PC REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLES: RISE OF THE UNDERMINER

Younger gamers captivated by the movie are the intended audience. All other men in tights should move along. by Cole Smith

March 7, 2006 - First of all the title, "The Incredibles," should be changed to "The Incredible," since you only get to play as Mr. Incredible and not as the other member of the family. Right there you are limited in the different moves and abilities that you can access. The only other playable character is Frozone but it's no secret that Mr. Incredible has the most fun in the co-op mode.

The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer begins where the motion picture left off. The underground dwelling evil mastermind known as the Underminer is poised to threaten Metroville from his underground lair. Festooned with legions of evil robots, Mr. Incredible and Frozone must infiltrate this subterranean world and do battle with the mechanical hordes in an attempt to stop the Underminer from executing his dastardly plan of polluting the planet.

Before I go any further I have to point out that this game is targeted for young kids and gamers that don't want much of a challenge. It's very straightforward and somewhat redundant, especially with the constant robot battles. A blend of puzzles, platforming and RPG elements manage to break up the monotony and the excellent production values displayed in the cutscenes is the closest thing you're going to experience to an Incredibles sequel - until the sequel.

Mr. Incredible has the abilities to throw objects, including enemies, at other enemies. He can also lift things, which is a good thing because how else is he going to throw something if he can't lift it? And because he's the muscle of the team he can smash things such as door, crates and enemies - but the large enemies have to be frozen first. That's the job of Frozone. With his freezing abilities he's able to turn enemy bots into ice pillars for Mr. Incredible to pick up, throw and smash. He can also create ice ramps and bridges for Mr. Incredible to run on and reach inaccessible areas. As you can tell, Frozone plays a supporting role in the game and while he can throw a few punches he's not nearly as powerful as Mr. Incredible. It's not so bad in the single-player mode where you toggle between the two but if you're stuck with him in the co-op mode you will be begging for a change.

Even when playing as Mr. Incredible there are only a couple of buttons to mash to perform your limited amount of moves. You can purchase more moves and enhance the ones you already have by cashing in your experience points that you earn for defeating enemies. If you're actually interested in leveling-up your character much like you would in a RPG then the grind of combat may actually be seen as a rewarding concept. You can switch between the two characters with the use of the D-pad and if both characters are required for a kill then both will receive an equal number of experience points.

The in-game graphics aren't amazing but they are very good, almost comparable to the movie but certainly not as good. The cutscenes however are comparable to the movie. I haven't seen the movie since it was released so I can't really remember how close the voiceovers are to the original actors. Sound-alikes were used and do a great job of playing it straight with cheesy one-liners and comical interactions. The sound effects are top notch but the music could stand a lot more variety since the main theme is remixed to death.

Rise of the Underminer is not meant for hardcore gamers. It's not even worth renting if you're looking for a challenge. Younger kids that love the Incredibles but aren't exactly skilled gamers are going to have the best time with this game and at a budget price of $20, it makes an excellent Christmas gift.

Features

  • All new action/adventure game that begins where the film, Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film, The Incredibles concludes
  • Play as Mr Incredible or Frozone
  • Cooperative gameplay with the ability to change characters at any point in the game
  • Upgrade your character's moves and abilities as you advance through the game

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Rating out of 5
The Incredibles: Rise Of The Underminer (PC)
4.4
Graphics
Maybe not up to the quality of some Xbox games but it sure looks good on the PS2. The cutscenes are movie quality.
4.0
Control
For what there is here the controls are tight but there's just not enough here.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Sound-alike actors do a great job of bringing the characters to life but the soundtrack needs more variety.
3.5
Play Value
The Co-op mode is a great excuse to replay the game but after that there's not many more excuses to visit it again.
3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
 
System: PS2 (shown), GC, PC, X
Dev: Heavy Iron
Pub: THQ
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Cole

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best