As a child of the 80's, I grew up on ThunderCats; vividly I remember coming home from school and watching Lion-O kick Mumm-Ra's butt across the TV screen for 4 Seasons. When the series reboot came out in 2011, I was in love - heck, in a few ways it was even better than the original. Season one had more depth to it and I appreciated where it was taking the story. I confess that I love ThunderCats so much that Valkor hadn't even finished offering me the DS game (which is based on the current series) before I said I was in! I expected it was going to follow the first season quite closely and I dreamt of driving the Thundertank and slaying gobs of lizard-men, all the while screaming "THUNDERCATS, HO"!
ThunderCats on the DS is a 2D side-scroller where you play as Lion-o, Lord of the ThunderCats, fighting to defeat the evil forces of Mumm-Ra and The Horde with the assistance of his teammates Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, WilyKit and WilyKat. The game play is very simple; you have your basic side-scroll functions of moving left, right and jump. You're armed with the Sword of Omens and as you master the sword, you'll gain additional special attacks such as a slide attack, a down thrust, and a charging attack. On the lower screen are your team members and they'll be unlocked as you clear certain levels bringing different types of support along the way. Panthro uses the Thundertank to obliterate your enemies and that's as close as you will get to use that vehicle. Tygra and Cheetara bring area damage with their own techniques. And WilyKit and Wilykat will drop useful items such as healing elixirs and sword powerups when summoned. In order to summon support or use the sword of omen blast you must use the touch screen when Icons are fully charged. The Sword of Omen blast is a one hit kill for regular baddies and the sword is also used to summon your support when ready and you can select what support member you want depending on their ability.
Namco Bandai has put together a few side-scrollers, some I have enjoyed and some not so much. From time to time I get that old nostalgic feeling creeping up and I'll start looking for one to play. Even better, the last time I was hit with that feeling, ThunderCats was dropped right onto my lap. I expected the game to be along the same lines as most 2D side-scroller beat em ups – facing a fleet of bad guys, overcoming huge obstacles, featuring most, if not all of the ThunderCats in some manner, loads of references to the series, and yes, still praying for the Thundertank!!! Hell, even the box cover was fanning… no stroking, my nostalgia and just begging me to begin playing.
But then I played it…
I enjoyed the games backdrops and the box art looked awesome.
I am not impressed. The game was extremely repetitive. As soon as I made it past the second level boss, that love and nostalgia feeling were gone; I had no desire to go any further. All the bad guys looked the same, some shot arrows/ray-guns/blah, blah, and some simply ran at you - very little diversification. Oh and then there was a few that ran back and forth doing nothing till you killed them. Also I can't block! I see an arrow coming at me and I can't stop it. The level of difficulty is on high and that's not a good thing; even the most basic enemies take too many hits to take down and don't even get me started on the boss battles. They have no life meter so it's difficult to tell if you're doing any damage at all. The overall quality that went into this title is just terrible. This game is E10+ and to be honest I don't know how anyone, especially at that age – over or under, could find any joy in this game. Hell, I lost all interest after 5 minutes, but I kept going with the hope of it getting better, and nope, nothing. Finally,
The game has no checkpoints and saves are sporadic
ThunderCats on the DS is a lazily repetitive, difficult mess of a game. As a fan, I truly love the series the game is based on and I might have played further into it if there was a chance of riding the Thunder Tank. Wait, no I wouldn't have because this game Suuuuuucks! This game should have been way better because the DS can handle a lot more than what this game had to offer. In the end, out of TOV 5 stars, I give ThunderCats DS 1 star.