Reviewed: January 6, 2009
Released: December 2, 2008
Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars on the Wii system is not just another platformer for the system but a visually appealing and fun game. While the same old platforming techniques are here you get a very different visual appearance and plenty of new scenery from the vantage point of small fungi.
The Spore Wars story is not a familiar one in gaming, a meteor crashes to earth causing mushrooms to animate into beings with powers and intelligence. Your character is called Pax and you gather objects to turn into weapons like many games do but on a minuscule level.
Think small and you should be alright here as the weapons are just things lying around but small, toothpicks and a jack make a serviceable mace and so on. Other objects are strewn throughout levels to use for weapons, as power ups and to help you get through the levels.
The story is one of bad guys doing bad things against other good guys but with mushrooms instead of men, it sounds kind of funny but they did a great job with the graphics and level design so it works out well. The gameplay is your basic platforming with various sections of each level that you can achieve from jumping or climbing using objects.
During your travels you will encounter friendly folk who will talk with you to get or give information but the bad guys and insects will just attack outright. You can counter with weapons of your choice and the further into the game you get the better your choice of weapons.
The menus and piecing together weapons works well and does not take long at all and the melee combat works well, much better than the Nintendo DS version. It actually looks like youíre doing damage and hitting when your swinging around you and making contact so there is much less of that wild flailing look.
The Wii version works very well and has some pretty good camera controls, it uses the D Pad on the Wii remote to control camera and some automatic movement while youíre moving around. This works much better than many games where you have to point at the side of the screen to move the camera which takes away from your current gameplay while you center or view some other area with the remote.
In combat this is really nice as you can chop away with your remote and current weapon without having to worry about moving the camera to keep your opponent in view. The combat does really boil down to using the most current tools for weapons as hits and just how you move the remote merely boils down to one of several hits being performed on screen.
You have an over the head hit that is your basic fighting attack and a few more depending on the weapon type which is kind of disappointing. The combat is pretty good but could have been much better with some kind of other attacks using the various objects you get.
The levels are well planned and made with plenty of exploring being done but your job of saving your village boils down to simply finding all your enemies and killing them off one by one. This made for a pretty boring game after a bit and could have been better with some kind of variety to the gameplay or general combat.
As it is The Spore Wars makes for a pretty repetitive game for combat and exploring but the scenery is pretty good with plenty of variety. The textures and lighting is well done with plenty of dimness to it that you would kind of expect from the vantage point of being low on the floor for most of the game.
The music adds to the general theme of fighting mushrooms but there are no voices at all here, just a grumbling here and there and reading lines as they come up on the side of the screen. This would have been nice to have some kind of speech, I understand mushrooms donít have any but they could have done something.
Your magic powers usually have you moving objects around to complete puzzles to get further on but thatís about it for the extra abilities. The fighting and magic-use are pretty standard for a platformer and much of the gameplay is nothing you havenít seen in other platform games as well.
Overall the Spore Wares is a pretty good platformer on the Wii with some very good graphics but pretty standard gameplay. This may be a game better off rented than owned but a pretty good one considering the lack of offerings on the Wii system.