How to Train your Dragon Review for Nintendo Wii

How to Train your Dragon Review for Nintendo Wii

Generally, before I sit down with a game based on a movie, I like to watch the movie first, just so I know what to expect from the game’s storyline. Although I’m sure many others like watching the movie before playing a licensed game, with How to Train your Dragon, it is a requirement, not a suggestion. The game picks up at the end of the movie, and unless you have seen the movie already (or don’t mind giant spoilers), I suggest you stop reading now and go watch the movie if you have any interest in the game. Seriously. Last warning. We good? OK.

How to Train your Dragon screenshot

How to Train Your Dragon begins right after the events of the movie. Everyone has accepted dragons into the Viking community, and training dragons to fight has become the newest hobby of all the young Vikings in the community. You can play as either the main character Hiccup or rival/love interest Astrid. Interestingly, if you play as Hiccup, it seems your leg has grown back, which is completely inconsistent with the movie, where Hiccup ends up as an amputee.

But, inconsistencies aside, there really isn’t much to the story in How to Train your Dragon. Hiccup and his father have moved past their issues, and beyond rivalries with other young Vikings, there really isn’t that much going on here story-wise. The game gives you dragons, a coliseum, and plenty of areas to explore, and you’ll have to just go through the motions to become the best dragon trainer in the village. In this way, How to Train Your Dragon is a lot like the Pokémon series: become the best, story over.

Another way How to Train Your Dragon is like Pokémon is the main arena-style battle mechanic. The game follows a set pattern of running errands, collecting items, going to a training cave to level up your dragon, and then entering a dragon battle competition. Though there are side-quests you can take on, and leveling each dragon’s attributes can take several forms, but on the whole, the game has a very linear structure. You can’t even level your character out of turn, as the game places a limit on the amount of leveling exercises you can do at a time before you must enter the competition arena.

How to Train your Dragon screenshot

However, this game’s linear structure isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the intended audience for How to Train your Dragon is quite young. The game lends itself perfectly to the pre-teen crowd, and it has just enough customization options to be fun without being too complex. The game also has a very helpful menu system that lets you know what is in your inventory, what level your dragons are on, and what your current mission is.

The battle system in How to Train Your Dragon is also very simple and should appeal to younger players. There are three main attacks: weak, strong, and fire. The strong and weak attacks can be performed by pressing the A button on the Wii-mote and giving it a short swing upwards. The fire attacks are performed by pressing the Z button on the Nunchuck. All of the attacks can be chained together to produce simple four-button combos. Although only a handful of these combos will be available at the beginning of the game, as your dragon’s level increases you will be able to unlock more.

How to Train your Dragon screenshot

In addition to training exercises and arena battles, you can also participate in mini-game-style challenges with your dragon. These include a Spyro-like dragon ride and some timed button-mashing challenges. Playing these mini-games will net you some experience points as well as rare or hard-to-find items, which can help improve your dragon’s stats.

How to Train your Dragon screenshot

Between the mini-games and the dragon battling, there is a lot to do in How to Train your Dragon. However, the game itself doesn’t last very long, and experienced gamers can complete 100% of the game (including side quests) in about six hours.

I wouldn’t imagine it would take young children more than eight hours to complete this game, as the experience is guided so well that there is no way to extend the experience, as you will always have something to do.

Although the gameplay is pretty good, the graphics on the Wii are not up to par with most other titles. Though pre-rendered cutscenes have some nice detail, the in-game visuals are bland and contain lots of repetitious elements. In addition, there are some screen-tearing issues that mainly occur when characters are talking.

How to Train Your Dragon is a pretty good game if you enjoyed the movie and want to continue the experience. However, the glaring story inconsistency and the repetitive gameplay may limit the appeal to youngsters. Just make sure NOT to let anyone play this one before they watch the movie, as it will definitely ruin the movie for them.

Pre-rendered cutscenes are alright, but the in-game visuals are terrible. 3.5 Control
Combat uses simple button presses and only one motion control gesture (which is easy to use). Great for young players. 3.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Background music is inoffensive, and the sound-alike cast does a great job mimicking the voices from the movie. 3.2

Play Value
The game is very short, but also very short on story. Still, if you like the idea of battling with the dragons from the movie, the game will be fun while it lasts.

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

Game Features:

  • How to Train Your Dragon video game launches gamers into a third-person action-adventure as a Viking hero where they must embark upon an epic quest to become the ultimate dragon trainer.
  • Gamers can play as characters “Hiccup” or Astrid” on the vast Island of Berk, which features expanded locales from the film including Vikings’ Village, Wild Zone, Training Zone, and Fight Arena.
  • In this truly larger-than-life adventure, players will train dragons, explore environments and battle in prestigious dragon tournaments as they battle for Viking victory.

  • To top