Reviewed: Febraury 16, 2007
Released: January 9, 2007
Movie licensed games are generally not very good. There is just something about trying to replicate a movie into a game that just translates into a bad game. Despite the exception of a few good ones here and there, these games have received a reputation of falling quite short of expectations. Dare I say, Superman?
This does not stop developers from making a game based on any major movie that comes out, especially animated movies. It seems nowadays that every animated movie that comes out as a video game following it. Most arenít that great either.
On the original Xbox there was a game called Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcherís Bay. It didnít get nearly as much credit as it deserved. This was a truly amazing gaming experience. This game used some of the same characters as the movie including Riddick, but for the most part it did not follow the story of the movies. It was completely original. The visuals in this game would compare to that of Condemned Criminal Origins for the 360. Yeah, it looked that good!
Arthur and the Invisibles was an animated movie that didnít gain much success in the theatres, but that hasnít stopped Atari from following up with a video game release. The PS2, PSP, PC, GBA, and DS will all be graced with the presence of this game. Although they share the same title, the DS version is much different than the other versions. Atari implemented the same quick pace mini-game extravaganza gameplay that is featured in the Wario Ware series. It may be blatant rip-off of the Wario Ware style of play, but itís still a great game.
If youíre looking forward to a game that follows the license in which it was created from, this is not it. This game has no story and really no introduction either. It just starts off with the main screen, you pick a character, and then you complete the challenges (mini-games) corresponding to that character. After you complete the required amount of challenges you unlock another character. This continues until you beat the game. Itís simple, pointless, and fun.
Over 90 mini-games can be found throughout the game. The mini-games, or challenges, donít follow any kind of story at all, and move along quite quickly. Most of the games are easy while a few are treacherously hard. For example one game requires you to blow into the microphone on the DS. This one sometimes may catch you off guard since the games move quickly, and you are only given a few seconds to complete each one.
Another requires you to act as a DJ and keep up the tempo on a turntable. To do this you must use the stylist to grab the album and spin it at the same rhythm as it was originally playing. At higher levels this can be a little frustrating, because it is spinning pretty fast, and as soon as you touch it with the stylist it stops. The key is to start moving the stylist in a circle as soon as, if not before, you touch it, but not too fast because you have to keep the original rhythm. You are only given a limited time to complete this too.
With most of the characters, once you get to a certain challenge number you will face a boss. This does not mark the end of the challenges; it just marks the halfway point. After you beat the boss challenge you play through the more challenges until you beat them all and face the second boss challenge which is exactly the same as the first just more difficult. The challenges become harder the more you progress through them, and this adds a level of difficulty and sometimes frustration.
Fortunately, you donít have to complete each mission. You are given two opportunities to mess up and still continue, just like Wario Ware. After you screw up the third time you must start over at the beginning. Some challenges are quite difficult and you will be hoping that you will not have to complete it at the higher levels, and because the games are completely random, sometimes you wonít. At the same time, some of the challenges you may have to complete two or three times for a character.
Through all of these challenges you can earn food to feed a virtual pet that you are given. Sure, it may sound fun, but the limitations of the interactions are enough to keep it from really being any kind major part of the game. You can play for hours or even days and completely forget about your pet. It is more like a petting zoo. You can feed it seeds and other snacks, and give it decorations but there isnít much beyond that.
There isnít much to the visuals in Arthur and The Invisibles. Each challenge has its own background, but nothing that will blow you away. The characters that you have to complete the challenges for are just still images. On top of that, your pet looks like a cotton ball with wings and black dots for eyes. How cute!
When you first turn this game on in your DS you are hit with a few clips from the movie, which look amazing, but after that there is nothing that this game offers visually but lame still images.
Generic, recycled tunes are the only sounds that this game offers. There are no voice-overs to be found. To its credit though, you wonít really care too much about the sound since the challenges move quickly, and you wonít have time to stop and pay attention to the music or lack-there-of.
If you canít find Wario Ware: Touched and you want a fun game that utilizes the touch screen in every possible way then this game may be the best alternative. After all it is just a rip-off of Wario Ware. Do not fear because this movie licensed game is actually worth your money. It doesnít even really follow the movie. In fact, the best part of the game may be the fact that it doesnít stick to the license. The few things that do hurt this game is the sound quality and the graphics.
I havenít been able to get my hands on a copy of Wario Ware: Touched for DS. Itís actually kind of hard to find these days. This game offered a pretty enjoyable experience that sadly may be about as close as I will ever get to Touched.