Today Escape Plan was patched to fix the fiddly gesture controls, and the scoring was changed so that only a player’s time through a level was graded instead of the number of gestures used. This huge patch also includes a DLC pack, Bakuki’s Lair, adding several new levels which play as a sort of prequel to the original levels.
So, do the fixed game and extra levels change my opinion of the game? Not in the slightest. While I found some levels were more forgiving due to the improved gestures, the vast majority of levels still had me holding the Vita in uncomfortable positions, or they had me fiddling with the camera stick while trying to also tap the front AND back touch panels AT THE SAME TIME. I have to wonder if any of the developers bothered to play these levels before inflicting them on their customers. Twice, I dropped my Vita in my lap because I was being asked to plug a leaking valve at the top of the screen with one hand and swipe the characters with the other. At one point, I even had to ask hubby to lend a finger because I couldn’t plug four leaks and still tell Lil and Laarg what to do. It’s like a multi-touch version of Twister, except Twister is more fun.
The DLC pack’s biggest new feature appears to be that the game now shoots sausages at the characters for several levels. They’re not in all the DLC levels, but they were in quite a few, and in addition to being ugly, they’re annoying. This game was already annoying enough without giant wieners shoving me off a ledge, really.
I had to play through the entire game again to unlock the DLC, and I found myself skipping the exact same levels in this second run as I did the first time I played. The DLC didn’t feel like a reward for suffering through the repeated levels, and the most damning part is, even on the levels I did play, I didn’t find them fun. Not even a little bit. This isn’t a game so much as a tech demo of the touch and tilt controls, and much like Little Deviants, the charm wears off long before the game is over.
A final observation: the credits list a lot of people, and I find it kind of depressing that it took so many people just to make this unimpressive mess. If you’re looking for a short cheap game to add to your Vita, I’d recommend Super Stardust Delta over this pain in the ass. Unless you’re a masochist, stay away from Escape Plan.