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TRON: Legacy

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Fragmented

Product: TRON: Legacy | Developer: SuperVillain Studios | Publisher: Disney Mobile Studios | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Arcade, Racing | Players: 1-4 | Networking: wireless (network) | File size: 166.0MB | Version: US | App version: 1.0
 
TRON: Legacy iPhone, thumbnail 1
If you've ever defragmented your computer's hard drive, then you have an idea of what TRON: Legacy is like.

Scattered about are pieces of good software, but until these worthwhile bits are organised properly they won't work efficiently.

There are glimmers of good gameplay, yet due to its fragmented and in some case incomplete state, TRON: Legacy has trouble entertaining.

You gotta recognise

Wisely avoiding a frame-by-frame telling of the film's story, this bite-sized universal app offers more than two dozen stages of vehicular action. Light cycle races are the main attraction, joined by first-person Recognizer levels that have you blasting tanks, turrets, and unlucky light cycles that happen to pass your way.

The Recognizer stages are surprisingly better than the races, playing out like challenging high score arcade game. While forcing use of the accelerometer to aim your shots isn't ideal - offering a touch control option would be recommended - there's some fun to squeeze out of the tough on-rails levels. Nailing enemies is challenging and earning enough points to win each stage requires racking up combos.

Combined with convincing, if a little basic graphics, the game does an admirable job of pulling you into the film's unique world.

Binary banality

Unfortunately, lacklustre light cycle racing and unstable multiplayer fragment the experience. What ought to be the game's signature feature is stunningly boring - light cycle races aren't just devoid of excitement, they're often lacking racers. It isn't until the second act that computer-controlled racers are thrown in the mix, which means the entire first act consists of banal time trials.

Poorly designed power-ups do nothing to spice up races either. Shield break, arc, and cloak power-ups are utterly useless. Offensive power-ups or at least more frequent boost might liven things up.

Network multiplayer could make up for the lame single-player light cycle races, but it's too unstable to satisfy. Upon completing most multiplayer races, the game crashes to the home screen. It's a real disappointment because the pieces are here for a decent movie tie-in, yet it's too fragmented and unfinished to be enjoyable.
 
TRON: Legacy
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 24 December 2010
TRON: Legacy fails to seize the potential of light cycle racing with bland game design and technical instability
 
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