I've played some frustrating and uninspired games before, but it's been a long time since I encountered an adventure as broken and lazy as Tecmo's new SPRay for the Nintendo Wii. I went into this one with optimism and interest regarding the game's core gimmick (spray fluids such as water or vomit to solve puzzles and manipulate the environment), but in the end SPRay manages to disappoint in just about every possible way. My review of the game is now available at Kombo.
While the lack of polish certainly isn't helping, ultimately it's the broken and tedious gameplay that sinks SPRay. The game wants to match The Legend of Zelda's trademark dungeons with Super Mario Sunshine's FLUDD water pack gimmick, but in trying to ape these elements the developers missed the entire point. The dungeons sport lackluster puzzles that often need to be repeated in different locations. Some puzzles seem to guard nothing in particular. Other challenges are just hopelessly baffling and fail to provide that little inkling of what needs to be done to move on or why the task even needs to be completed.
I never thought it would come to this, but I have to take issue with SPRay's vomit. Vomit is used (among other things) to reveal invisible bridges. Just douse the black emptiness with it to stain the bridges a visible reddish color. The problem is that the red vomit is semi-transparent against the bottomless void, so when the camera shifts while I'm crossing the bridge, I lose my bearings because I can't tell where the red coloring actually ends in relation to the path. This is going to sound terrible, but if the vomit were more realistic and featured chunks of stuff, it would provide a little texture to the ground that would make it easier to tell at a glance where the bridge ends. Did I just call for realistic video game vomit? I think it's time to go rest for a while.