The Hellhole

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So, some mini-reviews of video games. I've recently played three movie-based video games.

None of these were long, none required extending the intellectual capacities, none were really ultra-challenging either in gameplay, controller adeptness or puzzle-solving. Still, I played them all so I suppose they were entertaining enough in a superficial way - no Final Fantasy X, but not so irritating that I threw any of them across the room either. But if they were somewhere in between, all were really closer to 'not bothering' than anything.

First was Monsters Vs. Aliens and really, I liked this one best of the three. For one thing, it didn't take itself too seriously, so although nothing was particularly difficult it didn't seem lame, just in keeping with the game. You start off skating as Ginormica, jumping and juking to collect monster DNA and reminding me of nothing so much as Sonic the Hedgehog getting his rings. Dialogue was quite funny in places and I particularly enjoyed playing as BOB, solving mazes and spitting boxes. Boss fights didn't amount to much. Overall: fun enough if you want a quick Saturday afternoon diversion and if you liked the movie, the game will probably be funny enough to engage you even though there is nothing new here in terms of gameplay or challenges.

The Spiderwick Chronicles - meh, I don't know. Battling goblins was kinda fun, some quests were cool and completing the field guide by collecting rare pixies was okay, but camera angles were sometimes aggravating. I missed the inclusion of an ingame map - to be honest, that may be mostly my problem, going a week or more between playing left me unclear about where I was going/what I was doing, and found myself frustrated circling the same area over and over, but if I'd been able to do it on a straight play-through that might not have been an issue. Quests might have been more fun if not that every single object I was to interact with or find had a BIG! HUGE! GLOWING! Spiderwick crest hovering right above it, which kinda negated the challenge. Overall: meh. I don't want to go somewhere and demand my $14 back, but I wouldn't urge y'all to run right out and buy it either.

Coraline - oh, how it pains me. Truly it does, knowing the wonder of the book, the fabness of the movie, and OH! what this game might have been. Sadly, it wasn't. This game consists entirely of the sequencing of the Most. Annoying. Mini. Games. Ever. No, I don't mean irritating sidequests, I mean the entire progression of the game is made up of the most annoying mini-games ever. 'Coraline' as a game could have been so fun whether it was an E, T or M - but instead, you progress through the game by: playing hide-and-seek with Wybie, tic-tac-toe with Wybie; moving right and left to catch pancakes and avoid worms on a skillet; shooting pop-up targets with a slingshot - and Boss Fights consist of pushing directional and X Triange Square Circle buttons in succession as they pop up in lines onscreen, instead of actual fighting. I want to write that it was pathetic, but by doing so I suppose I'd damn myself to being pathetic for playing it to the finish. I like to finish what I start, for one thing, and I'd paid TWENTY. WHOLE. DOLLARS. for the game. Nothing was so bad that I wanted to throw it away unfinished but throughout playing, I kept waiting for it to get GOOD. Only it never did. So my only honest recommendation can be: don't bother. Which bothers me because Neil Gaiman deserved better.


  • I've never actually played any computer games other than super mario brothers (when I was 10)... I guess if I were going to, these aren't the three to start with :)

    By Anonymous Inna, at 3:48 PM  

  • Heh heh. The Monsters Vs. Aliens was kinda fun, in a mindless sort of way - which sounds insulting but I didn't really mean it like that; sometimes after Life, the Universe and Everything, mindless fun is the best kind. I love the Final Fantasy games the mostest but I've enjoyed plenty of others - Silent Hill, Xenosaga and Kingdom Hearts leap to mind.

    By Blogger Helly, at 8:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home