The Maw Impressions

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If you, like me, are a fan of those things that are cute, cuddly, and terrifying, then boy do I have a game for you.  The Maw is one of those you-can’t-die-but-it’s-still-fun games that’s beginning to take root in the console world (PoP, anyone?) and is well worth the price of admission.  My impressions after the jump.The Maw is the definition of “slick”.  The graphics are shiny, the sound effects are spot on, and the gameplay is just puzzley enough to challenge without frustrating.

Essentially a platformer with puzzle aspects, The Maw thrusts you into the mute shoes of an alien explorer captured by hostile robot/alien guys who want to capture all of the species in the galaxy for their own sick enjoyment (Intergalactic Zoo?). We don’t get much more insight than this into the plot, and luckily it doesn’t really matter.

Where The Maw shines–like its predecessor Ico–is in the interaction of your protagonist and his sidekick: the lovable purple gooball full of teeth known only as “Maw”.  Your character uses a laser-leash technothingy in order to guide Maw to eat other animals in order to 1) Grow to be able to eat larger enemies and 2) Gain their powers a la Kirby.

If the two get seperated, a quick tap of the X-button has your character yell in an absurdly cuddly way for Maw to make his way back.  It’s a beautiful moment, and it gives you a sense (even though it’s one of the very few actual spoken lines) of the emotional states of the characters.

The game so far is a wonderful romp that you may burn through in just one or two sessions, as it clocks in at about 5 hours of play time.  However, they’ll be releasing uber-cheap addons to the tune of $2 so you’ll have plenty of chances to revisit The Maw as often as you like.

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