Young Thor is a game that takes a look at some of the god's heroic deeds we all know as the God of Thunder, Thor. Presented as a fairly simple platforming/combat experience, it's a game with a surprising amount of content, but one with crippling gameplay flaws and a repetitive nature that really gets in the way.
The plot is simple, and only referenced a couple times in the game: Hel, daughter of Loki, has kidnapped the three Norns, the entities that water the Yggdrasil tree. Keep them away from the tree, and all the worlds end, so that would be bad.
The game plays like an action-platformer. As the young deity, you'll be making your way through a number of levels, cutting your way through swaths of enemies. Some levels contain treasures that allow Thor to gain in power, such as the boots that allow him to double jump, the armor that reduces damage, or the hammer that upgrades your damage-dealing potential.
The combat in Thor is fairly rudimentary, but with some variety. You've got three basic attacks: a weak strike, a strong strike, and a lightning attack. There are some combos built into each, but stringing different types of attacks together doesn't really work that well, so it's likely you'll just be repeatedly using one type of attack for everything. Though the enemies come with some variety, there's little real strategy to fighting them other than simply avoiding their attacks and then hitting back, so all the extra moves you're given don't really help that much.
Sometimes enemies drop runes that'll increase your damage-dealing potential or make you invincible, which can somewhat mix up the combat. Still, for the most part the combat in Young Thor is fairly repetitive, repeating a move over and over again to defeat some enemies, especially the more annoying ones (and there are some damn annoying foes here).
Thor features sixteen levels, but that's bit of a misnomer. What it really features is four different levels, each repeated four times (with a couple boss battles thrown in here and there for good measure). Each repetition of the level is generally the same, with different enemy layouts and different enemy difficulty levels. This means a lot of repetition, though given the filesize limit of 100 megabytes on Playstation Mini games, it's actually somewhat surprising that the developers were able to put in as much as they did. Still, seeing the same levels over and over again did prove to be a little dull.
This is also compounded by Thor's RPG elements. They're weak as all else, simply having some stats go up when you get enough experience, but leveling up is required if you want to go to later levels without getting your face pummeled in. And since you don't quite level up fast enough to stay at par with the enemies, you'll need to replay levels to get more experience and strength. This just adds to the feeling of seeing everything over and over again.
The graphical style of the game is really nice, a soft kind of cartoony style that fits well with this type of game. It boasts some really nice background and enemy designs, like they were ripped straight from a cartoon. That said, however, there are a good number of graphical issues that tend to affect the gameplay. The first is the camera, which is at best claustrophobic, and at worst spastic, zooming in and out randomly, or constantly shaking due to various attacks. It can really get you a headache.
That's not the only problem, though. The game suffers from some real clipping and hit detection issues. Generally it doesn't really affect the gameplay that strongly, but when it does it's pretty noticeable. Getting hit from across the room from an attack that isn't even near you in the slightest, for example.
As a full-price game, Young Thor isn't that great. But as a Playstation Mini, it's pretty impressive. The amount of content that was managed to put into this game, whether it's the variety of enemies, the level sizes, the treasures to collect, even the in-game achievements you can earn, is impressive. It's a pretty good game to play, and though it does have flaws to its name, it's a fun little platformer to play through.