Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

CID The Dummy (Wii) Review

Review for CID The Dummy on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Think of crash test dummies. You have the band, the toys/cartoon, and you have the safety product itself. Which is the most exciting? Well, that's down to personal preference, but surely you'd be hard pressed to find anyone getting jittery with joy at the prospect of a game dedicated to the one with a practical real world use. Guess which one has been selected as CID The Dummy's subject...

That's right, it's the last one. You take control of CID, an automaton with a highly developed artificial intelligence that allows him to talk and think independently, who decides that his day to day life of being slung through windshields and into brick walls is, understandably, becoming a bit wearing. So he gets plucked out of his drudgery to rescue his creator's daughter in an adventure that, on a semi-regular basis, features him getting launched through windshields and brick walls. Oh.

It's these moments of head-smashing and glass-shattering that act as the most enjoyable elements of CID The Dummy. It's a relatively novel idea to break through walls and into new areas by diving through them head first off the strength of a spring - plus, it's mildly amusing the first time. These moments also represent the best part of the game: driving levels wherein you steer yourself out of the path of obstacles such as metal barriers, over blue arrows to speed up and jump over ramps until you reach the end of the course. Once there, you crash and are sent hurtling through a number of brick walls, the amount depending upon your speed. It's not particularly intelligent or groundbreaking, but it is pretty fun.

These are, sadly, the only elements that take into account the unique nature of CID's character. The rest of the game is a drab 2.5D platformer; the camera usually rests in a side-on position but allows the player to sidle in and out of the screen to avoid hazards. In addition to the driving sections, the gameplay is also broken up with brief stealth sections and giant robot levels to try to keep players interested. There's clearly effort to make a decent title, and despite the generic assortment of hurdles to overcome, normally it'd be probably be pretty average and inoffensive. However, there's a problem lurking that undermines this: the controls.

CID The Dummy boasts some of the most egregious motion controls seen yet in a Wii game. Every physical attack is activated with a vertical swipe of the remote. To run you cannot swiftly double tap the analogue stick, or even hold a button; you have to hold your direction, hold a button and waggle like a maniac. To use your bazooka A must be held down and the remote lifted as though you are lifting a heavy weapon on to your shoulder. These would be forgivable if used infrequently, but they are used all the time and to add insult to injury there's an infuriating lag between your motion and the action on-screen (more so with running and weapon equipping). 'Panic' mode can be used to wipe out all enemies on-screen by holding A and shaking both nunchuk and remote manically (you use up ten collectable orbs every time you use it, though). Pointer controls also come into play with a cursor when the gun is primed. The main function of it, though, is to quick turn you so that you can shoot enemies, rather than allowing you to run-and-gun without changing your direction, so it feels a little redundant. The use of Wii functions definitely needed more work; it would more than likely be a better game without them. Which probably means the PSP and PS2 versions are more worthy of a look.

Why a dummy? That's what I want to know, because aside the aforementioned car stages and some wall crashing, there seems to be no reason for it. Anything could have been chucked in there; if crash test dummies were to be used, why is the game not more about destroying things/yourself rather than being a mundane platformer? While there are a few quasi-redeeming factors - those that make use of the main character's form - it is by no means worthy of a purchase due to inadequate, poorly implemented motion controls. A frustrating life system that tosses you back to the start of levels when you die doesn't help, either.

Gameplay

It might not have been so bad were it not for the motion controls, but their unresponsive nature completely cripples it. There's little new in here, and the sparks of quality are all too brief and widespread.

Graphics

Looks like a budget mid-PS2 life cycle title. The animation is nicely done in parts though, particularly the back flip.

Sound

The music's forgettable, and the voice acting, while a welcomed feature, isn't of the best quality. The voice clips repeated continuously throughout gameplay begin to grate rapidly.

Value

It'll last you a few hours, but it's extended annoyingly by an unnecessary life system which is quite likely to turn players off before completion.

Cubed3 Rating

CID The Dummy could have been a decent enough little game were it not for Wii controls shoehorned in. It's the lag between motions being read and acted upon that is the deciding factor in the quality of the end product. That it doesn't do anything especially different and certainly doesn't make use of the character/scenario created for the game as it should does not sweeten opinion on it either, though.

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17.05.2009

3

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Developer

Twelve

Publisher

Oxygen

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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Shock horror, a cheap Wii game with poorly implemented and executed motion controls? Whatever next... Smilie

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...
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That's the last time we let the C3 Dummy make his own video game eh guys?

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