|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Backbone Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Eidos Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 27, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Death Jr. franchise is relatively young, but that hasn't stopped it from garnering a devoted fanbase. The series is known for its fun, simplistic platforming gameplay, its cartoon-style visuals, and humorous storyline. Death Jr.: Root of Evil largely maintains these trademark elements, and does a great job of incorporating the Wii's motion controls for an enhanced Death Jr. experience. < /p>
The title begins with Death Jr. and partner Pandora doing a project for their middle-school biology class. Their task was to find a cocoon specimen, but instead of finding a moth or a butterfly, they find evil! What unfolds is an entertaining tale that utilizes plenty of the series' trademark humor. Even though the protagonists are both in middle-school, the situations are such that kids and adults will both be entertained by the story. There are several pop culture references, and the astute gamer will notice several references to sci-fi staples like Star Wars and Dune.
You can play as either Death Jr. or Pandora, and even have the option of playing split screen co-op. As you play, you can develop the attacks and weaponry available to each character. Death Jr. has his trusty scythe as well as a pair of pistols to start with, and Pandora has a lethal cup and ball set she can swing at enemies, as well as a weapon similar to a submachine gun. Both characters can perform basic melee attacks with the B trigger and gun-based attacks by pressing the Z button on the Nunchuk.
The game presents several ways to upgrade these basic attacks. You are able to upgrade your melee attacks through a pseudo-experience system in which you have to collect a certain amount of points to gain new attacks. These attacks are generally Wii-mote specific and involve shaking or flicking the Wii-mote in a certain direction. You are also able to unlock a greater weapons arsenal by finding hidden weapon plans around the different stages. These are a little harder to unlock, and you may need to go through a level more than once to find the different weapon plans. But with possible weapons like exploding hamsters, you would be crazy not to try to unlock them all.
The gameplay focuses on your ability to solve certain environmental puzzles as well as fight off the baddies. Death Jr.: Root of Evil really has the platform formula down to a science, and anyone who enjoys the Tomb Raider, Spyro, or even Crash Bandicoot series will find familiar fare here. However, this title has a very sharp learning curve and gets much more difficult after the first five levels. So if you find yourself breezing through the beginning, don't be fooled. This game becomes difficult very quickly.