Friday, April 5, 2013

The Undefined Gamer: "Scooby-Doo! First Frights" Wii-View

It's Scooby, dude!
      Back in the Summer of '09, all those big businessy video game
'geniuses' over at Warner gave birth to what I like to call Scooby Doo
2. Indeed, it was a year of 2's for them, for to keep balance in the
world, Super Scribblenauts was created.
      First Frights, which is a... prequel? to the Spooky Swamp, is assumed
to take place somewhere in the past of TSS? The only hint that this is
a prequel is one key factor! (looks at notes) I mean two key factors!
      Instead of two main mysteries with a third one in the swamp, there are
now 4 mysteries accessible, with the swamp unexplorable except for your
club house in this one.
    Now for the factors. You remember Costington, right? The British
idiot who decided to stand outside at nighttime in the middle of a
zombie attack? Well, turns out before he got his money, he was a
butler to a Baron in England, and served in one overly huge castle!
Factor two: Anna, Daphne's cousins, who previously worked at Howling
Peak, is still in High School. How do I know that? You go to it!
Beware the library! (Seriously, that place's library is really #*&%^
      Four mysteries, one involving a ghostly cruise ship taken over by a
robot crab and an army of robotic Big Brothers and fisherman, a mad
circus taken over by a deranged Willy Wonkaline toymaker and his army
of murderous animatronic toys, Anna's High School, where random witches
and Pumpkin men have taken over the school after dark, and
Costingtin's Castle, which is in danger by an ancient evil disguised
as the Baron's sister, and her magical army of Werewolves and Goblins!
Nice dress, Fred.
      Well, at least have of the monsters actually have reasons to be there
(which actually makes them all the more terrifying. Even I was creeped
out by the living rag dolls).
      The mysteries are better planned out than TSS, the levels are bigger,
however, with great quantity comes great *^&%-uppery in a Scooby Doo
      The level designers have no shame, giving a simple high school library
more books than the library at Alexandria, (they actually make you use
meshes of 80 or so books as platforms), and giving one school at least
80 furnaces. Costington's Castle is bigger than the Kremlin, yet half
of it is abandoned! Jesus!
      Look, Warner, there is a time and a place for extra levels. The school
library is neither.
      To make it worse, it seems as if there are actually less real people
in this game. The game is just as repetitive as its predecessor,
however the mysteries seem written like TV episodes (just delete the
 *^&%$!-up levels).
      First Frights is a game that has outgrown its tiny premise. You can
tell the developers really didn't know what to do with all, their
funding. It comes to me as poorly planned out gameplay wise, slightly
more developed story wise than TSS. True, there is some character
customization, allowing players to utilize "costumes" to change a
character's attack, but the problem is the core gameplay. It's
designed for a relatively low budget, made with little creativity, and
simply does not know how to deal with all this extra funding built off
of The Spooky Swamp's sad, unfortunate "success".
Daphne is totally not fanservice.
      On the plus side, this is the only Wii Game to give me nightmares.
      However, despite this, it still works for kids under 10, who like
Scooby Doo! Confused? Well, kids don't usually notice reputation in
games, nor do they think about the enemies they are battling. It's
those little backstories are what makes First Frights frightening.
This is a world with real-life Chucky dolls, in rag doll form. This is
a world with Werewolves in the woods, and Robotic Big Brothers. Pair
that with repetitive gameplay that is not fun and terrible visuals,
and you have Hell.
      But remember, kids don't notice these things (as they rarely know what
goes into a quality game), so again, like The Spooky Swamp, this acts
like a 10 hour loop of a man jingling keys. Mindless entertainment.
      Now if you excuse me, I need to board up my house; the Werewolves are
eating my dog again.
Scooby-Doo! First Frights gets 1 and a half stars out of 6.

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