(Review) 3..2..1..Grenades!

3..2..1..Grenades! really does bring back some Nintendo 64 nostalgia, but is that enough to make a game great? Personally it’s not. You’ll need a lot more than that to hook this gamer. It does have its ups and downs as far as features go, but does pull a bit of inspiration from the likes of Mario 64 and that does admittedly get me right in the feels because I loved the heck out of that Nintendo Classic. Is it easy to recommend 3..2..1..Grenades! for what it does deliver though? That’s a definite maybe. Let me break it down for you.

There are different modes and effects on every stage that you’ll play in the single-player campaign. Some are more fun than others. Melee only has to be my favorite even if it needs work. Reverse controls are probably the worst thing ever and I will never touch those again if I don’t have to.

While this may not make you feel like you’re playing Turok or even Goldeneye (although… could you do grenades only? I know you could do slappers only…) 3..2..1..Grenades! is a first person shooter… well… lobber? It’s all grenades minus the punchy levels. There are different kinds of grenades other than your run-of-the-mill kind. They have a cluster bomb version (Mirvs), an ice grenade (which is honestly more annoying than it is effective (unless they added team play), there’s a bigger bomb one and the bouncy grenade that hits the floor and breaks up into a few more grenades which then breaks into more when they land… you get the picture. It’s pretty crazy chaotic! There is quite a good set of weapon variety given the size of the levels. You’ll no doubt find your favorite. I think, currently, mine is the alien one where you throw a little alien and when he lands he runs to a target then explodes.

The aesthetic is something akin to an older time where games where simple and more about fun than looks. 3..2..1..Grenades! delivers fun in spades, but I do have a few friends that would be put off by the low-poly count. (They can suck it.)

There are a few modes in 3..2..1..Grenades! and I found them all to be a good amount of fun. The one that held my attention the least was the mode that was basically the concept of Splatoon where you’ll run around trying to color the floor and walls with paint grenades. Capture the Pug is a mode that you’ll fight over a pug and once you’ve got your grubby mitts on it, you’ll have to toss the mutt through a basketball hoop. Fallball has floors that break when a grenade goes off on them which can get pretty frantic. There’s also a tennis mode that will have you serving and slapping grenades back and forth with tennis rackets until they hit and explode.

A few tweets of a Capture the Pug mode sold me on the concept of this game. The single-player campaign is what sold me on how much fun this game is. There are a ton of levels setup up in a building that seems heavily influenced by Mario 64 like I mentioned earlier. That’s not a bad thing at all. It was a fun romp though all of the different levels. I did really enjoy how every level was unique. Some shared a color/local theme, but they were different setups. The smaller Fallball levels (like the one pictured above) even have different block-platform setups so that each different challenge to get a Golden Grenade was different in what could have been a very bland stage when compared to the rest. You’ll unlock more doors by obtaining more Golden Grenades. You’ll eventually get to a point where you’ll need to fight the boss to unlock more levels and continue.

There are secrets to be found here, even hidden Silver Grenades that I haven’t seen ever, but apparently exist. Keep looking though I guess..

Here’s the rub though. With as much fun as I had with the single-player mode, and there was a ton of fun had, I wanted to share this fun with my friend! I was playing with a mouse and keyboard the whole time because it’s a first person shooter and I wanted to play comfortably. When you go to play with another person, it basically means you’ll have to use controllers. I’m not the biggest fan of using controllers in this setup and my bud was even less of a fan. I was still able to pull some fun out of it, but my bud didn’t seems to enjoy himself. If there was online co-op, this would not have been an issue. If he could have connected at the comfort of his own computer, he too would have been using a mouse and keyboard and I honestly believe he would have had fun as well. If you’ve read much on this site, you’ll know I’m not huge into competitive stuff, but 3..2..1..Grenades! was so fun I wanted to play with random people and blow them up. This was a huge detraction for me knowing that after I collect all the grenades I can find, I was done. I really hope the developer/s are planning on adding that in a future patch or maybe a sequel.

What they could (and possibly should) also add in the multiplayer are more options. You’re given a lot of options to be sure, but there are a few glaring omissions that you’ll play a few times in single-player campaign. The main ones that I think should be added would be the melee only option. You can opt to have specific weapons in the multiplayer, but you’re unable to disable them all together and that was a mode that I enjoyed a lot during the campaign and would have been fun to play with friends. A tennis mode would also have been a welcome addition. It was fairly difficult to pull off when compared to the other modes, but was a great challenge and satisfying when you landed a hit. Lastly, and I know this has been done a lot by a few already, but I do think they should have brought the Splatoon mode over as well. You can call it a rip-off if you’d like, but paintball modes have been in games for a long time now and it would have been fun there too.

3..2..1..Grenades! was on track for an easy “Tasty!” rating until the realization of multiplayer hit me. I had so much fun with the single player that I hunted down as many grenades that I could and bombed random walls to try to find more secrets. I was super excited to share this experience with my co-op bud, but that meant leaving behind my mouse and keyboard and that hit my co-op buddy pretty hard. If there had been on-line co-op, this would not have been an issue. Also, I would still be playing the game currently online against random people who I normal don’t need (even with the lack of other modes I mentioned at the end). 3..2..1..Grenades! was just too fun to limit to off-line multiplayer. This needs to be on-line. That being said, 3..2..1..Grenades! is a fantastic romp through single-player madness and I highly recommend playing it for that, but not being able to go online kind of killed the replayability for me and the forced use of controllers (because four mice and keyboards hooked up the same computer isn’t going to happen) kills the local aspect in my house which is really too bad. 3..2..1..Grenades! is great, but it could have been so much more!

Further Reading on 3..2..1..Grenades!: FacebookOfficial Page / Steam / Twitter

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