It makes me really sad to say that this game is complete crap. Absolute shit.
While it is fun to speed around pretending to be a cute little boxy robot, or fly at breakneck speeds as a sleek and powerful one, that’s about where the enjoyment ends. You can make them say things and stuff with the directional pad, but it doesn’t always work. If you let them sit on screen untouched for a little bit, they’ll do cute stuff, but it gets repetitive after a bit and uninteresting.
As much as I love this movie, I was really excited to get this game and play it. I even have Wall-E and Eve robots sitting on my shelf. They interact with one another. I can turn them on and just listen to them say stuff to one another and get a good deal more enjoyment out of my time than I had playing a game that revolves around them.
This is not the first kids game that I have played that has been completely horrible, either. Which makes me wonder if maybe kids are attracted to adult games because the people who make adult games know that we’re discerning gamers and we’ll bitch if something is broken. It’s like the makers of these childrens’ games don’t give a shit. They’re just trying to get a product out there that will be bought, and what happens after that is meaningless to them.
So the problems this game has? Let me list them for you.
– Graphics: For the most part, the graphics are pretty okay. Not the most high tech out there, but you certainly get the feeling that you’re Wall-E. The cut scene graphics are actually worse than the in-game graphics, though. And there are parts of the game where you can tell that the people working on it just sort of gave up.
– Levels: A few of the levels are frustratingly complex. Not in a way that encourages the player to keep trying. But in a way that makes me wonder if any child has ever even finished this game. They aren’t intuitive. They aren’t easy. You have to have one or the other. If you’re going to have a stupidly hard level, it has to be something that can be figured out. The end must be something clearly visible. Or you can do it the other way. You can have no guide at all, no path set, and have the level be the easiest thing on the planet. But you cannot make a level nigh impossible and not have some kind of hint that points the player in the right direction.
And there is no tutorial. No level to level guide that makes it clear what the hell you’re supposed to be doing. It’s all trial and error. Not once was I told that Eve couldn’t ever touch any object. Know how I found out? Dying.
The levels have these arbitrary end points. There’s no warning. You don’t get a chance to say “oh, I’m not quite done exploring yet, so I’ll just not go over there”. There’s nothing that tells you the end is near. You might just accidentally roll toward something that looks like a collectable, and then you’re done. You’re on to the next thing.
– Mechanics: The in game mechanics are just a huge bucket of failure. Something that shouldn’t work at all does, the things that you’re told should work don’t. Why throw three garbage blocks to get to your next point when two will open the gate just fine? Doesn’t matter that there are three lights on the giant metal bucket thing. That gate will open anyway.
There were also several occasions when the mechanics just stopped working entirely. Things that I needed to progress to the next part. I actually had to turn the game off and reload in order to get things functioning again so I could progress. More than once. If this had been an adult game, there would be outrage far and wide all over the internet. You know what I found? I found user ratings at 6.0 across the board, which makes me think that somebody isn’t being very honest.
– Buttons: This goes in with the no tutorial, sort of. You’re sort of told sometimes what buttons will do, but you’re never told at any time that these buttons might change. When they pair you up with Eve, instead of adding a button for the things that you guys can do together, or for Eve’s abilities, they just change the general button configuration. There’s no warning for this. It’s another one of those things that you figure out by dying. What should make Wall-E do things makes Eve do things and vice versa.
You’ll just be rolling along thinking, I’ll just jump over that red spot on the floo….or shoot things with Eve accidentally and die.
-Other: Checkpoints are a joke. Where there should be progress checkpoints after a particularly grueling puzzle, there isn’t one. So if you get past something you feel proud of finally figuring out after being frustrated for a half an hour, and then die, you get to do that again! Fun! Then! if you’ve done nothing complicated at all, you’ll roll right past a checkpoint! Awesome!
Mini-games required: Usually mini-games are things that you can choose to do or not do, as time or want dictates. In this game, however, there are levels you cannot pass until you finish the mini-games. Finish, and pass, I might add. And no, they aren’t easy.
There was one, in the first section where you play as Eve, where you had to hit these acceleration points, they would speed you on to the next one, and you had to get all of them within a very short amount of time. Something that was challenging and interesting. The first five times I tried to beat it. You see, at one point in the map, the barrier that forces (forces, you don’t just stop and can’t go further, the game flips Eve around in a grand show, and you can’t stop the movement) you back is right over the line of natural movement for this challenge. It’s at the second to last acceleration point. Eventually, I figured out that if I took a completely awkward route, I could bypass this enough to get through the game.
Did I mention that Eve can’t touch anything at all? Or she gets hurt? Nothing. Can’t touch the ground, the buildings, the random level items. The edges of things. All of it hurts her.
Did I mention that there are hidden collectables that require the movement of some in-level items by using Eve’s body?
Puzzle on that.