Wild 9 Review

By: John Doe


System: PlayStation
Price: $69.99
Developer: Shiny
Publisher: Interplay
Release: 11/98

You are Wex Major, 1/9 of the Wild 9 team and hero of the game. Wild 9 is a 2.5 D (not quite 3D) side scrolling platform game that gets high marks for it's innovative game mechanics and somewhat lower marks for it's repetitive gameplay.

Highs:
Lows:

There's more to like about Wild 9 then there is to dislike. Your character is outfitted with "The Rig" which is attached to his arm and acts as a weapon of torture, a rope and a powerful lifting tool. This gives the game it's unique personality. One second you are lifting an enemy twice your size over your head and bashing him to the ground and the next you are attaching the Rig overhead and using it to swing to a higher platform. If that sounds like fun, it is, and you should definitely give it a whirl. The only problem is that for the majority of the stages things get more difficult but what you do remains the same. But for some, that may not be a bad thing.

Wild 9's 2.5 D gameplay will remind a lot of people of Pandemonium 1 and 2 and to some extent, Crash Bandicoot. Just as in those games, Wex has to stay on the path. He can go higher and lower but he cannot move in 3D space. Again this isn't a bad thing at all. I quite enjoy the 2.5 D games. You don't have to worry about camera angles or falling off ledges to the left or the right of you. You can motor right along and take care of business.

It's the way Wex takes care of business that makes you love this game. Think of the "Rig" as one part Green Lanterns Ring and one part Spider-Man's Webs, and you'll get the picture. Sometimes you'll need to hoist an enemy and jam him into some gears so that you'll clog them, maybe you'll just hoist them up and drop them into the water to drown, you might lift up a bad guy, drop him in a trap of spikes and walk across his head, you'll definitely lift huge boxes over your head and drop them into the appropriate slot, opening a door and solving a puzzle or you might take a flying leap off the edge, shoot the Rig and catch a floating mechanism and swing like Spidey to the other side. Of course if the Rig sounds like too much work there are always grenades and missiles that will get the job done too.

One area that is a let down is the enemy AI. These are typical enemies you've seen in countless side scrollers of the 8/16 bit era. Nothing new here. They show up, fire at you and then become Rig bait. However in Shiny's defense, it's how you dispose of these guys that makes the game, not how they dispose of you...

Final Thought: Shiny has to be commended for it's vision. I had a lot of fun playing Wild 9. I found the control to be really tight and the gameplay interesting and inventive. As I mentioned more variety would have been nice. This game didn't get a lot of great reviews when it finally surfaced, but I think people are being too hard on it. It does what it set out to accomplish. If you are a fan of action side scrollers and you haven't played this game, then get on it. I doubt that you will be disappointed. It will have a place in my personal collection.

Final Analysis:

Rating Legend 1-10 (10 being the highest mark)
Overall: 8.5
Graphics: 8.5
Control: 9.0
Fun: 9.5
Music/Fx: 8.0
Frustration: 5.0

Back To PlayStation Index