|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Team 17||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Worms franchise has been around for quite a while now and has churned out as many quality titles as better-known franchises. The series has spanned countless systems and even more unique titles; some dabbled into the realm of 3D, while most stuck with the traditional and highly successful turn-based gameplay mechanic. Now the Wii gets it's first taste of the Worms series, and while there is tons of potential here, I'm sorry to say that Worms: A Space Oddity just doesn't live up to its extensive pedigree.
For those of you who have (unfortunately) missed out on the Worms series up until now, it's actually a fairly simple game. In fact, you may have even played similar games online that have essentially simplified the Worms mechanic: you take to a map with at least two opposing teams and attempt to blast the other team to smithereens using a variety of weapons and abilities. The maps in A Space Oddity are all two-dimensional, and you take turns with the other teams moving your worms and having them perform specific actions in an effort to annihilate everyone else on the map.
Team 17, the title's developer, has included something of a story mode in A Space Oddity. However, it's unimpressive and really just serves as a motivation to engage in the mildly fun campaign mode. The campaign mode consists of 36 levels including a scattering of Wii-specific mini-games and a decent amount of the old-school Worms fun that many of us have come to know and love. The only reason I really bring up the campaign, aside from the gameplay that it offers, is because it really shows off some nice cutscenes. These are brief and there aren't very many, but they look nice.
On the topic of visuals, it's worth mentioning that Worms: A Space Oddity looks pretty good on the Wii. This title employs the typical cartoony graphics that fans of the series have come to expect, and while they're not going to please those who are looking for a photorealistic title (of course if you were searching for a game like that, you likely wouldn't be interested in a game about cartoon worms blowing each other up), they do look great on the Wii. Environments are dripping with color, vibrancy, and life. The game's frequent explosions are pretty awesome-looking, and the game runs along at a steady clip even with the massive effects occurring on the screen.
The game's subtitle actually gives quite an insight to one of the biggest twists to this Worms game: all of this is taking place in space. So as you'd expect, the fact that you're fighting on various planets in a fictional galaxy is going to affect the way that you play. Specifically, each planet has a different gravity that will screw with the actions you perform. For example, the gravity may pull a missile the wrong way or the occasional winds will blow you around as you jetpack from one location to another. It's an interesting twist, and while it's nothing groundbreaking, it's an addition that definitely adds to the strategy aspect of this game.