Journey to the Center of the Earth Review
Journey to the Center of the Earth box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Human Soft 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 30, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Another big problem is the fixed camera angle. There is a lot of backtracking involved in this game, unnecessary backtracking I might add, but more on that later. When you actually have to turn around and make a jump in the opposite direction, the camera does not anticipate your about-face and consequently does not give you the necessary visual screen space to see in the direction that you're pointed. So, that first jump is a leap of faith, unless you can remember exactly where the last platform was. Good luck.

Journey to the Center of the Earth screenshot

Checkpoints are not exactly plentiful but there are enough of them in each level to ensure you can make progress while negotiating the leaps of faith and trial-and-error gameplay. A compass is included to help guide you, but it must be adversely affected by the magnetic core of the Earth's interior because it seldom points you in the right direction; this game takes exploring literally. There are many different paths that one can take when you arrive at a junction. Your direction is never entirely clear and getting lost is a common occurrence. Nor is it clear as to what your objective is. In one level, I discovered my objective near the end, which caused me to backtrack to the beginning. Not cool.

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An archeological kit allows you to discover various items through excavation. You will dig or hammer at a certain spot by tapping the screen in an attempt to unearth various treasures such as gold or fossilized dinosaur bones. Care must be taken to extract fossils. Various sized brushes are required to clear the rock and dirt away to free the artifact and keep it from getting damaged by the hammer or shovel. It's a repetitive gameplay element that breaks up the pace. You won't have to worry about breaking dinosaur bones that are attached to live dinosaurs. Large and small prehistoric creatures will attack you. You can kick the small ones out of the way, but the larger ones will require the use of weapons such as the shovel or machete. The weapons respond instantly, but getting the character in the proper position when attacking can be painfully difficult.

Graphically, the environments are impressive. They are large and fully realized in 3D with a decent draw distance, except when you face in the opposite direction. The characters are another story. They are lifeless both in facial features and animation. They don't look anything like their movie counterparts, nor do they sound like them. The voice acting is incredibly weak and the sound effects consist of an embarrassingly annoying array of grunts and yelps. It's a continuous cacophony of guttural utterances. The music is good but it's looped. It's best to turn the sound off; better to turn the game off; best not to consider the game at all.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.2
Graphics
Good environments, large and colorful. Characters are bland.
2.0
Control
Awkward control system hinders gameplay. You just can't get the "jump" on it.
2.1
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is good but looped. Sound effects and voiceovers are incredibly weak and annoying.
2.2

Play Value
Some elements of the game are playable but not all. Overall, it's too inconsistent.

2.1
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Relive the excitement of the summer blockbuster, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, based on the classic book by Jules Verne!
  • Trapped in a mysterious cave, play as Trevor, Sean, or Hannah to explore exotic worlds, navigate through rock slides, ride a runaway mine cart, surf a raging river, and encounter terrifying creatures as they find a passageway to the earth's surface.
  • Three Playable characters: Trevor, Sean, and Hannah, each with unique abilities.
  • Players will be able to swim, surf, fall, climb, and jump their way through thrilling levels.
  • Utilize the stylus to control the characters to swing on ropes, battle creatures, and to race away from danger.
  • Explore all of the different worlds from the movie.
  • Mini-games: dig for dinosaur bones or decipher ancient symbols.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Journey to the Center of the Earth screenshot - click to enlarge Journey to the Center of the Earth screenshot - click to enlarge Journey to the Center of the Earth screenshot - click to enlarge Journey to the Center of the Earth screenshot - click to enlarge

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