|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: High Voltage Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Yuke's Company of America||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 16, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Even given the aforementioned flaws, the game would be a worthwhile download for lots of gamers: those who like shooters but want a change, those who like mazes, and those who are just curious what Quantum3 has to offer and wouldn't mind buying and playing a so-so game to see it. What really destroys Evasive Space is the control scheme; a ham-handed attempt to incorporate Wii-mote waggling into the arcade-shooter format.
There are several control schemes that have served arcade shooters well for decades. All involve joysticks. In the most simple one, you just push the stick in the direction you want to fly. In another, you turn your ship to the left and right by pushing the stick left and right (which admittedly gets confusing when your ship is pointed down, because you have to turn it to the left to make it head toward the right side of the screen). These weren't good enough for Evasive Space. Rather, here you point the Wii-mote at the screen and push the B button to propel the ship. The ship turns and flies straight toward the location on the screen where you're pointing. The best tactic we could find was to keep the pointer very close to the ship, and swivel it around whenever the course called for a turn. There's no option to change to a more standard setup.
As far as Wii controls go, this is worse than tacked-on; it's downright harmful. These mazes demand precision, and instead of having direct control over your vehicle, you have to wave around a pointer to direct the ship around the screen. The result ranges from annoyance on the earlier levels to infuriation on the harder ones. The setup actually makes the game less realistic too, because it doesn't feel like steering at all.
Besides the 20-level single-player mode, there's four-player single-screen offline multiplayer that's reasonably entertaining; there are several ways to compete, such as trying to get the most power-ups. There's no online multiplayer, but there are online leaderboards. For players who do manage to get into this game, these additions will provide replay value.
It's probably not fair to expect so much from a developer just because they've made some aggressive claims about a game they've not even finished yet. Still, with so many hopes pinned to The Conduit, it's hard not to cringe a little at the mistakes in Evasive Space. The game takes an innovative premise and executes it in a way that's incredibly frustrating to deal with. It's so frustrating, in fact, that few people will find it worth the $10 asking price.
CCC Freelance Writer