Review by SneakTheSnake
Get in line to get your money back.
Im not entirely against mobile or Flash games going to consoles as enhanced remakes. Angry Birds Star Wars didnt take much to make it work for the Wii, and Doodle Jump kind of went to the 3DS without too many issues. In fact, the idea is sound as far as the Wii is concerned: take simple, accessible gameplay and expand the market by putting it on a pointer-based system. Should be a piece of cake, but Line Rider 2 falters on the execution.
This 2D physics-based puzzler involves a little athlete named Bosh. He rides his sled down some pretty fun courses your courses, in fact, as theyre made out of the lines you draw for his path. There is an edit mode that more closely imitates the Flash game on which this console title is based, but the bulk of the experience lies in the new campaign mode. In Line Rider 2: Unbound, the entire single-player adventure mode involves making the right lines to get Bosh to travel from one end of the course to the next. Its kind of like Motocross Maniacs, but youre making parts of the course up on the fly. The physics are basic enough that Bosh will get some foreward momentum easily enough as he accelerates automatically down the track, and players can create normal lines, speed-up lines and slow-down lines to control Boshs speed. There are special tokens to collect along the courses, too, which are used to unlock extra tools in the editing software as well as new levels.
The scope of this game is limited but, if it could pull it off well, then why not? If a game can do one thing really well, just do that one thing. If it aint broke, dont fix it. Well, the game survives on how players make lines and how Bosh will react to them, and the line-making tool is pretty botched. Players can make lines with a line-creation tool or by free-drawing, but it is very difficult to edit them. Its difficult to connect them to lines that were already pre-set on the course, too, so Bosh will trip over one line while going to the next and lose all momentum. Hell probably crash or fall off the level. Lines can only be made in specially shaded areas so, while its possible to make lines from one detached part of the track to the next, the only part that will appear is whatever is in the shaded area. Thats fair, but the gaps from one section of the track to the next are often so vast that it will take a lot of trial and error to get it right. Perhaps the biggest culprit to this system is that there is no undo button for making parts of the track, and no quick restart. That slows the game down to the crawl and makes it practically unplayable. In a game with a surprisingly huge campaign, complete with funny little cutscenes that show poor Bosh trying to win over his crushs affections against a competing sledder, thats a bit of a letdown. Pile that up along some slow save and load times and the game is a slog.
The graphics and music arent too impressive to me. This isnt a huge upgrade from the source material in the aesthetics department, but the cutscenes are cute enough in that awkward, early Worms series kind of way. Techno music doesnt really suit this experience much, though I suppose its all right.
There really isnt much else to say about Line Rider 2: Unbound. The purpose of a game like this, in addition to expanding its potential audience, is to offer something more than its Flash or mobile counterpart. This game fails to do that in an effective way and thus is no better than whats found in the original product. I would recommend skipping this one.
Rating: 1.0 - Terrible
Product Release: Line Rider 2: Unbound (US, 10/07/08)
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