|System: Wii, X360, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Pipeworks Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Majesco Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 5, 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|
As far as actually playing BOTS goes, it definitely has its share of ups and downs. Instead of following the typical formula found in most movie tie-in games that has players attacking their way through endless waves of goons en route to the games finale, BOTS actually has no direct player combat whatsoever.
Players will instead use a mixture of their keychain for shielding themselves and grappling numerous ledges and their flashlight for basically everything else. Each ingot the player retrieves returns one power to the flashlight, which range anywhere from repairing various items to being able to control animals. Properly utilizing these powers allows players to solve a multitude of puzzles throughout the game, which in turn allows them to progress through the story. Some highlights of these include making a rhinoceros smash through any locked gates standing in your way as well as animating several antagonistic paintings in order to help defeat a boss.
Unfortunately, the rest of the gameplay found in BOTS isnt as pleasant. Players will be required to do a healthy amount of platforming while in the Smithsonian. The issues here are that perspective adjustment is often necessary due to a lazy camera, and jumping as Larry is frequently difficult to judge and even feels unmanageable at times. One part of the game in particular that perfectly embodies these flaws has Larry jumping from airplane wing to airplane wing high above the museum floor. Players will need to constantly fight with the D-pad to get a useable camera angle for their next jump as they also use their flashlight to repair the next airplane to get it moving, all while trying to judge just how far away the next wing is, since it is next to impossible to make Larry provide anything less than a full leap. Retrying this same scenario, and others similar to it, multiple times due to the games unwieldy platforming can quickly become frustrating to say the least.
Least is also a regrettably accurate way to describe BOTSs gameplay value as well. Besides the meager two hour (at best) campaign, there really isnt much else to do here. You can always find all of the collectibles scattered throughout the game but most will be easily discovered during your first play through. There are three mini-games to unlock and play through, but they arent all that entertaining and are simply puzzles taken directly from the campaign. When it comes down to it, BOTS is just an anemic offering when compared to most movie tie-in games and feels downright criminal when you factor in how much it would cost to just watch the actual film it is based on that runs about the same length. If you have to choose between the two, movie tickets would definitely seem like a much better value.
CCC Staff Contributor