It’s not a deep plot, but you can’t help but smile at the cute nature of it.

Gameplay

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Color Guardians makes itself unique because it’s a melding of various genres of games.  It is a stage-based runner.  It’s a platform game.  It’s got some timing and puzzle elements in play.  All of these meld together for the unique experience you see in each stage of the game.  Color Guardians is a platform runner with puzzle elements.

This game is stage-based and has a progression style in the world map very similar to the world map progression in games like Super Mario 3D Land, where you move from point to point and new areas open as you finish stages, leading to a boss fight in each area.  Once you finish each boss, you open up a new area and repeat the process until you finish the game.

Running through each stage places you in an environment with 3D visuals, but with a 2D/Side-Scrolling perspective.  You are running through each stage with the goal of reaching the goal at the end without hitting an obstacle or missing too many points.  There are also 3 lanes for you to cycle through.  Kind of like in Sonic Dash, where you need to constantly move between the lanes to collect pain balls and avoid hazards.

In each of the lanes are paint balls, hazards, objects that move you forward, as well as enemies.  Your goal is to collect as many paint balls as you can and reach the end of the stage.  The trick here is that the paint balls are Red, Blue, or Yellow.  Using the face buttons, you must make your character the same color as the paint ball in order to collect it.  You can also get more points if you time the button switch at the exact moment you hit that paint ball.

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While the gameplay is rather simple at times, it is also challenging.  One wrong button press and you could fall down a pit and have to restart from the last checkpoint you hit.  This makes the game fairly challenging, even from the first set of areas.  Each new set of stages adds more to the mix, like color boards that launch you across the stages to mine carts to ride in.  By the time you reach the end of the game, it will be testing your reflexes and hand-eye coordination.

Along with just reaching the end of the stage, you can also be tasked with getting as much as possible throughout each stage.  Getting as many Perfects as possible and the maximum grade for each stage will unlock bonus content, like other stages.  While there are only 5 areas to go through, each containing 10 stages and a boss stage, there are actually more than 70 stages in the game, so you’ll need to unlock the rest of those stages outside of just reaching the finish line of each stage.

With more than 70 stages to go through, Color Guardians should take you at least a few hours to go through, if you never fail a stage.  Realistically speaking, you can expect the game to last you at least 4-5 hours, depending on how quickly you can learn each stage.  There were many stages that I spent 10-20 minutes on with constant retries.  All in all, there’s plenty to keep you busy.

Controls

The controls for Color Guardians is going to be something that will not be hard for you to learn at all.  The first things you should know are that there are no touch controls in the game and the controls are exactly the same between the Vita and PlayStation TV.

You won’t actually be using that many buttons when you play the game.  You will be using the D-Pad to move your character between the three lanes and the face buttons to alter their color or throw objects during boss fights.  Outside of this, you done really do very much in the game.  It’s a very simple control scheme for a simple type of game.

Presentation

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There is much to say about the presentation of the game.  As far as the visuals are concerned, the game looks pretty good.  The cinematics are taken straight from the PS4 version of the game, and the in-game visuals look pretty decent.  Everything is colorful, but there is the occasional jagged edge here and there.  Not enough to sway you to play it on PS4 for visuals alone, but a little less smoothing than the full console version of the game.

The game’s performance is something else to mention, though.  From the moment you pull up the main menu, you will see that the game doesn’t exactly run as well as it should.  The main menu has a fair amount of jumpiness to it and the load times are quite lengthy.  I’d say the load times for a new stages are an average of 12-15 seconds.

Once you begin a stage, game progression and performance is fine.  It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t jump around like the menu does.

Summary

Color Guardians is a very colorful running platform game, for lack of a better term.  On the downside, there are a few technical issues with performance.  Outside of these minor mishaps, the game provides a unique blend of running, platforming, and puzzle elements. 

8/10