Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ant Nation

Developer: Art Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: Sept. 9, 2009
Systems: Nintendo DS (reviewed), Wii
ESRB Rating: E-10+

In a nutshell: If an ant's life is really this slow paced and dull, I don't know how they get through the day...

0:00 The hauntingly bad box art for this game has been staring at me from my game shelf every day for over nine months now. Once I play it, I can take it off my shelf and put it away in storage. So let's get this over with...

0:01 A chirpy, 12-note tune plays and then the plain title screen goes silent. Scrolling green grass at the bottom. Everything so far screams "very low-budget."

0:02 A series of static images show ants being sucked up by a tiny UFO and... dropped in a lake? In a lab with an ant on the front a white haired bearded man studies the ants. He thinks he can harness the ants to destroy all other bugs? Maybe? Really I have no clue what these pictures are supposed to be representing.

0:03 Ah, the professor is addressing me now. "Use the ants I've given you to defeat the alien ants!" Um, OK.

0:04 An overhead shot of the battlefield. The game's tutorial tells me what each on-screen button does. Most of them seem wasted on calling up menus or switching between the top and bottom screen. "Now the only way to learn the controls is by playing." What kind of a tutorial is THAT?

0:05 "Alien ants are out to plunder our natural resources!" says the professor. "Take these ants! Use them to defeat the aliens and protect our planet!" Why wasn't this portion of the story FIRST?


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