|System: DS, PS3, X360, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Tantalus Media||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 14, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
It soon becomes obvious that those techniques arent really the most effective ones, however. For some reason, blocking makes you completely invincible in most fights, so you can win effortlessly by holding down any button, waiting for a bird to attack, countering with a few blows, and then blocking again. Fighting is a big part of The Owls of GaHoole, so this process gets old long before you reach the final stretch. Its like a Punch-Out!! game without the ducking and dodging.
Its a good thing the fighting is so easy, however, because the controls frequently malfunction in these scenes. Depending on how you like to rest your hands, you might hold buttons by accident, which can make Shard block when you want him to attack. During the boss fights, which actually require you to fly around instead of blocking, flying in a circle sometimes makes Shard do his spin move, which can give the boss enough time to hit you. Also, the special-move system, which requires you to draw a line in one of four directions on top of the enemy you want to hit, is imprecise. We often hit the wrong bird or executed the wrong move.
The developers also worked in some light RPG elements. By collecting yellow orbs and killing enemies, you can level up your character, which earns you points that you can use to make your special moves stronger. You also unlock four wingmen during the course of the game, which give you an extra item spot, make your special-move meter fill faster, refill your health between fights, and make you earn experience faster. (You can change your wingman selection before each mission.) These elements provide an extra layer of depth without taking up too much time.
The nineteen core missions can be completed in five to six hours, which is a bit short for a video game (but feels long nonetheless). Also, to earn gold medals in the missions, youll have to finish them within demanding time limits and collect lots of items in them. This entails playing them multiple times, and were not quite sure why youd put yourself through that, but it unlocks the games bonus stages, which add replay value if you really dont have anything better to do.
If its not abundantly clear by this point, there is no reason for you to buy Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of GaHoole. If the average movie-based game is a disappointment, this game is a train wreck. Virtually none of its qualities could be called redeeming, from the confusing graphics to the awful combat system. It is yet another cynical attempt to trick gamers into buying a sloppy, uninspired game because they liked the movie. Dont fall for that trick again.
CCC Freelance Writer