Sunday, November 2, 2014

Game Review: Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX

Third Person Shooter; 3DS eShop; AKAONI; 2014
Ready for a spooky Halloween review?... What do you mean by it's November and I should forget about Halloween until next year? Look, I write these reviews on Sundays, and last Sunday this game wasn't even out yet! Anyway, I'm reviewing this game, so just pretend it's Halloween and ignore all the Christmas music your hearing right now... Seriously, have people forgotten about Thanksgiving! Anyway, this is going to be a rather short review given this is a short game.

I think he just wants to give you a hug.
Zombie Panic in Wonderland is a game that was originally released on the Wii's Wiiware and followed the exploits of various fairytale characters including Momotaro (The Peach boy from Japanese folktales), Dorothy (From Wizard of Oz), and of course Alice, as they fight off swarms of Zombies who have invaded their world of fairytales. Using Machine Guns, Flamethrowers, and lots of Grenades. DX is the third version of this game after a iOS version, "Plus," was released to phones. I have not played any other version of this game so I can't say how they stack up to each other. Gameplaywise, ZPiW is a kind of shooting gallery, similar to the Arcade game Cabal and the SNES game Wild Guns, where you're character walks back and forth on a 2D plane in the foreground, while shooting the approaching forces of the undead in front of you. DX sports two different control schemes, one using the touch screen, the other using traditional button controls; however, both control schemes have their drawbacks. With traditional buttons, you can easily switch between your three weapons, an infinite ammo Machine Gun, and limited ammo Gatling Gun and Flame Thrower, as well as chuck grenades with ease; however, you cannot move and shoot at the same time and it takes a long time to move the cursor between targets. Using Touch Screen controls you can easily run and gun and scoring kills against enemies on opposite sides of the screen is easy (in fact it seems like the game is designed for this kind of quick aiming); however, to change weapons requires you to tap the weapon icon in the corner, and firing a grenade is double tapping on the touch screen, which loses a great deal of accuracy. The game is split up into groups of two stages and a boss, with each stage requiring you to kill a certain amount of the undead before clearing the stage (represented by an kill percentage); however, all stages have quite a lot of things you can destroy. Pretty much if you can see it, you can blow it up and you are encourage to reign as much destructive force as possible, since you are not only scored on your level of destruction of the stage, but also several destructiable objects drop pick ups that increase your ammo, lives, or continues. That's right, both LIVES and CONTINUES, this game is arcade like to it's core, so if you are one of those gamers who pine for the good old days of zero checkpoints, then this is the game for you.

Of course this being a love letter to the arcade games of old does mean it has some of the more annoying parts of arcades. As I said, you have a limited number of lives and continues, that means if you lose all of your continues that's complete game over for you, and in Story mode, that means you have to start right from the beginning of the game AGAIN! Strangely enough this game does have an auto save feature, that if you exit out of the game or turn the system off, you can start back at the beginning of the stage will all of your supplies still intact, rendering the continue system moot if you know how to use this information correctly. Also in story mode, you can only play as Momotaro, despite the other playable characters being introduced in the story. In fact the other characters are only playable during arcade mode, where they all have different balances in terms of attack, speed, and their dodge ability, but they all use the same weapons. A little more variety would have really helped, like having different side guns or bombs. And finally, this game is rather small. As in it's a short game, with very little re playability. Though there is a scoring system, and alternate costumes to unlock for the characters, the lack of multiplayer or any kind of hi-score keeping does limit the appeal, despite the core game being a lot of mindless fun.

Zombie Panic in Wonderland is a very basic game. You see zombies, you shoot zombies. There isn't much here that can considered deep. While it is fun in short bursts, it has very little staying power outside of it arcade goodness and great artstyle. However, at only $6 that might JUST be enough to warrant a purchase if you are interested in that sort of fun. But with how little there is, it might be a hard sale if you are only half interested. That being said, I would like to see this small studio do something more with this concept. Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX gets a limited recommendation, the limiting factor being whether you think such a short and rather shallow (but still well put together) game is worth $6.

Until next time.


No comments:

Post a Comment