A game about disposing trash… can it really be that fun? Is it worth your $5?
Trash Panic was created by SCE Japan, the same developers behind Patapon, LocoRoco, and Echochrome and it shows. In almost every aspect of the game, Trash Panic screams “MADE IN JAPAN”, from the character/model designs, to the crazy cool music and odd sound effects, all the way up to the hardcore “no saves at all” feature when playing the main mode of the game. While most of the aspects of the game are nice there are some flaws to Trash Panic.
In Trash Panic, trash is given to you via a conveyor belt and it is your job to dispose of it in the trash can. You dispose of the trash by smashing it against the can or other items in the can. Throughout the game you also have the opportunity to burn trash, decompose trash, and blow up trash. You control the trash just like you would control a block in Tetris, and at first look the game seems like a new take on get object, place object, and clear; it is far from it. I say this due to the fact that the items given to you to dispose of are in almost a set order, changing ever so slightly. However, all of the major items do come to you in a certain order everytime, depending on level and difficulty. Though it seems like Trash Panic would be easier due to this mechanic it is not, disposing of the trash is much harder than it looks. All items have a certain amount of hardness and if the item is not hit in the right place it will not break right away and will require other items to dispose of it. In the long run Trash Panic is a hardcore puzzle game that is very unforgiving.
Trash Panic’s multiplayer aspect is pretty shallow. It supports only local multiplayer; one versus one. A slight plus is that you can play against the computer if you do not have a friend to play with. The same mechanics and game play apply to the mulitplayer. You must smash your trash and prevent trash dropping to the floor. However, you want to do it as fast as possible. The faster you do it, the faster the trash can elevates to dump the smashed trash into your opponents trash can, making it harder for them to contain trash in their can. When playing against human opponents it turns into pushing the drop button as fast as possible with a rotate thrown in at times. While there may be no online mulitplayer, there is an online scoreboard to compare your performance to other users. You can also upload up to 10 minutes of your performance onto youtube.
There is also a mission mode that has you dispose trash in a certain way. One mission for example is you have to ring a bell 108 times while not over flowing the can and not breaking the bell. The missions are an added spice to the dish of Trash Panic, yet there are not too many missions.
For many, having a main mode with three different difficulties, mission mode, multiplayer, and online scoreboards for a five dollar game would be plenty, but SCE Japan also kicked in an endless mode. In endless mode you dispose of trash for as long as you can, for you know… practicing for the freakin’ hard Hell mode.
If you like a super hard, super Japanese puzzle game, and you’re willing to take the time to understand and master games, Trash Panic is worth your $5.