|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: 5th Cell||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
One major area of improvement that's easy to overlook is the slew of upgrades that have been made to the game's built-in drawing program itself. With some patience, you have a lot more flexibility to craft some truly impressive character and object designs. For starters, the color palette is beefed-up to 64 colors (more than double from the first game) and there are more tools at your disposal.
A paint airbrush lets you blend colors together, you can lock out colors so you can't accidentally draw over them, and there's even a dropper tool to select from colors you've already laid down. And that's not even the best part: you can add extra limbs and change the size of your character's proportions. That means you can have a giant, hammerhead hero with four arms and three legs if you feel like it.
Even with almost limitless freedom to scrawl stuff to your heart's content, opportunities to draw new in-game elements don't really pop-up as frequently as you'd hope. That might be a good thing, if you're artistic abilities are lacking, but the implementation of the fun creation aspect feels unnecessarily light this time around. When you do wind up drawing things, they're not always terribly new either - a lot of sketches tend to be platform-related items.
Fans of the original game will appreciate the nice visual updates and other minor changes found in The Next Chapter, even if the overall experience isn't drastically different. This sequel is worth sticking with to it's conclusion to wrap up the story between the two games. It's a cute and sometimes touching tale that's light on challenge but heavy on charm.
CCC Staff Contributor