|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Amaze Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 5, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Hulk's interactions with his adversaries have a similar effect. Punching enemy soldiers will send them flying backwards across the screen and through breakable objects, which is extremely satisfying. Giant boulders, wrecked tanks, and other object lying around can also be picked up and hurled. All movement and attacks are executed with the D-pad and face buttons, and touch controls have almost been left out completely. The touch screen displays a constant level map, though it's used more for tracking the location of baddies than actual navigation. Tapping the screen or triggering the L button will activate a neat scouting feature that will pause the action and let you scroll around the entire level ahead of time to see the location of enemies and items. It's a good tool for the later levels, as the difficulty increases steadily.
For a movie tie-in, the story progression in the DS version of Incredible Hulk is poorly implemented. Having not seen the film, it's hard to tell exactly what the hell is going on in terms of plot here. In the short intro sequence, Banner is walking in the snow. He simply states: "My name is Bruce Banner I'm trying to stop a monster." Cue the Hulk, and the first level begins. A few other lengthier scenes appear later in the game, but they do little to explain anything beyond the fact a bunch of government military-types want to get their hands on the Hulky. There's a disconnection between the story and what's happening in the gameplay. However, the green guy's reputation and tale precedes him, and anyone even remotely familiar with the Hulk or who's managed to catch a glimpse of a commercial for the film will get the gist. The exact particulars are unnecessary; he's the Hulk, and he smashes things. You get to be the Hulk, and you'll smash things. End of story.
Cutscene animations are very detailed, even for a DS title, and other areas of the game are also visually appealing. Sure, there are plenty of the same old buildings to gut and baddies to punish, but the level design and scenery changes frequently. This lessens some of the repetitious feeling that sets in after extended play. Though they're rather tiny on-screen, the enemy soldiers and units have a cool cel-shaded look, which is a stylish touch.
When it comes to the brute mashing of many things, The Incredible Hulk proves to be a great source for stress relief. As a movie-based game, it suffers from an unclear storyline that requires you to have seen the film to get the whole picture - perhaps this is intentional. The game is good for some mindless fun in short bursts; just don't get too smashed.
CCC Staff Contributor