An ichorous green meteor plummets through the Earth's atmosphere, fracturing and showering the earth with glowing green space dust that affects all forms of life nearby. Some plant life - mushrooms and cacti - acquire sentience while, the meteor twists and mutates other life forms, transforming insects and animals into semi-intelligent, warlike communities.
The story of Mushroom Men is told in Acts, each Act occurring in a completely unique environment. Each version of the game (DS and Wii) tells different portions of the history of the Mushroom Men universe. The DS and Wii versions are completely different stories from one-another. The DS version, Mushroom Men – Rise of the Fungi, is the first release and shows the development of the Mushroom Nations, starting very early in Mushroom Men history. The early days of the Mushroom Men were simpler times as the Mushroom Men were just learning to walk, communicate and interact with their world. As the Mushroom Men learn how their world works, they take the player with them, developing their skills, abilities and histories up to the start of the Spore Wars.
Melee combat in Mushroom Men is the bread and butter of the combat system. The most basic form of melee combat is the three-hit-combo. Players who connect with all three hits of their combos will deal more and more damage to the enemy. Each hit of the combo becomes more powerful than the one before (50%, 75%, 100%). After the three hits of the combo are over, the player has a chance to do something different, like jump-attacks, blocks, rolls or spore powers. This mix of vastly different physical combat actions allows players to use their own unique styles throughout the game and be strategic in how they go about it.
In Mushroom Men, you can also turn any enemy attack into a roll to help prevent injury (similar to the way a game like Soul Calibur allows you to perform "ukemi" by landing on your feet after being knocked down if you press block at the right moment). A lot of work went into the timing aspects of the animations as mapped to user input. If players attack during an attack animation before the next combo is possible, it will buffer that input and remember that the player intended to chain the attack. If they delay their attack input until after the previous attack is over, then there is a window of opportunity upon which their attack input results in an instant transition to the next attack animation. This ability to delay attack chains allows players to control the rhythm of the combo however they please.
The core aim of the combat system is to avoid making players feel like they are fighting the controller. After all is said and done, Mushroom Men is in no way intended to be a hardcore fighting game; it simply incorporates some elements of fighting games in order to lend freedom to the player in plausible situations.
The Wii title, Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars, picks up during the escalating war between the mushroom factions. The world is more hostile and combat is more complex. New tools and weapons are developed to assist in the escalating battles. The player takes on the role of a misfit and unexpected hero destined to bring about the conclusion of the Spore Wars while solving his own personal quests. The game presents the story simply, providing a strong sense of continuity to the single-player game without intruding on the gameplay.
Mushroom Men and their other sentient neighbours neither speak nor understand human languages such as English. But they still communicate, and to the human playerit sounds like mumbling.
Some among the four Mushroom Men tribes believe that the secret to winning the Spore War lays in uncovering the facts about the Mushroom's origins. As the myth states, the Mushroom who discovers the truth of this mystery is promised the power to change the entire course of evolution, putting the Mushroom species at the top of the evolutionary ladder. The tribe that claims this prize can reshape the world any way they see fit. The Amanitas Empire and The Lepiota Order see the myth as a chance to not only defeat the other nations (the Bolete Tribe and the Morel Brotherhood) but also wipe out all of their enemies and put their tribes at the forefront of terrestrial evolution.
Even while the Spore War rages, a great quest amongst all four tribes begins: a race to uncover the truth and reshape the evolutionary course of the Earth. As for the humans, they continue to bumble their way through the world completely unaware of the diminutive forces rising against them. Pax, a Bolete mushroom from the outskirts, doesn't yet understand his place in the events to come. He'll have to learn, and fast, that he’s unwittingly been thrust into the middle of this situation.
The Wii version of the game picks up where the DS leaves off. The Spore Wars rage fully across the miniature landscape. The societies have advanced to a point where theology and metaphysical pursuits have developed. Pax does not yet understand his place in the world of Mushrooms, when he accidentally absorbs a meteorite while training with the Bolete Sage. Pax is then banished until he can bring back another of the life-giving rocks that the Sage believes made the Mushrooms sentient.
Along the way, Pax encounters more than he expects. It becomes obvious to him that there is more to the Mushroom world than a meteorite for his village. A war that Pax doesn't understand moves closer to his home and Mushroom races and others race toward self-destruction. Along the way, Pax begins to understand more about what he must do to help the Bolete and the rest of the world. Throughout the adventure Pax will change from an awkward misfit to a species-saving hero.
The Wii version of the game has a very personal feeling to it; being tied so directly with the hero via the Wii control scheme, the player bonds with his on-screen avatar. Goals tend to be more personal and direct.
Mushroom Men : The Spore Wars for Wii & Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi for DS will be available across North America & Europe from Nov. 11, 2008.