|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Akaoni Studio||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Akaoni Studio||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 3, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There are also a few quirks you'll have to contend with that aren't part of the game's hormone-drenched storyline. The camera won't reveal the full view for each level, meaning you'll have to first move your character all the way to one side before you can attack certain targets, though zombies can still throw things at you from off screen. Not only is this annoying and kind of cheap, it's a jarring perspective to have to constantly deal with.
As you roll through the story mode, you'll unlock additional playable characters. Though they all play essentially the same, the scantily clad vixens should prove worthwhile additions to fans of echi-style anime.
Drop-in/drop-out co-op play is another welcome feature. It not only makes getting through the more difficult levels easier, Zombie Panic in Wonderland is simply one of those games that's more enjoyable when played with a friend. The formula is exactly the same, however, so don't expect to get long sessions of amusement out of the game.
In spite of the odd camera system, Zombie Panic in Wonderland looks really good. It's bursting with bright colors, and the variety of enemies is impressive for a WiiWare title. The playable characters animate a bit stiffly, as do some of the enemies, but the framerate seemed to hold up surprisingly well, even with tons of action onscreen at once. The explosions aren't spectacular, but being able to destroy pretty much everything in a level is still a nice touch.
The music consists of a selection of fairy-tale-inspired themes that match the gameplay and motif well, and the sound effects do a decent job of supporting the gameplay. There's nothing going on in the audio department that really stands out, though. It's an average audio suite that's about what you'd expect from a $10 downloadable package.
That, however, is probably my main issue with Zombie Panic in Wonderland. I was admittedly excited for the game. WiiWare feels like the perfect platform for good, old-fashioned, arcade fun; throw in some zombies and sexy anime chicks, and you've got gravy on the side. But at the higher end of the pricing spectrum for downloadable games, Zombie Panic simply doesn't offer a big enough bite of gameplay. The shooting can be fun for a few minutes, especially with a friend, but it quickly loses its luster. The game's pretty to look at - and who wouldn't want to see Snow White in garter belts and stockings - but when you tally up its component parts, the value just isn't quite there.
CCC Freelance Writer