Hey folks, Valkor here. Video games based on popular films have always gotten a bad rep. I honestly can't think of one I've played that was any good – most have been bad to downright terrible (I'm lookin at you Predator on NES. Awful! God awful!!). But more recent titles have shown that you can have the best of both worlds such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine video game. Well the folks at EA, Paramount Digital, and Bad Behaviour are looking to try their hand at making a good video game, based on the number one movie this past weekend – Rango. Check it out it's a review for "Rango The Video Game".
Before heading into the game, here's a very brief synopsis taken from the Rango IMDB page about the film you'll most likely want to check out:
Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff.
Now that's brief!
The events in "Rango The Video Game", take place after the events of the film. In the game you place as Rango, trying to solve the mystery of Bean's missing daddy, on top of seeking out and uncovering what his link is to these strange green glowing rocks. For the most part your playing as Rango, who's retelling the story to the citizen's of the dusty town of Dirt. And since Rango is telling the story, things may be a bit exaggerated. Or are they?
The game uses different gaming devices such as side-scrolling platform, 3rd person shooter, racing, and even a taste of RPG, all through 9 levels of play. The levels are huge, with plenty to do and enemies to dispatch. As Rango you have multiple attack options at your disposal. Your main attack is a punch, which you can parlay into an uppercut, and also a butt slam. But what's a sheriff without his trusty side arm? As Rango, you'll make use of his popcorn gun; it has a preset number of bullets each clip, however you'll have an endless supply (without having to search for more) to put down the baddies. You also have a charge attack where you'll lash out your tongue taking out a mess of baddies.
And as you dispatch a baddies, smash crates and barrels, or find a mining deposit, you'll earn loads of "Sherriff Stars" – and I do mean LOADS! The stars are used as currency as throughout the game you'll run into Wounded Bird, who'll sell you weapon and skill upgrades; each can be increased up to three levels. And each level costs more than the last.
There's also two event type modes. First event is where you get to use a golf club, with the ability to guide your ball at certain enemies or objects. For example, in the midst of the Zombie stage, you'll have to guide an exploding golf ball into a horde of zombies before they can destroy this gate. The next event is "the golden bullet", where at certain instances of the levels you'll see a floating golden bullet. This triggers an event where Rango will swallow the bullet, spit it into his gun, and fire it off. Your job will be to guide the bullet into these targets. Hit the target square in the bullseye and you'll be given bonus stars. Hit the targets successfully and you'll be rewarded with acinematic showing the completion of your objective.
Finally you have riding stages where you control a roadrunner, a bat, or even a martian spaceship. You'll swerve, jump, fly, or destroy enemies and obstacles that stand in your way. But don't forget there are stars strewn about, so you may wanna try your best and grab em all.
Alrighty my fellow TOV cowpokes, here's what I think of this here vidja game as we move onto our TOV Breakdown, I reckon!
First let me say, for a movie licensed game, Rango wasn't all that bad. In fact I had a lot of fun with it. And believe me, I went in with low expectations. Actually it's simple, arcadey fun! The game itself is very easy to get into, the character controls are quite responsive, and the animation is very fluid, not just during gameplay but in the cinematics as well. The level designs are par the course, nice detailed with colorful, cartoony graphics, which won't bore you as things change up from rail riding, to side-scrolling, and driving stages all mixed in. What makes the game most enjoyable are the jokes. As Rango is telling his story, the town's people will interject and correct him on some of his facts. Also throughout the game, you'll come across some owls playing Mexican mariachi music that'll poke fun at Rango while he's trying to get past some precarious situations. But the best laugh is the inclusion of the famous "Wilhelm Scream" as you dispense popcorn justice on the bad guys. I've heard that scream a bajillion times and it never gets old, not even in this game! Finally the geek in me gives HUGE kudos to the "8-bit nightmare" Bad Behaviour saw fit to include. Lots of pixilated goodness throughout from the level design including 8-bit bad guys, and tinny 8-bit western music. Next to the final stage on the Martian ship, this is the one I love to replay the most!
Its way too short! I ran through the game in a few hours, only replaying levels for fun or to get items I missed (there are only two items to find – Mr. Timm in a fishbowl and mine deposits for Sherriff stars). I didn't care for the camera controls too much as it's quite slow to respond – yea it could have been a bit smoother. Finally, during the riding stages, I didn't care much for trying to move that cursor to lock on enemies or obstructions - it's was too slow. I usually hit the enemies by shooting aimlessly and not shooting the obstacles at all. It doesn't make the riding levels unplayable, as I simply rode on through. But it does become a hindrance. Finally, I found that I didn't die much by the hands of the enemies. That honor goes to some missteps in either miscalculating a jump or missing a jump completely or falling off a ledge. That's another complaint I have for this game - it's sometimes difficult to judge where you're supposed to go sometimes. The answer could be staring you square in teh face (you have to climb a fence or jump on a ledge), but at times it isn't always so obvious. Don't get me wrong, the game is completely playable, it just has a few hiccups to get through.
The Zombie level I mentioned prior, where you have to shoot a golf ball at a bunch of zombies to stop them from destroying a gate? Yea… that was ugly because it made me furious as to why I have to use an explosive golf ball to dispatch these guys? Why not a popcorn Gatling gun?
Overall, even with all its faults, I find that Rango The Video Game won't disappoint – it's a rip-roarin, root-tootin, entertainin piece of gaming that, the whole family can enjoy. Though it's a short trip with some missteps, I'm still gonna give Rango 4 stars. And it's been Valkor tested TOV Approved dagnabbit!