Week in Arcade: Mercury, Worms, MLB Mayhem

A trio of digital offerings this week, for a grand total of $25. Yes, that means one of these is $5; that price point still exists.

Correction: Worms is actually 1200 points, not 800.

Mercury Hg

A steal of a puzzler for $5, the latest in a line of Mercury romps reminiscent of Monkey Ball is a blast. Players control of a glob of goo wandering around levels, picking up bonuses, and solving puzzles all based around the periodic table. Perfect for geeks and casual puzzler fanatics, Hg is user-music friendly, and if you’re familiar with the series origins on the PSP, this is a step up. Visuals pack a better punch and the energetic backgrounds offer a bit of spice to a game that doesn’t necessarily need it, but it’s appreciated nonetheless.

Worms: Ultimate Mayhem

Ultimate Mayhem is a prime example of why 3D Worms will never work no matter how hard Team 17 tries… and they certainly did here. A story mode injects a fresh dose of humor in-line with what the series is capable of, but the game… ouch. Mechanically, it just falls apart, the bliss of Worms being botched strategy, in 3D becoming botched landings and awkward positioning. Without two dimensions for its turn based malice, Worms is just a shell of what it used to be. Gone is that inviting atmosphere and inadvertent mistakes. It’s all replaced by a clumsiness that can easily be explained by wonky jumping and polygonal sticking.

MLB Bobblehead Battle

Probably the most confusing arcade game to date, Battle isn’t even a stand-alone game, but an extension of the Bobblehead title from earlier this year. Why it’s being issued as a new full game for $10 is baffling and asinine. What’s here is fun, sort of a spin on more ancient LCD forms of portable baseball, or even arcade pinball-like stand-up machines. Everything is about batting/pitching, no fielding. Certain spots on the field signal out or base hit (or more), along with kooky stuff like conveyor belts to send the ball further. Fun in concept as a $2 expansion (or even a free update), but a full game? This is a new level of ridiculousness. Even the virtual box art looks the same.