Having a movie maker and gaming company teaming up for a brand new Intellectual Property may seem like quite an unusual idea, but the pairing of the legendary Steven Spielberg and the world's largest third party videogame developer, Electronic Arts, turned out to be a smash hit, both critically and commercially. Now the collaboration is continuing with self-proclaimed expanded experience. But is a second game so soon really necessary?
Being a puzzle game at heart, the inclusion of an in-depth story element is unexpected. However, considering the fact that Steven Spielberg is involved it should not be too surprising to find that each separate element of the game has a mini-story featuring the cute little block-shaped creatures that do indeed add a certain charm to proceedings. Yet, in all honesty, the small cut-scenes at the start of each mode ultimately prove to be rather redundant and most players will simply skip them in order to jump straight into the action. In general terms, the presentation levels are high, with fun, colourful visuals and bright, breezy tunes throughout.
As for the core gameplay, the developer has tried its best to make great use of the Wii remote. There are a few different methods of Wii Remote usage in the various stages on offer. One such use is the way that players can hurl items around the stages by holding down a button and making a throwing motion while releasing the button simultaneously, the aim being to knock point blocks and gems down into your hands. The harder you throw, the faster the ball, bomb, etc., flies, yet this is not always the key for achieving the best result. The best approach is to twirl the stage around and seek out the Achilles Heel, striking where a potential weakness lies and thus causing the most destruction in the limited number of throws available.
It does not all stay so simple. In addition, there are a variety of other mechanics: sometimes you must match three blocks of the same colour; some levels feature conveyor belts, used to transport bombs to explode previously unreachable blocks; others task you with firing cannon balls quickly at enemy ships; some even take place in outer space, where a severe lack of gravity comes into play, making shots more awkward. Other than simply throwing, though, there is a Kerplunk-style affair where a steady hand is required to slowly guide an on-screen hand to grab and then gently extract point blocks from a large pile, carefully avoiding ones that cause you to lose points. On the later stages this will be a far more arduous task thanks to the likes of an octopus flailing its tentacles around, or flying saucers trying to beam blocks away. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into making the whole experience more rounded than its first outing, but some will find that playing alone can become quite a repetitive process. Thankfully, with a few friends involved, interest levels definitely pick up considerably.
The main advantages for Bash Party are indeed in its extensive range of multiplayer options, online modes and level-creation tools that add considerably to the experience. Allowing gamers to face-off against their friends, build up their own extravagant stages and download the latest creations from people around the world keeps the fun going for much longer than the initial four-hundred-plus levels could alone (though do remember that there is also the draw of going back to original stages to achieve a Gold ranking on each…). EA has provided extra content as well, with the promise of letting gamers download nearly as many new levels as ones already available in an effort to ensure the Boom Blox party continues in full flow for many months to come. With the use of EA's own servers as well, downloading is effortless, and it takes mere seconds to get hold of new content. Ultimately, though, despite all the additions, Bash Party will not convince those that found Boom Blox tiring and somewhat repetitive - but those that adored the original experience will be in heaven with this sequel...
Using motion control to replicate a throwing motion in itself is impressive, if somewhat eventually tiring for the user, as are the gentle movements of the Wii remote for pulling blocks around.
Whilst the presentation levels have indeed been upped, there is only so much you can do with a bunch of blocks around a stage.
The soundtrack is certainly pleasant enough, but fades into the background. It is the well-placed sound effects that take centre stage.
The wealth of modes and stages available from the very start is impressive enough, but with almost double the content being provided online, plus plenty of multiplayer fun to be had, fans of Bash Party will be set for many months to come.
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The original Boom Blox is hailed by many as one of the best experiences on Wii, yet was in all honesty an unfinished product in many ways. Bash Party may become repetitive for some over time, but it does prove to be a far better package overall, offering a wealth of gameplay for those that get hooked by the formula.
Must say Ive -still- annoyed they didnt included headtracking as an extra, but thats probably just my own geek-wishs.
Everything else sounds good though.
Must say I probably wont get this full price though.
If I see it discounted I'll pick it up.
Incidently, I think they should have played with gravity a bit to make it more diverse.
Like this game;
(its really good, imho, and based around some similar ideas)
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We have special effects and umm...stuff...
Good reveiw I'd buy it
I..I can't watch porn. My Mommy finds out
I never read much on the idea of head-tracking - what was all that about and why was it dropped?
Cheers Captian - if you enjoyed the first game, then this will indeed impress as it's a far more fleshed-out experience.
Sadly it doesn't seem to have sold anywhere near as well as the first game. However, that doesn't seem to be stopping EA contemplating the idea of a third game. The question now is whether or not it will remain Nintendo exclusive, since there has been talk of the dev team considering expanding onto other formats to increase the sales potential.
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