|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Allied Kingdoms||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Allied Kingdoms||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 12, 2008||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|
The three robot family members each have their own primary, secondary, and melee attacks that range widely in terms of effectiveness. There's rarely time to fiddle around with switching between them. The game supports three control methods: the classic controller, a single Wii Remote turned sideways, and a Nunchuk and Wii Remote setup. None seem to work very well or offer any particular advantages. You'll still find your robot's health whittled away rather quickly.
Collecting slime restores a small portion of your health, but it's nowhere near enough to keep you alive for any length of time. Should your initial robot perish (a strong likelihood), another family member will immediately leap down to take up the slack - providing you still have lives remaining. The only thing that will keep you progressing deeper in the game is the fact killing lots of stuff eventually earns you bonus lives, but this also triggers another major annoyance: a backup character. Playing with two robots on-screen at a time in multiplayer co-op makes the game a little more bearable. However, a second robot will also drop down to help you when playing solo. Controlling a single robot is confusing and difficult enough; controlling two is sheer hell.
With so much action and crap flying around the screen at once, it's easy to lose track of what's happening and completely overlook the really interesting background artwork that adorns each temple. The retro-chic artistic elements of each temple are nicely done and full of vibrant life. It's such a shame it all gets lost in the fray. Also, the character visuals aren't nearly as well-designed as the rest of the game.
Planet Pachinko revolves around some wild and fun ideas that get buried by an avalanche of unforgiving and aggravating gameplay. It's a near-constant bombardment on the senses that might be more enjoyable if it gave players a better sense of control over the situation. There's a solid amount of game here for the price, but there are far better ways to spend 500 Wii points.
CCC Staff Contributor