I recently watched Wreck-It Ralph with my family, and I must say I very much enjoyed it.
With its constant barrage of nods toward many popular gaming franchises and cameos, the kids loved it. It was a lot of fun to watch as a hardcore video game fan too, as I was constantly pointing out things that the kids wouldn’t have known like appearances from Tapper and Q-Bert, and I’d heard of a 3DS release of the game and had to snatch it. Developed by Pipeworks and published by Activision and Disney Interactive, the 3DS version of Wreck-it Ralph stays faithful to the film but its best left for the kids.
The game is set directly after the events of the movie however the story is basically the same; Ralph accidentally unleashes a swarm of Cybugs and it’s up to Ralph along with his friend Fix-It Felix to extinguish them and save the day. It sounds basic because it is, but for a game aimed purely at children what more do you expect; it’s simple and easy to follow which is perfect for the little ones, however, for older gamers, yawn!
Wreck-It Ralph 3DS is a simple platforming game which feels like a poor rip off of the Super Mario games, as the jumping mechanic is instantly familiar, minus the cool power-ups. Players take on the role of Ralph and Felix; both have unique abilities and attacks however they are extremely limited, Ralph can destroy breakable blocks, climb ladders, charge through enemies or blocks and he also has a punch attack that is chargeable.
Felix has his trusty magical hammer that allows him to attack enemies, either by hitting them or throwing the hammer at them, and he can fix broken machines and perform a double jump. The difference of both characters brings variety and the need to think to proceed ahead, but the action onscreen never gets tough thanks to the low difficulty level. There are 3 stages consisting of 4 levels and a boss which are set in either Sugar Rush, Heroes Duty and the Fix-It Felix Jr games from the movie and as well as killing Cybugs, players are urged to collect coins and 2 collectables found in each level, a Gold Medal and an Easter Egg which upon collection, unlocks game art.
Unlocking game art is not what players want to unlock in a game, they want more characters and levels, why not have Vanelope as an unlockable? or to mix things up, King Candy or Turbo? It just doesn’t make the player feel like they’ve achieved anything which is a shame. The gameplay doesn’t change throughout either, for example Sugar Rush is a kart racing game, ‘a la Mario Kart copy’ however, Sugar Rush in this game is just a sweets and candy themed level, no kart racing involved, very disappointing.
I can’t fault the games character visuals, each character looks as good as they do in the movie, Ralphs huge forearms and hands are instantly distinguishable as is Felix’s golden hammer, and the faithful animation and sound clips give this game authenticity which will keep young players amused, and will deter their attention from the god awful level design, from square roofed trees in Fix-It Felix Jr, to the feeble mechanical designs of Heroes Duty. I mean in the film, the Heroes Duty game sequence was by far my favourite part of the movie but nothing reaches anywhere near those heights in this game visually, the only real effort seems like it has been spent creating the new CGI introduction movie.
Whist a bundle of light hearted fun for the little ones, this game is nothing more than another movie to game transition that has failed to impress, with its bland sleep inducing level design and lack of variety. Playing for nothing more than pictures is not what gamers young and old want, and although the movie was oozing with cameo appearances, this game has absolutely none. Wreck-It Ralph 3DS has next to no substance or replay values, however, for the kids who just want to feel like they are a part of the movie, its decent.
Wreck it Ralph
Publishers : Activision/Disney Interactive
Release Date: 1st February 2013
Story – 2/5
Gameplay – 3/5
Graphics – 2.5/5
Overall – 2.5/5