Papo & Yo Review
Many Gameplay Problems
Throughout the brief four hours that it took me to play through Papo & Yo, I experienced many problems, that somewhat varied, but more so just kept happening. An immediate, and frequently recurring issue I experienced while I played through the game was constant and significant frame rate drops. This could be experienced as soon as a minute or two after the game began. Luckily, it was not an incredibly persistent problem, to the point where the whole game felt like it was slowed down.
Another issue that strangely happened more often than I felt it should was characters like Monster getting infinitely stuck in objects. This definitely wasn’t as common as the frame rate drops. Unfortunately, the lack of save points in the game can cause fairly large setbacks if you have to quit out and restart the section to fix the game. The same goes for having the main character, Quico fall through the map. This can happen at any point, and will again force the player to restart the game, or back out to the main menu.
These issues are things that would have likely benefited strongly, and been MUCH less common in general had the game been delayed a few months to allow for polish to be done. While these things don’t entirely hinder your gameplay experience unless you get the extremely bad ones, they can make the experience less enjoyable. You may also get very lucky and get a minimal amount of bugs, but this isn’t something to count on.
Gameplay and Graphics Feel Bland
Despite the fact that Papo & Yo has an exceptionally good story, it is deeply masked behind the lack-luster gameplay itself. Most of the puzzles in the game will not prove to be much of a challenge for the player. They will instrad quickly begin to feel tedious seeing as they usually have multiple steps that take more time than they should. By the time the real goal of the game is revealed to the player, they will probably already be burned out on the same ol’ of turning keys, luring Monster, and pulling handles. There are some notably nifty parts of the game to be seen, like a building stacking and manipulating section, though most don’t provide much variety.
The developer went for a slightly cheap approach, with the attempt to get the player to replay the game by only unlocking collectible hats after the first play-through of the game. While the story was great the first time around, this barely feels like a reason to replay the overly glitchy experience, especially with no real reward, other than a trophy. Somewhat of the same can be said for the graphics and art direction that the developers of the game went with. They had originally said that they wanted to show off the real Favela environment, versus the ever popular first person shooter Favela situation. While attempting to work with the environment, they seem to have drifted from the idea of Quico’s imagination setting.
Other items that are easily noticed by most include the lack of detail put into the design. When talking, Quico and a mysterious female’s mouths don’t move, which is among some of the generally overlooked issues. This also includes poor jumping physics that can easily annoy the player, as well as lack of contact made with platforms at times. The overlying idea can be seen regardless of the gameplay and graphics, though not every player will be able to make it past the two points.
This story truly hits home for people who have experienced the hardships that are demonstrated (which are influenced by Vander Caballero, the game’s Creative Director and his life experiences). The same can very well be said for anyone else who can get past the inadequate gameplay. Both this and the musical score in the game are areas where the game excels highly. Unfortunately, the story seems to take priority throughout the whole game, with the gameplay aspect being overlooked. It might take some dedication to get past this and the general glitches, but if you can, the story is fairly rewarding.[Editor's Note: Papo & Yo was reviewed on the Playstation 3. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]
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