Level 22: Gary’s Misadventures Review

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Title: Level 22: Gary’s Misadventures
Developer: Moving Player
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download: 215 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: 
Yes

Have you ever been that one person that’s on the ropes because you’ve been late for work so many times that one more instance will get you fired?  If you have, then you know the tension and stress involved in running late once again, whether it’s because you woke up late, took too long with breakfast, or traffic was entirely not on your side.

So, what do you do?  Not show up for work because you’re getting fired anyways?  Call in with some incredibly not-feasible sick excuse?  Or do you do the bold move of trying to not only going to work, but sneaking your way to your desk so no one even knows you weren’t there?  You’d have to have a lot of courage of Solid Snake-level of skills to accomplish that.

If you’ve ever wanted to try, then a new game for the PS Vita lets you do just that.  This is a Mobile game in Europe, but is not on PlayStation in Noth America.  Here is my official review of Level 22: Gary’s Misadventures!

Story

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You play the role of Gary, an office worker that has a bad habit of arriving late to work a lot.  He has been late so many times that he’s certain that he will be fired if he is late one more time and, of course, on this day, he is very, very late.  Rushing to work, he decides to fool everyone by sneaking through the office without being seen in order to get to his desk and keep his job.

The storyline is very limited in the game, but it’s something charming that anyone who works in an office can appreciate.  It also continues as Gary’s friend talks to him over a radio as you go through each level.

Gameplay

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Level 22 is a stealth indie game that has you sneaking around and using objects to move past enemies and get from level to level.  You will be using objects for distractions as well as hiding places as you move through the office to get to your desk, along with fighting various boss fights.

The game progresses in stages/missions in a very Super Mario fashion.  Each set of Levels is called a World, so you’re going through World 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, and so on until you hit stage 5, which holds a boss.  Then the story progresses and you go to the next World.  While Metal Gear fans will be used to games that are all in one world/stage, this is much more condensed in small levels.

When you begin each level, you will be in a semi-top-down environment and be tasked with finding the staircase to get to the next floor.  Reaching the staircase will be a matter of using stealth and puzzle elements to get there.  Lots of co-workers and security guards roam the halls that you need to avoid and sneak past.

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The sneaking is done with environments and items.  Lots of cabinets, car trunks, and other hiding spots are available to jump in until people walk past you.  You also find items from donuts to distract security guards, books to knock people out, and even cardboard boxes to sneak around under.  If you didn’t think this was a tribute to Metal Gear by now, you surely should start thinking it the moment you see that cardboard box.

The puzzles start easy, like jumping into cabinets or laying donuts, but things get trickier the further you go in.  You’ll be going from dodging one guard to 4-5 and things are very much based on timing.  Getting caught gets you a game over, but a checkpoint system helps this not be frustrating when you have to re-do something.

Finally are the boss fights.  These are a mix of stealth and action.  In the boss fights, you cannot be seen, but you also need to take down the boss.  For example, in the first boss, you have to lay down staplers to attract a security guard and then launch explosives to damage him.  Afterwards, you have to hurry and hide in a cabinet so no one sees you.  In another, you have to knock someone out so they don’t see you wrecking security camera equipment.

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Over the course of the game are plenty of hours of content, but this is really something you just pick up and play, rather than do in one sitting.  How many times have I said that in a review?  The thing to note is that this is the same content as the Mobile release, so it’s a bit of a toss-up if you want to buy this on the Vita for $6-7 or just pay $2 for the Mobile version.

Controls

As far as controls are concerned, things stay pretty simple.  PlayStation TV is supported with this game, but no special controls when on a Dual Shock 3 or Dual Shock 4 controller.  Also, touch controls are still in here from the Mobile release, so you can choose touch or buttons.

The Left Analog Stick is used to move around, and the Right Analog Stick can move the camera out to watch for the positions of the nearby guards.  D-Pad is not used for movement, but rather for the use of items you’ve picked up.  L and R don’t really get used, and the only face buttons the game uses are X and Circle.  It’s pretty light on controls.

Presentation

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The game’s original visual presentation is here in the PS Vita version of the game, and it looks colorful.  Renders aren’t perfect, but they’re not supposed to be.  So, no real complaints there.

Performance is a give and take.  The load times are pretty much at the limit of the acceptable range.  Some load times are around 10 seconds, some shorter.  That’s about at the acceptable cap for me before I start taking points.

Glitching is the main issue and annoyance with this version of the game.  There are many areas where the game will not allow you to move where you’re supposed to.  Some boss fights can also glitch.  The second boss has sections where the boss will move towards something you break and you’re supposed to be able to move out of the way.  A few time, the game locked in a cinematic and wouldn’t let me move until I was spotted and got a game over.

Summary

Overall, Level 22 is a fun little stealth game.  Although the Mobile version was only a third of the price as the Vita version and it’s got some weird glitches in boss fights, it’s still a worthy game for the Vita gamer that enjoys stealth games in the style of the 2D Metal Gear series. 

8/10

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