Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Mercury Meltdown Revolution (Wii) Review

We have already seen two tilting puzzle games appear on Nintendo's Wii so far, in the form of Sega's Super Monkey Ball and Hudson's Kororinpa. Both have been extremely good fun, but limited overall in terms of long-term appeal. But now Ignition has its own take on the genre with Mercury Meltdown Revolution, a complete reworking of the hit PlayStation Portable game. Is it better than the original and the competition on Wii, though?

To start off, the game does not particularly look like a true next generation game. The levels are nicely put together with lots of random colours flashing around, but there is nothing that especially jumps out and grabs you. Even the metallic effects on the mercury ball are simply akin to those used on Metal Mario from the Nintendo 64. Well, okay that may be a slight exaggeration, but it just does not ooze the charm that most may have been expecting of it. In fact, the slew of random colours can get quite confusing when playing through the various levels on offer, which is not exactly ideal when you are trying hard to concentrate on what you are doing. Thankfully, though, the soundtrack is very impressive. But hey, this game is more about 'fun' that aesthetics...

Screenshot for Mercury Meltdown Revolution on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

And a lot of fun it indeed is! Whilst Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz seemed a little rushed and Kororinpa suffered from dodgy camera angles, Mercury Meltdown Revolution, whilst not 100% perfect, lifts itself above the competition with the greatest of ease. Using the Wii controller to move around the numerous mazes on offer seems so natural, with the action doing what Nintendo hoped developers would do – make the Wii controller a natural extension of your arm. Moving around gently translates perfectly on-screen, making you feel totally in control.

However, rather than making it all too easy, things are mixed up considerably to increase the challenge. For starters your ball is a blob of mercury and is, therefore, fluid in nature, making it difficult to manoeuvre and prone to breaking off into lots of separate other blobs if you hit a sharp edge. You can even lose parts of the ball if some of the mercury gets loose and slips off the edge of a level (you can keep an eye on the percentage remaining via a handy on-screen meter that sits below the general ‘guidance’ timer – in other words, you do not lose if you do not beat the timer!). On top of this, your ball of mercury can be made harder (making it roll quicker), softer (making it slower and more susceptible to splitting up).

Screenshot for Mercury Meltdown Revolution on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The game really does get you thinking as well, with you actually having to split the ball up on purpose at times, roll each separate blob under different colours to change them separately and then re-merge them together to make a new colour (for example, colour one blue and the other red, then join them together to make a purple ball!). It has its frustrating moments, although they are normally due to human error and the high difficulty in most levels. For instance, some stages have grates that not only slow the progress of your ball down, but cause tiny bits of the mercury to drip away if you do not tilt hard enough. The thing is, tilt too much and there could be an ice patch just after and then you will simply skid off at a rapid pace and have to start all over. Frustrating, indeed, but the good sort that keeps you coming back for more.

Screenshot for Mercury Meltdown Revolution on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Thankfully there is the ability to zoom in, out and rotate each stage to get the best perspective (something that was very annoyingly absent from Kororinpa). Also, the tutorial mode at the very beginning of the game is a godsend, walking you through all the things likely to be thrown at you early on. You are also not just thrown in at the deep end as stages are progressive in nature, introducing new features and then gradually building up to include them and much more as you work through. All of these aspects and the wealth of ingenuity found within the stages make this a more 'complete' version of the original PlayStation Portable game, and of course the introduction of Wii-tilt controls works perfectly. Far better than the originally proposed tilt sensor for the PSP edition would have, no doubt...

And if you think you will be able to breeze through MMR with the greatest of ease, then you are certainly mistaken. Although there are no multiplayer or online options (hopefully a sequel will come in the future...), the game has more than 140 stages to play through, different targets to hit and there is even a Ghost Mode so you can aim to beat your own times for each level. There truly is a massive amount of replayability to be found in MMR, even if the six mini-games that are included ('colour a platform' or 'race through a stage', to name two) are well below par...

Screenshot for Mercury Meltdown Revolution on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


The use of the Wii controller is almost perfect, with it definitely feeling like an extension of your arm. Throw in the ingenious level design and good use of step-by-step additions to new stages and this is fantastic fun.


Too many colours flying around to distract you and effects that are not particularly impressive for the Wii. But it gets the job done.


A very funky soundtrack that is extremely pleasing on the ears and gets you in the right mood!


Working your way through all the stages on offer is enough to warrant picking this up, but adding in the chance to beat your own times in Ghost Mode is great. Multiplayer would have pushed this to the full 10, though...

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

By far the most complete version of Mercury available so far and certainly ahead of Super Monkey Ball and Kororinpa in terms of overall quality. Ignition has crafted a very fine puzzle effort indeed that should not be overlooked by fans of the genre looking for a tough, but fun battle.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

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I really enjoying playing this game. The missus really likes it to, although she does rush when the clock starts running out and making a noise. I have to keep telling her it isnt game over if the clock runs out.
The one main problem I had with this game was as me and the missus have two saved games, it is not possible for our highest scores to be shown against each other. It would of made things more fun if you could try and beat each others highest scores.

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Nice review Adam, I was considering this one. :Smilie

I'm still not sure which one to get first, this or Kororinpa... I think Kororinpa seems more fun but this seems like it'll last longer and be a bit more challenging.

Kirby and Megaman ZX come first though ;3

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Kirby is a must-buy and Mega-man ZX isn't out until July, I thought...but is still a class game.

Kororinpa is great fun, but far too short for its own good. If it was longer and the camera trouble was resolved, it'd easily tie with Mercury.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
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