Help WALL-E Find Love
As I’m sure you’re already aware, WALL-E is the cute little android star of the new Disney/Pixar film of the same name. While the film may be best suited for children or guys looking for a good flick to take a date to, WALL-E actually translates extremely well into a video game. With plotlines and environments based on the film, WALL-E combines various gaming elements that will satisfy not only fans of the movie, but anyone who enjoys the odd lighthearted action title.
WALL-E is actually a very cool robot to control. The little guy functions by maneuvering on two rotating treads to travel over any terrain and he rotates on a pivot to make sharp turns. He can shrink into a box form no bigger than a toaster to fit under small spaces, comes equipped with a laser blaster to destroy and cut through objects, and has high-powered goggles to zoom in on objects and scan areas for a first-person view. He can jump by tapping X and build up speed by moving down ramps then fly off different jumps and Tony Hawk-style half-pipes. WALL-E is extremely fun to operate, and while the droid is definitely cute enough for children to fall in love with, he packs enough punch for gamers to enjoy bringing him through the game’s multi-leveled environments.
The story takes place years into the future when Earth has become a desolate wasteland filled with trash. WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) robots were built to clean up the mess left over from the Buy n Large Corporation, while humans wait on luxury spacecrafts. The process was only supposed to take a few years, but hundreds of years have passed with little improvement, and the only living things left on Earth now are one single WALL-E unit and his cockroach friend. Programmed to compact trash into small cubes, WALL-E continues to go about his daily tasks until one day a sleek and futuristic EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) probe is sent to earth to determine if the planet is still capable of supporting life. As far as robots go, EVE is quite the looker and WALL-E becomes love-struck, determined to show her that even though he’s an expired and rustic model, he can still keep up with the best of ‘em. When EVE finds the vegetation she was intended for, she is quickly taken back up to space, and WALL-E makes the decision to follow his mechanical heart and leave all he knows behind.
How could you not love this little fella? Even though he is programmed to work, he still knows how to have a good time and is not short of emotion. The game combines elements of problem solving, traveling through obstacle-filled mazes, racing, shooting, and lots of object smashing. You will have to bust open large BnL crates scattered all over each stage to get the health, laser, and energy charges within. Collecting all energy charges will be mandatory in some levels, since they are needed to open various doors. So, there are some tasks that will have you searching for all the required vials. There are lots of different crates and some of them break apart in different ways, either with WALL-E’s laser, by shrinking into box form and running into them, or by hurling junk cubes at them. WALL-E creates junk cubes by compacting scraps from junk piles, and you will need to chuck them at various objects to create pathways and knock over levers to get you where you need to go. There are explosive cubes as well, which you will need to bust open doors at some points in the game – though you will have to stand far back from them, as they can cause damage to WALL-E.
WALL-E can also be injured by falling from high platforms, and if you happen to fall off the level into deep gaps, he will plummet to a frivolous demise and the game will restart you from your last checkpoint. Building up health isn’t difficult with so many crates filled with health charges. WALL-E can also regain health by sunbathing in various beams of light scattered throughout the levels with a humorous animation of him pulling out a silver reflective board to soak in the rays. The environments in this game are often sunny and bright lit, and the cheery music is festive and complimentary to the type of lightheartedness this game has.
Intended for children, WALL-E never gets too complicated as far as the tasks you will have to achieve, and there is never any confusion as to what you are actually supposed to be doing or where you’re supposed to go. All challenges are properly explained by text pop-ups so you always know what to do, and there are never any situations where you’re stuck in a level struggling to move on. You will have to beat time challenges in many levels that require you to build up speed and jump gaps, which is a strong focus of this game and may have you repeating some tasks a few times. Maneuvering WALL-E at high speeds can be a bit tricky, especially with the PSP’s analog. You will also get to play as EVE at some points in the game and use her to beat timed races as well.
As you travel through environments, you can collect one artifact per level that comes with a funny animation you can unlock and watch again in the Bonuses area. The artifacts are now-common objects on Earth, which WALL-E discovers by scanning the area with his first-person view. The Bonuses section also has various images, concept art, and bonus videos that include the theatrical trailer and an animation where WALL-E interacts with the little Pixar lamp. Other unlockables include cheats and fun mini-games such as the Spaceship Shootout and Heavy Traffic. As such, there is definitely enough incentive to complete the story mode.
Graphically, WALL-E is flawless on the PSP. Even amidst the fastest action in the game, there is no slowdown or skipping of any sort. Because WALL-E can travel at such high speeds, environments whiz by in somewhat of a blurred motion, though it is nothing more than to accentuate how fast he is actually traveling. With 18 levels in total, there is lots of variety in all the cool sights to check out and Savage Entertainment has done an excellent job of providing an amazing atmosphere to this game. In all, it’s hard to think of anything negative to say about this great children’s film adaptation.
Though I have yet to see the movie, the game version of WALL-E has definitely gotten me interested in this fun little robot that may be intended to appeal to children but is someone that people of all ages can definitely relate to. With elements of science fiction, comedy, awesome graphics, and entertaining animations throughout the game, WALL-E is definitely a fun experience for anyone who enjoys the odd carefree children’s title.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.0 Graphics
Great bright-lit environments and funny animations look great on the PSP screen. 3.3 Control
Maneuvering can be a tad tricky at times with the PSP analog nub, though there is nothing overly daunting to make the controls frustrating. 4.2 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Great music taken straight from the film, and WALL-E’s humorous sound effects give him a human element. 4.0 Play Value
Lots of stuff to unlock and different gaming elements that include puzzles, action, and racing to offer a nice variety. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.