Review By: Jared Black
|Developer:||Heavy Iron Studios|
|# Of Players:||1-2|
|Accessories:||Memory Stick Duo|
Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out!
Strut down the street and have your picture took!
Just like a dream your spirits seem to turn about!
The Sunday shine is a certain sign that you feel as fine as you look!
I played and beat the PSP version of WALL-E in July 2008, yet for some reason I never got around to reviewing it. I don’t know why honestly, maybe it was the above refrain (from the movie, and originally from the musical Hello Dolly!) that continues to haunt me every time I see the game’s box on my shelf. That’s because the PSP version in particular uses it repeatedly – not only after each level is completed, but it also factors into gameplay as WALL-E uses the tune to charm Reject-bots (basically the nerds of the robot world) into doing his bidding to help him past obstacles. Yes, the theme song will continue to haunt your nightmares for years to come, but otherwise WALL-E for PSP is a solid outing.
Gameplay is typical of most licensed games of this type. As WALL-E, you’ll loosely follow the movie’s storyline through 27 different levels, primarily playing as WALL-E but also occasionally taking control of EVE as well. The levels feature a decent mix of standard platforming action, and other interspersed levels including shooting and short race sequences. While controlling WALL-E, the controls handle adequately enough for the game’s decent-looking 3D world, with the shoulder buttons rotating the camera. WALL-E can interact with the world in context-sensitive ways with the square button, also primarily attacking foes by throwing cubes at them or shooting a laser beam out of his eyes. He also uses the charm ability to use other nearby robots to get past obstacles, for example luring a robot with an umbrella closer to bounce off it.
Throwing cubes factors into much of the game’s puzzles, so it’s good that the game has an auto-lock on feature that compensates for the loose camera. WALL-E must throw cubes at switches to open up new paths, throw explosive cubes at enemies, use magnetic cubes to move larger objects...you get the picture. There’s a whole lotta cube throwin’ going on, that’s for sure. Throughout the game WALL-E also collects artifacts while on Earth, which unlock new animations from the movie.
Playing through the single-player portion of the game also unlocks several mini-games during the course of it that can be re-played by up to four players alternating in the Championship mode, such as matching games and EVE’s shooting levels in a race for the best time. There’s also a head-to-head mode that can be played by two players in Ad Hoc mode, including Spaceship Shootout (destroy satellites from a fixed position by moving the laser around), Heavy Traffic (reach the other side of a human highway first), and High Speed Flight (racing). I was unable to test out the Ad Hoc games since it requires another local person with a copy of the game, but there were similar events in the single-player game so I strongly suspect these are nothing special.
WALL-E is a pretty good game in its own right, but especially compared to the glut of licensed shovelware that exists on the PSP today. There’s a good mix of platforming and racing/shooting sequences, it controls well enough (with a lock-on feature to compensate for a somewhat unresponsive camera), and there are several mini-games thrown in that don’t feel totally tacked on. I wouldn’t go out of your way to find it, but this is a solid (and now, cheap) game for youngsters still obsessed with WALL-E.
Posted: 2010-05-01 14:10:27 PST