|System: PSP, Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Monkey Bar Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: D3 Publisher||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jul. 6, 2010||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|
To the games credit, some of the platforming sections can get challenging, with more complex navigations between fast-moving obstacles, rotating or moving traps, and timed or skill-based environmental hazards. This is largely negated by the fact that the game gives you unlimited lives, but its a kids game, so you cant really expect a Bionic Commando Rearmed-level of challenge. For any younger players, though, it's probably a good thing that the developers put in a skip whatever platforming challenge youre repeatedly getting killed on option that pops up the same way toggling easy mode in combo-based action games does. Youre not penalized for using this feature, either, other than possibly missing out on some extra items.
The puzzles work the same way, though, if you want to skip them, you have to use special instructional tokens that show you a vague outline of the solution. By justification that can only be explained by game design, following a platforming section of any given level, everything becomes puzzle-based, trapping Gru behind barriers of all kinds. You can summon minions with a bazooka, then use them as stepping stones, blocks, balloons (to hit ceiling switches), fans, bouncy tires, and other things, depending on how Gru uses his four guns. Of course, since the minions cant do anything without Grus direct help, all puzzles are exercises in ordering actions and knowing how and where to manipulate your minions. Pretty standard practice for a puzzle platformer, in other words. These actually provide a modicum of challenge, though admittedly, its sometimes because its a little unclear if whatever minion manipulation youre engaging in is actually doing anything or not.
For whatever reason, the developers also decided to throw some shooting segments into the mix, as Grus ship has to protect the minions craft after retrieving a part for the rocket. Anyone with any arcadey-flight game experience will do fine, although for younger players, it might test the reflexes a little bit. Though I found these sections tedious (as I did with the consecutive puzzle approach of the games brain-teasing bits) theyre over quickly, as is the game.
Although I did catch myself actually mildly enjoying the platforming segments of the game, Despicable Me is too short to really be worthwhile (unless for whatever reason youre a huge fan of the film and happen to stumble on the game for a maximum of $5). Its competent, and in terms of movie games, its actually better than a lot of others Ive played. However, its not really memorable, and isnt that one of the most despicable offenses a game can commit?
CCC Freelance Writer