Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots Wii
Published by: THQ
Developed by: Blue Tongue Entertainment Limited
Release Date: Out Now
When SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star deliver a whole load of Krabby Patties to a factory they are in for a big surprise. Patrick Star is taken prisoner and SpongeBob fools the security system to enter the factory and attempt to rescue Patrick. SpongeBob soon discovers that the factory is run by the evil Professor Finbarr Calamitous. The Professor's aim is to make robot copies of all the Nicktoons heroes. He aims to do this by abducting and scanning each of the heroes to help him create a master model allowing him to replicate them at will and create his own army of robotic minions.
Attack of the Toybots is an action-platform game featuring a fair few of the Nicktoons characters. Playing as SpongeBob, Tak, Danny Phantom, Jimmy Neutron and Timmy Turner amongst others, your job is to stop Calamitous carrying out his evil plans. You'll do this by working your way through the levels defeating enemies, collecting various items and rescuing friends. As the game progresses you'll unlock additional characters and have cameos from various Nicktoons characters. Most of the time, you'll have two characters in a mission. The second character is AI controlled but you can switch between them whenever you need to. The AI is pretty poor to be honest and the AI controlled character will constantly fall to their death time after time. It's a good thing then that you're not punished for the demise of the AI controlled character. Should the character you're controlling come a cropper you'll simply be taken back to the last checkpoint. Thankfully these checkpoints aren't too far apart.
All things considered, Attack of the Toybots is a solid game that will appeal to fans of the Nicktoons characters. Of course, for the most part, this will mean that the game is aimed at a younger audience. Whilst the combat is simplistic, some of the platform elements in the game are rather tricky. In my opinion they are a little too tricky for those who aren't extremely comfortable with platform games. I have to admit that there were moments that had me stumped for a few minutes because of the precision that was required. Don't get me wrong, the bulk of the game is absolutely fine for younger gamers but the moments when precision is required are quite demanding and could cause a young child to become very frustrated with the game.
I have to admit to being a little surprised by the length of the game's missions. They are a little on the long side for a young child. There are only a handful of missions in the game and it would have made more sense for there to have been more missions that were shorter rather than having a handful that were quite long. In the game's missions you'll notice sections that can only be accessed by certain characters (usually one's you'll unlock later in the game) meaning you'll need to revisit the level if you want to see everything. The game also offers three multiplayer levels that can be played co-operatively. The game doesn't make use of the consoles motion-sensing controls but still requires you to use the nunchuk attachment. It's fair to say that there should have been the option to have used the Wii remote in a sideways fashion. This would allow those who don't have a second nunchuk, but have a second Wii remote, to enjoy the multiplayer action.
Graphically, Attack of the Toybots looks OK. In truth we aren't looking at a game that takes advantage of the Wii, in fact the PlayStation 2 could easily cope with the graphics that are on offer, but the game looks pleasant enough. Seeing as the game is targeted at younger gamers it makes sense that the camera is a fixed one. There are times when it almost feels as though you're jumping blindly however as the platform you have to jump onto is just about visible. There are no frame rate issues here and the load times are all perfectly acceptable.
It was great to see that Attack of Toybots is fully subtitled by default. Even the cutscene that you see when you first load the game is subtitled and this means that deaf gamers will not miss out on any of the game's story and humour. Tutorial messages are shown in text. Occasionally the timing of the tutorial messages is a little suspect. I noted several occasions when the tutorial message which described a move appeared after an occasion when the move was needed. Thankfully the game manual does a good job of describing the moves and controls.
Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots is quite an enjoyable action-platform game but it does have its share of problems. With the game aimed at young children, it's odd that there are moments of real difficulty which will cause quite a few young gamers to become frustrated. The missions should have been shorter and more plentiful. Only the older children are probably going to have the patience to sit through a whole mission. There is no mid-mission save point and this is going to lead to some more moments of frustration for younger children. These problems aside however, the game is certainly quite enjoyable but it's annoying to known that with a bit more thought in regards to the game's design, it could have been much better.