Despicable Me: The Game Review
Wii | PSP
Despicable Me: The Game box art
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 game’s 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 it’s a kid’s game, so you can’t 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 you’re repeatedly getting killed on” option that pops up the same way toggling easy mode in combo-based action games does. You’re not penalized for using this feature, either, other than possibly missing out on some extra items.

Despicable Me: The Game screenshot

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 can’t do anything without Gru’s 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, it’s sometimes because it’s a little unclear if whatever minion manipulation you’re engaging in is actually doing anything or not.

For whatever reason, the developers also decided to throw some shooting segments into the mix, as Gru’s 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 game’s brain-teasing bits) they’re over quickly, as is the game.

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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 you’re a huge fan of the film and happen to stumble on the game for a maximum of $5). It’s competent, and in terms of movie games, it’s actually better than a lot of others I’ve played. However, it’s not really memorable, and isn’t that one of the most despicable offenses a game can commit?

By Steve Haske
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The lush, colorful graphics of Despicable Me look pretty good on the PSP.
3.8
Control
Controls are generally responsive, although there can be a lag when double-jumping.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Forgettable, as I don’t even remember what it sounded like. Steve Carell’s comments can be kind of funny.
2.5
Play Value
The game is competent, but it alternates between short, and usually decent, platforming segments and tedious sections of puzzle-solving. Also, you can beat the game in the amount of time it takes to watch the film twice.
2.8
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Follow Gru and his minions on a quest to steal the moon.
  • Gameplay features challenging platforming segments as well as brain-teasing puzzles.
  • Unlockable bonus material.


  • Screenshots / Images

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