Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. Review for the Nintendo DS (NDS)

Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. Review for the Nintendo DS (NDS)

Reliving the Fall

If you haven’t heard of Code Lyoko, chances are you have seen it before. The French television series was once a staple of Cartoon Network daytime programming and featured a very interesting storyline about a virtual, holodeck-type world where super viruses wreaked havoc. But it wasn’t the formulaic storyline that makes this series so popular. The visual style of the series really set it apart and made it unique among other animated fare. Characters had distinct facial features including an oversized forehead.

Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. screenshot

Sure, the series was never as popular as say, Dragon Ball Z, but it lasted 3 ½ seasons on television (the last part of the final season was never aired, however it was streamed online) and had a small fan base. So, does this series make for a good game? Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. takes place during the end of the final season of the series, in which the Code Lyoko crew confront the evil virus X.A.N.A., which has been found responsible for all the trouble in Lyoko. The plot of the game follows the fourth season pretty closely and opens with the disappearance of William. The plot continues with the Lyoko Team’s discovery of a X.A.N.A.-corrupted William, and the team’s final fight to destroy X.A.N.A. once and for all. Of course, the astute gamer will probably know X.A.N.A.’s fate just based on the title of the game, but that’s a different matter altogether.

Gameplay in this title is pretty standard RPG fare. The levels are fairly linear and easy to navigate. Seasoned gamers will probably find the level design fairly uninspired, but more casual fans will appreciate the simplicity. The battle system relies on random battles with creatures and bosses that you will encounter in Lyoko.

Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. screenshot

Once a battle is initiated, you are able to utilize each character’s special abilities as well as equip “plug-ins” that give characters enhanced abilities. The battle system is somewhat interesting because it is not turn-based, but rather time-based. Each character/enemy will have a time window within which it will have to recharge attacks.

So, if you are a fan of leisurely scrolling through menus or utilize your turns for bathroom breaks, you might be unpleasantly surprised, as your Code Lyoko team members will probably be dead. However, as long as you are diligent in making your menu selections, the timed battle system works well enough, and after some practice you can even employ a little bit of strategy.

Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. screenshot

One of the big issues I had with Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. was its length. Just a few short hours after I had begun, I was nearing the end, which was a total disappointment. An average gamer could probably complete this title in less than six hours, and an experienced gamer could probably complete this title in half that time. There are only five levels (each with a corresponding boss), and even though battles are frequent, they’re not exactly hard, and it is quite easy to burn through them quickly, especially because of the time-sensitive nature of the battle system.

Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. screenshot

Even though the levels themselves are a little bit repetitive, there is some replay value to be had in the multiplayer modes. They utilize the same levels from the regular game but offer new goals. There are three main ways to play: classic, bet, and challenge. Classic mode is your basic competitive mode and allows you to fight your friends until one is devirtualized. Bet mode is a little more interesting and takes the battle aspect of classic mode and ups the stakes by forcing players to put one or more of their items on the line. Finally, there is Challenge mode, which allows the player who created the game to set certain game rules that can outlaw the use of a certain type of power or move. All of these modes are interesting and offer friends who own the game a great way to play together.

Another issue I had with this title was the control scheme. Much like other titles for the Nintendo DS, Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. relies far too much on touch screen controls, where button controls could have been substituted (or offered as an option) for better results. The biggest gripe I have is that you aren’t able to use the buttons to move around and are forced to drag the stylus around for your character to follow; it gets quite annoying after a while. If the option to use the buttons were offered, this wouldn’t be so much of an issue, but sometimes it’s the little things that agitate the most.

Graphics in Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. are pretty good at first glance. Characters are smooth and the animated cutscenes look just like the TV show. However, the environments are incredibly bland and they all end up looking like different-colored variations of the exact same place. There is also a decided lack of detail both in the environments and characters in-game. The whole thing just looks a little insipid, and for a game based on an extremely stylistic animated TV show, I would have expected more. Music here is very bland too with only a few repetitive tunes that get extremely annoying after awhile.

Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. is a game that fans of the series will appreciate simply because it allows them to play though the final season of their favorite TV show. But if you are looking for an exhilarating game to accompany the style and the story, you will be very disappointed. Code Lyoko: Fall of X.A.N.A. earns points for staying true to its source material and having a fun battle system, but it’s just too short and too bland to be anything more than “just another TV-inspired video game.”

Graphics are pretty good, but environments are overwhelmingly bland. 2.5 Control
Stylus controls are a little too much, and the game could have benefited immensely from a button option. 3.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Tunes are extremely generic and become annoying after several hours of gameplay. 3.1

Play Value
The battle system keeps things interesting enough, but the game is so short that it ends before you could really get bored.

3.3 Overall Rating – Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Explore the five different environments of the Digital World: Forest, Desert, Mountains, Ice field, and Volcano territory.
  • Fight against more than 20 different enemies: Super tough bosses and the brand new monster from season four, the Kolossus. Each enemy is characterized by their own individual visual, behavior, and stats.
  • Carry out exciting missions with Odd, Yumi, Ulrich, and Aelita each with individual skills, weapons, and stats and get back-up from Jeremy by summoning special attacks only he can program!
  • Some attack commands triggers mini-games. Complete them successfully to increase the effect of your attacks!
  • There are five missions to complete – one per territory. Each territory holds ten battle areas as well as a boss fight resulting in 50 battle areas on Lyoko, 50 battle areas on Replika, and five boss fights for a total of 105 battles!
  • Battle against your friends in three different multiplayer modes using the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi connection and find out who has the genuine team of Code Lyoko Heroes and whose team is made up of Replicas.

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