|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Planet Moon Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov.27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
I suppose that's what they would call the numerous dotted boxes around the game world you create real-time drawings in to get through levels. Of the three box types, drawing in a red box produces an object that reacts to physics and gravity, blue makes stationary objects, which are usually used as makeshift platforms to jump on, and green creates a surface you can bounce on.
Again, any creativity that might've been is stifled, as you only have a limited supply of spray to draw with. From a design perspective, this makes sense; objects can only be the size of their boundary-box, driving you to act judiciously when approaching how to get past an area. But it also backfires in a terrible way: without creative control, you will literally just be drawing lines and simple shapes (to either jump on or move, generally), and because these in-level canvases are puzzles linked to level progression, you will be stuck in an area until you draw the necessary components to get past it. If the developers are going to force you to play with their level blueprints, then what exactly is the point of having to draw in big parts of the level yourself? It's like the dev team just became lazy and decided to have the player draw in their own exit strategy, when it would've actually been faster to have the dev team finish the level themselves and utilize the drawing mechanic elsewhere.
Bottom line is this process brings any kind of fluid or graceful progression to a grinding halt. Worse, it makes the game unbelievably tedious. There's just too much uninteresting drawing. At the start of each of DTL Wii's four worlds, you get to draw a new ability-based object (non-transferable to other worlds) for your character, such as a monkey tail that lets you perform 360-degree platforming, or claws for climbing up walls. After that, there's god knows how many objects to draw in and god knows how many more to populate levels with for fun. Considering there's a brief-ish loading screen for every canvas you bring to life, this slows down the already huge levels.
Add in all the extra, on the fly drawing you have to do using the in-level canvas boxes and it slows your progress to a crawl. Most levels take upwards of twenty minutes to finish, and while there's only six per world, that's just too long per level. The platforming itself is decent enough (if entirely forgettable) but DTL Wii's pacing is so poor that it destroys any momentum that even cliché design has the potential to bring to a game. My personal revenge against the game's tedium was the pleasure I took in simply spelling out the names of objects when I was instructed to draw pictures of them-sadly, on a platform that already has Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros., Klonoa, and the more puzzle-oriented A Boy and His Blob, this kind of enjoyment might be the only DTL Wii can really muster.
CCC Freelance Writer