Monday, January 3, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

The Prof said I should do this review in rhyming couplets, as befits the title. I said he should bl**dy well write it himself, then. Funnily enough, he shut up at that point. Also funnily enough, I never actually got round to writing a review of the third adventure game installment "TARDIS", which is slightly unfair as it was a fun little game. Bit short, but fun.

There was a "greatest" hits (well, I say greatest...) of mini-games, which because you weren't subjected to them ad nauseum made them far less irritating than the first time around. There was also a new room on the TARDIS. Sadly, there was only one new room on the TARDIS, which is the biggest weak point of the game; it would have been much nicer to have a few more to poke round in. It might even have explained why the BBC wouldn't let Michael Moorcock give Amy a bedroom, but no, one it is. You do have to wonder if they all sleep in the one big bed, like Eric and Ernie. Oh, the slash fiction! Ew...

Still, you do get to drive the TARDIS (its been a while, so we can't remember whether its take off or landing, as if that's important anyway). Yes, that's right, drive it! You get to examine all the control panels in detail, not really take all that much notice of what you're waggling, then panic briefly as you have to set the thing away without crashing it, which was really rather good fun and definitely the highlight of the game. Overall it won't take up much of your time, but its rather sweet and you can do the sound effects if you like.

And then, around Christmas Eve, "Shadows of the Vashta Nerada", the fourth and final installment, turned up.

Basically, this is Pocket Simon meets Jaws via Cooking Mama for the New Who generation. Yes, the wiring game is still there, but now you get to remember number sequences whilst trawling round the world's most boring undersea research station. There's some lovely voice work from our last victim, er, interviewee Nick Briggs, but as someone on Twitter pointed out (and I can't remember who, sorry) I have no idea why the Vashta Nerada are there. There's even a token Santa in one room, just to remind you its Christmas, which you can't actually interact with, more's the pity.

Now there is a very interesting premise to the game (which I won't tell you because its worth seeing for yourself), but its thrown away apparently simply for the sake of crow-barring in everyone's favourite scariest new monster after the Weeping Angels. The shark's quite nice, in a sort of chaos-spikey-death-armour way, but it did at least make some sense for him to be there. Not so the walking diving-suits.

That's about it. It was a bit rumpty-tumpty really; not desperately brilliant, but not desperately annoying either (not like that chuffing DS game). The biggest disappointment was the missed opportunity afforded by the major plot reveal and someone surely could have written a better game to go around it. It wasn't as much fun as the other games in the series, with "TARDIS" being the best to play as it had the least monotonous & annoying mini-games (besides the whole driving thing) and "City of the Daleks" definitely had the most squeeworthy plot.

Are they worth having a look at as a whole? Yes, as long as you remember to set your graphics appropriately so you're not wading through treacle all the time. Are they a good representation of the series? Yes, in that there are some flashes of brilliance, some nice acting and a rather uneven level of quality to the episodes. In fact, play them on a Saturday afternoon somewhere between 6-7pm until the new series starts.

Because they are canon, after all...


Post a Comment

WebMaster: Terry Lightfoot
WebDoctor: Oolon Sputnik
Blog by Terry Lightfoot
Back to TOP