Thundercats Nintendo DS Review

     Thunder-CRAAAAAAAP,  HOOO-rrendous!!!

     I happened to pick this up at a Gamestop, in the new Nintendo DS section- somehow left unpurchased for at least a year.  In retrospect, that fact alone should've tipped me off to how bad this game is.  All my 80's childhood nostalia from the original show, adding to my enjoyment of the more recent rebooted cartoon series from 2011 wasn't enough to make playing this worth it.

     First off- this should rightly be called ThunderCat, not Cats, as you play solely as Lion-O.  As the leader of the ThunderCats, you do gain the ability to call in assists from other team members- Panthro, Tygra, Cheetara, and the tiny team of WilyKat & WilyKit- by collecting summons tokens.  You can only carry three of these which leads to use it or lose it play.

     The controls are ultra simple.  Simple enough that they neglected to use the X and Y buttons.  We are left with really a D-Pad, a jump button, and an attack button.  Which all of them seem to have just enough delay to result in death for the extremely unclear platforming sections.  It would also be worth mentioning that the unresponsive nature also compounds the problem of animations having to finish- consequently leaving you not just open to attack, but usually leaving you to be hit 3 or 4 times back to back without a dodge or block button.  One could also point out that every swing of the sword pushes you forward, causing you to miss swing because you have to adjust your footing, which is very inconvenient during a boss fights short "weak point" openings.
      Every fight is purely an exercise in frustration.  It is an awful irritation when you get enemies surrounding you and have to wait for even your most menial attack finish it's animation only to result in you getting shot from both sides, and then hit by melee attackers on top of that.  You are left defenseless in a game of melee.  Every level comes down to constant mobbing from an endless stream of color-swapped enemies that will inevitably strike you because the controls are so bad.

     Using the ThunderCats' fabled Sword of Omens feels like you are swinging a useless cardboard tube.  It's weak, it's preposterously slow, and it's range isn't even the whole length of the blade.  This makes the boss fights unbelievably tedious- you need to get close enough for your sword to hit, but this puts you in a position to take multiple hits from their attacks, which have far more range and speed than anything in your own arsenal.  Each one of the bosses is a damage sponge and takes at least twice as long as they rightfully should to defeat.

     Saves occur apparently randomly, not necessarily at the end of the levels like the game says, as I was sent back whole levels after death a couple times, and checkpoints are nonexistent.  So you're essentially playing a lottery with when and where you'll pick up after a death or save.  In reality, playing a level once in this game is bad enough, being forced to play it again because a faulty auto-save is certainly a cherry on top of a shit sundae.

     This is one of the most pitiful 2D beat-'em-up, side-scrolling platformers I have ever played.  In light of the classics like the TMNT or X-men arcades, this is a shameful thing to fail in the modern gaming era.  With a plethora of decent games in this style, how did anyone think this could pass muster?
     What a disgusting cash grab- this is one of the laziest productions of a game I have seen ever.  Muddy colored backgrounds, terrible speech compression (after hearing Lion-O's only line of dialogue, "ThunderCats, HOOOO!" for the 1,000 time on the first level, mute became my favorite button.), and the gameplay itself is a plain chore to plow through.

     ThunderCats is an embarrassment- there are tons of games from our 16 bit yesteryear that are infinitely better than this.  Everything that could've been retro homage to the show felt ruined in every way possible.  Really, this game makes Aliens: Colonial Marines look like a work of art.  Why they didn't make a game like WayForward's Thor: God of Thunder for DS is beyond me.  Just watch the Toonami cartoon and avoid this game, even if you could get the game for free, it isn't worth the time to play- and the ghost of Jaga is crying somewhere in the beyond because of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment