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3DS  header logo

Wreck-it Ralph

For: 3DS   Also on: Android, DS, iPhone, iPad

Busted

Product: Wreck-it Ralph | Publisher: Activision Blizzard | Format: 3DS | Genre: Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Wreck-it Ralph 3DS, thumbnail 1
Given that Wreck-it Ralph is a Disney property, you probably assumed it's aimed at kids. Well, you're wrong. The cameos in the video game-themed movie are straight out of the '80s and '90s.

Does the average 14-year-old know who Q*bert is? Not likely.

Wreck-it Ralph is an animated trip down memory lane, with enough wholesome fun and silly humour to keep the kids busy while the adults get on with the business of wallowing in nostalgia.

Unfortunately, the 3DS game of the movie seems not to have read the brief.

Kidulthood

Make no mistake - this is a wasted opportunity at almost every turn.

If you enjoyed seeing Zangief or Sonic in the movie, then get ready to be disappointed by the lack of any cameos throughout the three lifeless and generic worlds on offer. There's not so much as a sniff of good old-fashioned nostalgia to be found here, aside from one nod to Metroid.

The controls are fine, in that you can jump and move accurately enough for what you need to accomplish on a 2D plane. The sticking point is the nature of what you need to accomplish.

There's just too little substance. A child's platformer doesn't need to be taxing, but like any other game for any other age range it does need to command your attention.

Wreck-'t Ralph simply doesn't, thanks to seen-it-all-before hop, skip, and jump tasks. You leap from one platform to the next, watch out for the falling blocks above you, flick this switch, open this door, and - if you're lucky - manage to avoid falling asleep.

Combat is the main offender. Each insectoid enemy is easy to defeat on its own, but they can chip away at your health if there are enough of them, since the only move at your disposal is a front-facing attack, the animation for which takes too long to finish.

If a developer can't make an innovative title, it can at least make it tough. You'll breeze through this game in about an hour and a half. After you've defeated the bosses - most of which just require you to run up to them and punch them repeatedly - you unlock a mode that gives enemies more health. I doubt you'll bother with it.

Wreck

The final area you need to reach to clear each stage is never signposted well, but it's not an issue thanks to mostly linear level design. Even areas in which you need to create a route out of a room are basic: switches to open specific doors are usually within metres of one another.

It's disappointing that the one interesting gameplay idea in the mix - that you can swap between Felix and Ralph at will, is squandered too. Felix is used to repair broken objects, but these boil down to little more than door switches in disguise, and unless it's absolutely necessary you'll spend most of the time as Ralph, as he can deal out the punishment to baddies more readily.

The pastel visuals capture the general look of the film, but there's none of the vibrancy you might expect from a top-tier franchise-based release. Audio samples loop incessantly, and if I ever have to hear the eponymous man in red shout "I'M GONNA WRECK IT!" again I'm liable to wreck something myself.

At the close of the game Ralph states that, "our real job is making you gamers happy, one quarter at a time". While that might be a noble cause, Wreck-it Ralph on 3DS isn't up to the task.
 
Wreck-it Ralph
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 15 February 2013
Just like Fix-It Felix, Wreck-it Ralph on 3DS is short, plain, and not a lot of fun to be around
 
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