The Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia, the smurfy review of the new adventure of Smurfette and co.



In our review of The Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia we will talk about the latest adventure of Smurfette and co. as they face Gargamel and the cat Birba

Over the years, the Smurfs and the world of video games have met over and over again: not always in a memorable way, it is true, but raise your hand if you do not remember at least the 1999 video game of the same name, published on the first PlayStation. The review of The Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia is just the starting point for a more ambitious project. Not ours, but that of Microids, which has made agreements with the rights holders of the little blue men for at least four more video games that will be published in the next few years. The goal is to introduce the Smurfs to a younger audience, also thanks to a new animated series that will be brought out at the same time as the video games.

There is a certain sense of liberation in admitting that you had some misconceptions and that those misconceptions turned out to be completely misplaced. The Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia is not the usual tie-in. The name of Microids should have put us on notice: the production turned out to be convincing, despite some really annoying flaws.

Plot: The Threat of the Vilfoglia

One of the many bouncing platforms from The Smurfs - Mission Vilfoglia

The plot of The Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia is very simple and perfectly in line with the many episodes of the animated series that you will certainly have enjoyed as children (or in the company of your children/grandchildren). The important thing, after all, is that it works. In this case, the wizard Gargamel has come up with another one of his ideas: not being able to find or capture the Smurfs, he has decided to use an ancient magic to evoke the Vilfoglia.

We are talking about a highly versatile and above all toxic climbing plant. The spell has caused the threat of the Vilfoglia to invade the Smurfs’ Village, the surrounding forest, but also more distant places such as the castle, the dam and various areas that you will encounter along the way that, in about eight hours, will lead you to the end credits. The environmentalist message is clear enough: you must save nature from this harmful element created by humans.

The problem is that the Vilfoglia has also started to summon annoying little monsters of various kinds (the main enemies to fight) and even Viltraps that can trap the Smurfs by making their location known to Gargamel himself. Big deal.

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Luckily, the Smurfs don’t back down in the face of danger: just a few words from Papa Smurf are enough to convince the main characters Forzuto, Quattrocchi, Cuoco and Smurfetta to start charging. Each of them will manage a part of the game levels, until it is possible to change them: in fact, the game style does not change, because at the center of the production, more than individual Smurfs, there is their brand new battle tool: the Smurfizer.

Gameplay: use that puffizer

The Smurfs from The Smurfs - Mission Vilfoglia in action

Smurfifier rhymes with Inventor, which is the name of the Smurf who came up with it. Like all of his creations, not everything works quite right, but, I mean, in a context like this, there’s no time to complain. The use of the Smurfizer is explicitly inspired by Splac 3000 from Super Mario Sunshine: its jets of healing essence eliminate the Vilfoglia, stun enemies, allow you to create passages to advance in the surrounding environment. In addition, the Smurfs can use the machine to sprint at high speed and knock down wooden obstacles, perform a crash to the ground, even fly short distances.

The entire gameplay of The Smurfs – Vilfoglia Mission revolves around the operation of this machine, which is as artisanal as it is futuristic. The various levels, in fact, hide different types of collectables that can then be spent in the Inventor’s workshop to upgrade the Smurf and improve its functionality (or directly unlock new ones). The weapon turns out to be versatile in the various environments, which basically respond to two genres: adventure and platforming. So you’ll notice the alternation of more horizontal places, where you simply proceed by eliminating various enemies and the Vilfoglia present, and other more vertical, where a certain ability (which was not expected) in jumping between platforms is essential to continue. Since certain objects can only be reached after unlocking new powers, replayability is encouraged in a fairly convincing way.

Limits and a little surprise

The game environments of The Smurfs - Vilfoglia Mission are inspired, but all too similar

If The Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia fails to achieve a higher rating than the one you are about to read, it is not because it is not fun. The problems (or limitations) are basically two: an excessive linearity in the structure and variety of the main levels (free the area, fight enemies, free the area, talk to the Smurfs, free the area and so on) and, above all, the technical sector. On Nintendo Switch – the console on which we made the test – the graphic detail and framerate lacks little to settle at an all-time low: they would really needed a nice clean up and optimization reviewed, because it is strange that a title like this can not shine on Nintendo Switch. The resolution, in particular, is really too low, especially, does not improve at all by switching from portable mode to TV.

Most likely on Xbox, PlayStation or PC, the other platforms on which the game is available, this problem will affect the quality of the experience less.

Good instead the presence of a small surprise on which to date, voluntarily, had not been spent a single word. In Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia there is also a local cooperative mode, in which the second player, equipped with Joy-Con, controls a small robot and supports the Smurf in the adventure. He can do this by throwing small seeds that can disrupt enemies, autonomously healing corrupted plants, and more generally flying around the surrounding environment in freedom. Here, perhaps, the platformer taken as a model is Super Mario Odyssey.

Comment

The Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia is the perfect example of a new video game for the famous series. The title is very smurfy… sorry, we obviously meant “very funny”. The mechanics related to the use of the Puffizzatore and its subsequent expansions have been studied with intelligence, without inventing much from the creative point of view, but not even settling for the minimum union. Once in a while we have not limited ourselves to exploit an important name to create a forgettable product. Too bad, however, for some flaws on which you can not overlook, as the excessive linearity of the background and, above all, the technical sector, very problematic on Nintendo Switch. A greater care would have guaranteed The Smurfs – Mission Vilfoglia at least half a vote more.

PRO

  • Using the Puffizer is a lot of fun
  • Local multiplayer mode
  • Good knowledge and representation of the franchise
  • Technically limited
  • A bit too linear
  • Levels too similar to each other
  • Have you noticed any errors?
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