|System: Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Papaya Studios||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: Jan. 27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The controls are also unbalanced and not very practical. We know the PS2 will have to use the DualShock controller with its control stick and face buttons, but the Wii controls are not that different. Everything, including the slingshot challenge, is handled with the Nunchuk control stick and buttons, as well as a few buttons on the Wii Remote. Point-and-click is not used, and very few motion controls are involved. In a way, this is nice; it allows players to sit and relax, and it doesn't force you to do unnecessary moves that will end up getting annoying. However, there were many occasions in which the controls could have been implemented more efficiently, allowing for more engaging gameplay.
This is especially true with the mini-games. Using rare button combinations instead of motion controls is a poor choice. For example, there's a rhythm-based challenge where you have to hit buttons at the right time. This doesn't work well, and it's been used so much lately that it's getting old. Trying to remember where each button is and doing it at the right time will never be as fun as executing a few fun moves like those in Rayman Raving Rabbids. They could have definitely taken advantage of the motion controls on the Wii version, and they would have probably obtained better results.
In addition, there's a problem with the camera. It's completely independent and handled by the game's engine. It follows you around as you move Coraline, and it turns when it feels it has to, sometimes abruptly, and other times after a noticeable delay - you may run into a wall in the meantime. I found myself wanting to change the camera on my own many times, and not being able to do it was frustrating. To top it off, the game ended up giving me some serious motion sickness. This happens to me often while playing first-person shooters (not third-person), but it had never happened to me while playing a kids' game. Had I been able to control the camera, this wouldn't have happened. Of course, I know this may not happen to most people, but still if you're sensitive to camera changes, Coraline will give you a hard time.
It's too bad the game ended up being a poor movie tie-in, because it had all the movie licenses and even original voices from actors like Dakota Fanning and Robert Bailey Jr. The music is equally great, though it doesn't come through like it does in the movie, due mainly to the overall low-budget feel of the game.
Other than the three or four hours of play you'll get out of Coraline, there isn't much left to be done. You can play the mini-games individually, and some of them are fun enough to entertain you for a while. But, truth be told, you're better off playing another game or nothing at all. Although Coraline was developed by a studio that created quality games such as Medal of Honor: Airborne, this one doesn't seem to fit the bill.
CCC Site Director