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12 August 2009

Opoona [Wii]

Plot Synopsis: 8/10
Opoona is about a family who's spaceship is attacked, at which point they crash land on a nearby planet. The three children (incluing Opoona, the main character), having gotten into escape pods at the last moment, came out of the wreck with relatively light injuries, but their parents were in worse shape. Thus, they set out on a quest to try to get what they need to heal their parents, while trying to contribute to society on the planet they find themselves on.
I'll give the plot an 8 out of 10. It's a refreshing variation on the usual "I have to save so-and-so!" type of story that pollutes video games. It also seems to have a bit of a message about contributing to society as a whole instead of just acting with just your own interests in mind.

Game Play: 7/10
A lot of the controls are handled by the Wii controller's nunchuck attachment, but I feel like they didn't need to be. It almost feels like they programmed the game that way just for the sake of including the attachment, even though it wasn't entirely necessary. Even the main characters' attacks, in the battle scenes, are controlled with the joystick on the nunchuck.
Beyond that, the controls are pretty intuitive. Nunchuck joystick controls your movement. B-trigger and the Z-button both bring up the menu screen. The only thing tricky is getting the camera angle to revert back to looking at things from behind Opoona, as you have to press the C and Z buttons on the nunchuck at the same time, which occasionally results in bringing up the menu screen by accident.
The battle sequences are nice, because they're not always just aim-then-fire. Occasionally, you find yourself in a situation where you have to send your attack around an obstacle to reach your enemies. There is also a 2-minute limit on each battle. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but there will occasionally be bombs on the battlefield that will detonate and damage you if you damage them, thus preventing you from using an attack that damages everything on the battlefield. It presents an interesting challenge, and keeps things from being too easy and boring.
I'll give the game play a 7 out of 10. The controls are relatively intuitive, but I don't think the nunchuck attachment was really necessary. Also, there are a couple of battles where the 2-minute timer becomes downright problematic, but for the most part, it isn't an issue. Most battles are usually decided within about 15 or 20 seconds, once you're really into the game.

Graphics: 6/10
The graphics are very stylized, and a bit cartoony. I think that helps offset the relative darkness of the "we have to help mom and dad before they die from their injuries" aspect of the story. It's clear, from the graphics, that in spite of the story, the developers were not going for a dark and gritty ├╝ber-serious game. The graphics are also fairly easy to read. I don't remember any instances where I couldn't tell what something was supposed to be, so they clearly did their job well enough.
I'll give the graphics a 6 out of 10. Admittedly, I'm letting my own personal opinion of the graphics weigh in on the score, here. I just didn't like the visual style.


Audio: 5/10
No voice acting in this game. The music is just your standard, forgettable, looped video game background music. Nothing spectacular about it at all. It isn't so horrible that I feel a need to set the TV to mute, but it's not great, either. The sound effects work fine. They do what they need to do, and don't sound weird or out-of-place. Although, the sound of the hoverboard does remind me a bit of the Jetsons.
I'll give the audio a 5 out of 10. Some of the points lost for the boring music were regained by the adequate sound effects.


Overall Score: 6.5/10
I don't really know what else to say, here. The game was mediocre at best. I highly doubt I'll ever bother playing through it a second time. It was fun enough, but it has little to no replay value, in my opinion.

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