Ms. Germinator review for PS Vita, PSN

Platform: PlayStation Vita
Also On: PSN, PS3
Publisher: Creat Studios
Developer: Creat Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: Leaderboards
ESRB: E10+

The implicit justification for most sequels is that they exist — at least in part — to fix the problems of the previous game. For Ms. Germinator, however, the justification is significantly more explicit; if the "Ms." at the beginning of the name wasn't enough to tip you off that the game was intended to be Germinator-but-better, then this developer post on the PlayStation Blog should do the trick.

In Creat Studio's defense, of course, Ms. Germinator really is Germinator-but-better. Pretty much every problem that existed the first time around is corrected here. The old game made it a bit of a pain to try levels over again and to select new levels; this one makes those options available immediately after a level ends. Germinator required you to double-dip if you wanted the game on both PS3 and Vita; Ms. Germinator is a cross-buy title. The backgrounds from the first game were a kind of bland; here they've been spruced up a little, and they're tied in more closely with the level themes. What was a seemingly nonsensical star system last time around (my biggest complaint about the first game) now makes a lot more sense — if you want three stars, you have to collect three stars.

Ms Germinator 1

Of course, as you may have noticed, those are all pretty superficial changes. If you're going into Ms. Germinator hoping that the core gameplay has changed or for something new, you'll probably be disappointed. I mean, yes, there are some new power-ups, and some germs are a little harder to deal with, and teleporters have been added here and there, but ultimately, this is essentially the same game as its predecessor.

Not that that's inherently a point against Ms. Germinator. The first game was an enjoyable mix of Peggle, Bust-A-Move and Zuma, and it ended up being a huge time sink. Clearly, Creat could do a lot worse than to replicate what was, at its core, a highly addictive casual game (and, further, they should be applauded for not emulating certain other addictive casual games and turning Ms. Germinator into some kind of freemium abomination).

Ms Germinator 2

But I'm not going to lie: if you have Germinator already — and seeing as it was free on Vita for PlayStation Plus members back in May, you very well might — then you don't have much of a reason to pick up this new iteration. Ms. Germinator may be an improvement, but it's not that much of an improvement. Pick it up if you're new to the series, but otherwise, you might want to just keep on playing the first game, and hold off for the seemingly inevitable Super Germinator.

Grade: B