Review by thearmiscool

Reviewed: 12/05/08

Was this game a waste of a dollar? Answer inside.

Now I bought this game off a kid I know for one dollar, so I wasn't expecting much, but as I have been on a streak of finding good games for five bucks and under I had some hope. All hope was gone after about fifteen minutes of playing this game. Was this game worth the dollar I paid for it, lets find out.

{Story 6/10}
The story isn't bad for a kids game [I believe this game was meant to be marketed to a six to twelve year old audience.] and its based of the movie of the same name. The plot is two brothers are home alone and they get into a argument, a ball is thrown at the older brothers head, the younger one runs and hides and the older one finds him and forces him into the basement. Once down there he finds the board game Zathura. He then shows his older brother and they start to play and a car pops out saying meteor shower, but he cannot read it so his older brother reads it for him and at that second a meteor shower hits. So pretty much what happens in the game happens in real life, and the only way for it to stop is for them to finish the game. That being said the game causes the boys to have many outer space adventures meeting friends and many enemies [mostly enemies you only meet two friendly creatures in the game except the sheep and lizards. I get the lizards in the game as decorations but really why are there sheep they serve no purpose and also why are they on the middle of a spaceship?] on there way to get back home.

{Gameplay 4/10}
This was disappointing as the game engine and game mechanics themselves are good and fun but there are way to many flaws. One of the major ones is the level design they're just plain bad the platforms and other objects and not placed well at all. The designs are also bland and

Another major problem is the enemies. First of all they are poorly placed, example you need to jump from a platform onto a rope with lava beneath you to the platform on the other side and with these dumb ropes when you jump off you always jump backwards. So you jump, go to spin around so you can land your jump. Then out of nowhere a turret pops up shoots you and you die. You can't dodge the shots. Only 1 out of 12 times you will and you can't destroy the turret as the game uses a lock on system that doesn't have range, as opposed to a analog aiming system, [I'm guessing they went with lock on system as its easier for kids, but the problem is they put no range on it. So you can see the enemies but you cannot lock on to them until your too close and sometimes that's when your on a rope, or something where you can't shoot.] and that can be very frustrating.

Another frustrating thing is enemies respawning. There's some spots where they have unlimited respawns, and that's annoying as your to busy killing them to see what your supposed to do next. Also every time you die all enemies respawn to, and some enemies respawn at the exact spot you do. I have respawned on a narrow platform with a enemy behind me and it knocked me off that second. I respawned in that same location fifteen times and only one of those times he did not knock me off, it was frustrating!

Now for the controls the games controls are nice and tight except for jumps witch are pretty slippery sometimes which can be frustrating in levels that require precision jumping, and also the aiming system as previously stated.

{Graphics 5/10}
Another disappointment is the graphics this game was made for the Xbox in 2005 and it has graphics worse then games back in 2001 on weaker systems. Like I swear conkers bad fur day for the N64 had graphics up to par with this game and there is no excuse for that. The textures in this game are plain and blurry [especially the characters faces.] and they lack detail. The character models are also plain and boring. That goes for enemy models also, they have no originality. The level textures are even worse they have no originality its the same type of
designs you see in every other game, and it's boring and uninteresting .On the bright side it has a very nicely done menu.

{Sound 4/10}
Well lets talk about the good part first. The voice acting is very good quality and it makes the game a bit more interesting and entertaining and is also voiced by the actors of the movie.The games music was average, not bad but not great it was alright. The sound effects on the other hand are horrible. They are too basic [as in these exact sounds have been used in tons of games] and are also very repetitive and they get annoying. This game can definitely be played on mute.

{Replayability 0-10}
Yes it gets a zero cause once you have beaten this game your just happy its done, and don't want to play again. Sure you could replay one of the three fun levels in the game, but do you really want to, the answer is probably not.

{Final thoughts}
This game could of been really fun as it has a good engine [except for the lock on system but if it was tweaked a bit it would of been good.].Instead we are left with a very flawed game that is more frustrating and boring then fun.

My theory on why this game was put out with so many obvious flaws. The game was either rushed due to movie release [which happens allot with games based on movies] or the developers just didn't care about making a quality game.

And to answer my question from the beginning of this review yes this game was worth the dollar I spent [for the three fun levels.]. But its not worth a cent more!

{Overall Score 4/10}

Rating: 4

Product Release: Zathura (US, 11/02/05)

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