Review by mrgameandglitch
Enter the Wacky World of Ed...
The Nintendo 64 has been through good games, bad games, but never one this wacky. In Tonic Trouble, you play as the alien creature Ed and try to get through legions of killer veggies, angry henchmen, and a host of tricky traps to retrieve the can from Grogh. Ed is similar to Rayman in that he is missing a few limbs, and Tonic Trouble could easily be compared to Rayman 2 with similar gameplay. Now then, down to the meat of the review-
When starting a new game, the player is treated to a humorous intro cutscene that pretty much lays down every single event that is to come. Besides this, there are only a few other short cutscenes in the game. The story is zany and fun, but is extremely linear to the point where you're just trying to get it over with.
Ed's world is made up of many different textures and shadings, so each new area is different and pleasing. The textures themselves seem complex, like strewn-together floor tiles or patched up walls, just another little quirk that adds to the weirdness. The characters themselves are somewhat uninteresting, (graphically speaking, of course) but overall the graphics were suited to the game and achieved what they were meant to.
The sound in this game is highly criticized, which I disagree with. The music isn't very melodic, no, but usually a drum beat and bassline. The music changes and adds new parts as levels go on, giving the whole thing a sense of progression. And the recurring little themes scattered through the soundtrack are very enjoyable.
There are also many sound effects, which are in and of itself a good source of comedy. No one but Ed could make falling into a bubbling pit of lava seem more fun with his little screams. The enemies have a small range of laughter and grunts, and there are plenty of attack and background sounds as well.
After taking control of Ed, the player is launched into a ski slope, an interesting little mini game that could have been placed later on as a break. After this, the main game begins. Basically, Ed has to go to different levels from a central area, collect 6 of an item Doc wants, and return it to him. As he does this, he obtains new moves from the Doc, such as a peashooter or gliding ability. There are 8 levels, if you include the Ski Slope and Doc's cave, which is essentially a training level. This system of going to worlds, going to the Doc, then going back to a world is awfully repetitive, and since each world is quite short, you'll be doing it often. Besides the repetitive routine of it all, the individual worlds are quite different and very entertaining. Glacier Cocktail, for instance, where the bad guys think they're ballerinas and there is a massive water level puzzle, simple yet enjoyable. Good stuff.
The control in this game is simple and easy to pick up. I have no problems with it whatsoever, Ed's movement is smooth and easy to control, and the weapon and items are placed well and easy to use. Why the missing three, then? THE CAMERA. The dreaded camera. The camera in this game is extremely uncooperative. In fact, it's the player who has to cooperate with it. The camera can be rotated with C right and left, put in first person with C up, zoomed in and out with C down, and centered behind Ed with Z. However, whenever it seems like you'd want to adjust the camera, it's locked, and you can't. Basically it's needless complexity, and the player just has to take what the camera gives them.
-Memorable levels and puzzles
-Upside down hover-yoga
-THE DREADED CAMERA
-Tedious walking segments between levels
THE FINAL VERDICT- 7\10. A good game overall, but a few problems. Worth a play for sure, but rent it if you can first, it may not be for you.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Tonic Trouble (US, 08/31/99)
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