|System: Wii, PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Twelve Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Oxygen Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 7, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
from this Dummy
by Adam Brown
Crash test dummies made their mark on popular culture back in the 1980s through a series of public service announcements. Almost any time you turned on the television, Vince and Larry would appear with slapstick warnings about the importance of always wearing your safety belt when in a vehicle. Although the dummies were always a tad on the creepy side, they were amusing characters and as such, got their message across to that decade's youth. After a few decades out of the public eye, crash test dummies are perhaps once again trying to warn children of possible dangers. However, instead of promoting vehicle safety, CID the Dummy is actually a cautionary tale of how uncontrollable anger can be caused by playing an awful video game.
Before I get into exactly what makes the game an infuriating mess to play, let me fill you in on a bit of the storyline. CID is your basic crash test dummy, living out every day being repeatedly slammed into a wall behind the wheel of various vehicles. Understandably, CID grows tired of this repetitive existence and yearns for a change, which quickly comes when professor Werken's daughter is kidnapped. After being fitted with a suit that supplies him with new and improved abilities, CID must track down and defeat the evil D-Troit (ugh, terrible puns throughout) to free Werken's daughter.
I find it hard not to laugh at the irony of CID wanting a change of pace in life, given that CID the Dummy is one of the most lifeless, generic, and derivative games you'll ever play. CID the Dummy feels very much like a scrapped concept from the 80s picked straight out of the trash, dusted off, and then slightly updated. The game is your basic 2.5D platformer with some rudimentary combat, stealth, and puzzle elements thrown in for good measure. None of these aspects work particularly well alone, and they certainly don't get any better when mixed together.
Many, but not all, of the game's problems are caused directly by the perspective of the in-game camera. Instead of having a behind the character view like a Crash Bandicoot game or even a three-quarter view, the camera is positioned as though the game was a strictly 2D side-scroller, with only a very slight amount of elevation. This frequently makes it next to impossible to determine the depth of field necessary to make it through the game's levels, which all assume you can tell where your character, enemies, and platforms are positioned in this space.
Because of the game's awkward camera perspective, controlling CID is often clunky at best, unreliable at worst. Jumping from one platform to the next, which should be the most basic of aspects in the game, can instead become infuriating as you may not realize that the platform is either further back or forward from where you will be landing. As an example, in one level there is an hour and a minute indicator from a clock spinning above some poison gas, requiring an absurd amount of precision and timing from your jump to land on one of them, made nearly impossible by the awkward view. Expect to fall cheaply to your doom countless times due to this unfortunate camera angle choice.