Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue for the DS isn't as delightful
a game as it was a movie - and we all know that when
the word "delightful" is ascribed to a game
that it's usually the kiss of death.by
24, 2006 - Finding
Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue is basically an updated
version of the original Finding Nemo game released
on the GBA in 2003. With the same premise, same characters,
same music, sound effects and very similar gameplay,
the developers are showing that they really know how
to milk a dead fish.
Nemo is the kind of game that will fill time between
blockbusters. It's not great but the younger audience,
especially those that enjoyed the movie, will find
some favor with it. However there is a decided lack
of personality which makes the game seem calculated
and detached. We recognize the characters but they
seem like mindless clones of the original with very
little story and virtually no voiceovers. Gamers that
have played the original GBA version are going to
be a little older and wiser, and if they don't exactly
feel betrayed by the similarities, they will certainly
experience some degree of déjà vu.
Escape to the Big Blue, the Tank gang has decided
they've have enough of living in a fishbowl in some
boring dentist's office. By enclosing themselves in
water-filled baggies, they devise a portable, life-sustaining
method of locomotion that can take them to the ocean.
You must navigate them across the city, crossing highways
and avoiding pitfalls along the way. You use the stylus
to move the baggie. A jump command will allow you
to leap over potholes, pits and chasms. By blowing
into the microphone, you can induce some speed into
the baggie which can help you outrun vehicles and
other potential threats. Blowing in the microphone
is not only awkward but it's not good for the system.
Continued blowing can permanently damage the cartridge
and diaphragm of the mic, not to mention all the damage
that can be done with your bacteria-infested breath
and moisture being introduced into your system. You
can trigger this move without having to blow into
your mic, just make a relatively loud sound close
to it such as a yell or a handclap and it will do
the job without potentially damaging your DS. In any
case you're still going to look stupid doing it so
you may not want to play this game on a bus or in
a dentist's waiting room.
you lead your fish to the pier you will have to get
them into the water and to the safety of the reef.
Here is where you will run into an assortment of mini-games.
Each fish has different mini-games with different
levels of difficulty. These mini-games are the game's
saving grace. I just wish there were more of them.
We don't really need a story but it would be good
if things were somewhat tied into an evolving adventure.
mini-games make good use of the touch controls. One
game requires that you bounce a blowfish around to
avoid him getting caught by anglerfish. His buoyant
nature makes him particularly light as he floats around
like a balloon. In another mini-game you trace the
outlines of different fish using the stylus. There
is even a rhythm game where you tap to the tempo of
a song. The mini-games all come with instructions
that explain exactly what you have to do with no guesswork
characters and mini-games can be unlocked by collecting
shells, completing mini-games and getting the high
score. There is also an aquarium that you can customize
with all kinds of unlockable and collectible items.
It's basically just a trophy room, as you can't do
much more than look at it but it might encourage some
kids to strive to collect everything the game has
to offer to squeeze some replay value out of it. For
most of players I would imagine this kind of replay
value would not entice kids to want to own this game
rather than just renting it - knowing they could get
their hands on another five or six rental games for
the same price.
the game is reminiscent of the movie. The characters
and the environments are rendered in 3D with bright
colors and lots of cartoonish detail. The animations
are smooth and the controls, while very simple, are
responsive. There is virtually no frustration factor
with the game. It's easy to play and very straightforward.
The variety of the mini-games is definitely a plus
but they don't all relate to the Nemo theme.
would have preferred that the game didn't even attempt
to incorporate a storyline into the gameplay. It just
feels tacked on. If the developers spent more time
developing more mini-games in the Wario Wares tradition,
this game would have fared a lot better.
the Tank Gang make a daring break for the deep blue
beloved characters from the film including Nemo,
Marlin and Dory lend a helping fin as their briny
buddies dive deep into the unknown on an incredible
journey to find a brand new home in the coral reef.
game utilizes the Nintendo DS touch screen to take
players on an adventure through more than 20 mini-games.
will also be able to utilize the Nintendo DS microphone
and wireless capabilities for multi-player mode.