|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Spike||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: July 25, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
April 27, 2007 - When you think of bugs, what is the first kind you think of? Cockroaches, praying mantises, spiders? If you are afraid of them, imagine them bigger than you are. Now, imagine an island overrun with them. Even you are not afraid of them, you might be a little squeamish at the thought of that. At least that is what Eidos Interactive and Spike are hoping. They are also hoping that you will want to enact vengeance for every time they poked their beady heads out of the shadows. That is the general idea behind Escape from Bug Island, known as Necro Nesia in Japan, for the Nintendo Wii.
The story behind Bug Island is that of your campy 80s, or today for that matter, creature feature films. A group of friends is out camping. One minute everything is fine and then, under the cloud of a dense fog and a creepy forest, the main character, Ray, is all alone. Ray must find out where his friends disappeared to, all the while hoping that it is not some sort of joke on him. If it were a joke, then I'd say it is time to find some new friends. Upon further exploration we will discover the island has been taken over by giant bugs. According to the trailer, it appears that the Praying Mantis population is very angry with us, and they want revenge. Also in the trailer, there were devil fish that would make piranhas swim and hide as well as little squiggly bugs that looked like a cross between cockroaches and millipedes. It does appear that Ray and his friends might have been on the island for more than just camping though, but only time spent with the game will reveal those answers.
Looking to combine successful elements from the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series, Escape from Bug Island will have the atmosphere of a traditional survival horror game. Everything from the "mood" lighting to the over the top creatures we will face. In addition to adapting the feel of those highly successful games, Bug Island will also incorporate finding clues and exploration of the island. The main focus will be on squishing and bashing the exoskeletons of the countless bugs that will attack you. Given that this is a Wii title, we can expect to do a lot of smashing and taking our revenge on the bug populace of the world. We will use the combination of the Wii-mote and the Nunchuk to maneuver Ray around. With the Nunchuk, you will move Ray around through the fog on the island and will control a flashlight. The fabled flashlight of survival horror games will be motion operated by you. This element will definitely add to the immersion into the game. Then, as you might guess, the function of the Wii-mote will be to smash your bugs. We will also be able to step into a first person view, used mainly for exploration, but you will be able throw the items held in your hand by whipping your Wii-mote with force. Hope everyone out there remembers to securely fasten the cord to their wrist for this game!
The graphics of Escape from Bug Island look really sharp, even by the Wii standards. The character models look clean, but do seem a little off, although I'm sure Spike has had time to refresh the look of the game. Still, the environments of the game appear to capture the eerie fog blanketed forest look really well. Yet another plus graphically looks to be the detail of the bugs displayed in the trailer. I hope that they will not be the only bugs for us to smack around with our Wii-mote. Regrettably, at current moment, the sounds of the game are a little off. Instead of the overly creepy vibe the bugs should be echoing in the forest, the trailers highlight sound effects as obnoxious and unrelenting on the cheese factor as sound effects go. I hope that there has been enough time in order to alleviate some of the over the top sounds of the game and replace them with the solid unnerving sounds we have grown accustomed to in survival horror games. Only time will tell.
With a vibe that is worthy of a Sci-Fi original movie staring David Hasselhoff, we know that we are in for a campy wild ride. It is nice to see that Nintendo is taking chances on mature rated games instead of starving the desires of Wii owners the way they did with the GameCube. If the anticipated fun and equally entertaining B-horror film motif stays intact, then this will be a title to grab before it goes the way of the cult classic and then you can't pick it up. Be sure to check back with us once Escape from Bug Island arrives on the Wii for our final say on the title.
CCC Freelance Writer