Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck


Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
Release Date: Oct. 9, 2007
Systems: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E

In a nutshell: Just Watch This

0:01 An extremely tinny, Looney Tunes-style musical number plays over the title screen. "Well look who's back. You sure took your sweet time getting here. Let's get started!" says Daffy. But... this is my first time playing. That's what happens when you rent from Gamefly, I guess.

0:02 Daffy talks about what type of game it should be. A "strategy quest game"? A "3D games with lots of polygons"? Or maybe one of those mind improvement games. Before I can type this up and react, he's asleep against the stark white background again. Oh well... waiting...

0:03 Tapping Daffy makes him react with some jumpy animation. Eventually, he tells me to "Knock it off, screwball" and brings out some cans of paint. I choose the red bucket, and he becomes a cowboy, complete with desert background. I draw the worst horse ever imagined and he jumps on and bounces towards town.

0:04 Daffy spouts a bunch of Western catch phrases in a saloon and gets ignored. Then he says "Anyone for tennis" and gets corralled into a card game. O...K. The pause menu tells me to deal the cards correctly before time runs out. This involves tapping the deck and slinging the card to whichever of the two players is pictured on the card. Pretty easy.

0:06 Now there's three players and three sections to deal to. This is kind of fun, if a little simple.

0:07 Five levels of this repetitive cruft and we're done. "Tough room," Daffy says as he dumps bullets out of his hat. Back to the stark white background... Daffy's temperature goes up, as shown via a giant cartoon thermometer. Now there's a light slider at the top of the screen. Daffy complains when I turn out the lights, but not much.

0:09 He complains more when I turn the lights real bright. This unlocks a new mini-game... Daffy holds a candle and I have to blow it out before he reaches the top of the stairs. Then he holds TNT and I have to... not do anything. Gripping! This whole concept was done better in WarioWare: Touched.

0:11 Five levels of this crap... most of them just involve watching Daffy and DOING NOTHING as he carries TNT. In level five I have to blow softly to slow him down. Yeah...that makes sense. The slight load time between animations really takes away from the whole thing. Bleh.

0:12 "I wonder whose idea it was to put two screens on this thing. That's using the old coconut." Yay self-referential humor.

0:14 I choose yellow paint this time... Daffy become Robin Hood! He's gonna steal the gold and "return it to the less fortunate... namely me." Heh.

0:15 Another freaking blowing game? This time I have to blow to keep Daffy up as he flies through the air like an arrow. First time out I blow too hard and he hits the top of the screen and falls down. Er, what?

0:16 Second try, I go over the king I was aiming for. It's hard to watch the screen when you have to put your face right up to it to blow. It hurts my eyes. Also, I'm getting spittle all over the screens.

0:17 Three failures and Daffy's temperature goes down. "So what's next on the menu." Maybe something that doesn't hurt my eyes so much?

0:18 Heh. Daffy starts blabbing egotistically about his central role in the game, when a volume knob appears. I turn off his speechifying and he drags out a typewriter to formally request his voice back. Then I get to record something... Wait, was that a mini-game? There was no game there...

0:19 So apparently if I click the light bulbs during Daffy's "What Type of Game" speech (see 0:02 above) I can get new mini-games. The adventure quest is "Diamond Mine! Mine!," a pixelated "low-rent game from the 70s" as Daffy puts it. Shades of Adventure on the 2600. I have to guide the diamond away from Daffy using the stylus.

0:22 I feel really stupid but I can't figure out how to get the diamond by a brick wall. Daffy says I stink, but that's why he loves playing games with me. Gee... thanks.

0:25 After playing around in the options, I choose blue paint this time. Duck Dodgers! My favorite cartoon ever! "That was some of my best work you know." I do, I do!

0:28 This is quite the weird game. I have to make a path for the electricity using green arrows, then crank this tiny crank to get the juice flowing, then pull a switch to transport Daffy so Marvin can incinerate him. It's a bit hard to figure out, even with instructions, thanks to the unfriendly interface. Also, the crank is VERY hard to turn in super-small circles.

0:31 The later Duck Dodger levels get a little interesting, with stuff in the way, but still kind of confusing. When I win, Daffy says "You're disgustable" What! Doesn't he mean "You're despicable!"? Someone dropped the ball there.

0:34 "How is it that I can look so good after so many years, you may ask. Can you keep a secret? Well so can I" The writing ain't half bad.

0:35 I'm not sure how, but by tapping around I somehow activate a game where I have to cut Daffy in half, creating multiple, smaller Daffys, until they finally disintegrate into nothingness. Surreal.

0:37 This has some potential for fun, but the cutting controls are so imprecise and hard to use that it becomes more of a chore. Ugh.

0:41 After failing quite a few times, I finally manage to win by tapping ans slashing like a madman. Overall: Frustrating.

0:42 I try the Adventure clone again and figure out that I can destroy the brick walls with a few taps of the stylus. Me = idiot.

0:45 This Adventure game is actually kind of fun now that I know what I'm doing. But Daffy is so slow that it isn't really challenging. Hopefully there's a master quest later or something.

0:46 So I somehow unlock the recording mini-game again. I have no idea why it's even a game. You record your voice and then... you win? What?

0:50 I tear a hole in the background and then, apropos of nothing, Daffy demands I draw him a new body. I draw him a big green bulbous thing just in time for a tortoise and hare style hurdle race. Wait... that was a Bugs Bunny cartoon. There weren't enough Daffy moments to swipe from?

0:52 This is actually a lot easier if I turn the DS sideways, like a book. Up and down swipes are a lot easier than left to right, for me. I win all five races easily, despite some tough, unresponsive controls.

0:56 "I should be one of those new-fangled 3D characters. That's where the money is." Heh. 3D Daffy has like ten polygons total. "This is next-gen?" Heh x 2.

0:58 I fail Level 1 twice before I realize I'm SUPPOSED to make Daffy hit the bombs. It's hard to remember sometimes that my goal is to make Daffy's life a living hell.

1:01 Making Daffy die is actually kind of tough by level 5. "So much for the latest and greatest. Give me pixels over polys any day." Amen. Also, "Did you know there are 49,152 pixels on this screen. I known because I've counted them all waiting for you to do something.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? No.
Why? There are some inventive ideas here, but the execution leaves something to be desired. I'm glad I played for an hour though.

This review based on a retail copy rented from Gamefly.

1 comment:

SoxFan13 said...

You obviously didn't get to "There's my steed," otherwise you'd definitely want to keep playing. Just ask McElroy.