Review – Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension

By: Louis Edwards

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Phineas and Ferb are making a jump from their new Disney Channel Original Movie onto the Wii, PS3, and Nintendo DS. Should you allow your kids to make the jump with them, or should the boys be better left alone? Read our review to find out.

 

Published by Disney Interactive Studios, Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension continues and expands the storyline from the movie and allows you to play as any of your favorite characters from it, as well as a new character that debuts in the game (no spoilers here). Most movie based games follow the movie’s storyline from start to finish, luckily that’s not the case here.

In the movie, Phineas, Ferb, and Perry follow their arch nemesis Dr. Doofenshmirtz through his “Otherdimensionator” and find themselves in an alternate universe where a second, truly evil Dr. Doof rules over his Tri-state Area with an army of iron-fisted robots. It is up to Phineas, Ferb, and their crew to defeat the evil doctor and make things right in both worlds.

The crew of good guys have a weak arsenal to start with, but it expands as you progress along. With such unique upgradeable weapons as the Carbonator, Ninja Glove, and our personal favorite the Baseball Launcher, enemies will cower at your feet and fall like dominoes. The game is a mix of platforming, puzzle solving, and blasting away at bad guys. Some weapons can double as tools, and some tools can double as weapons. Collectible mod chips can be found lying around, and these can then be used to upgrade your weapons. There are also five golden coins spread around each level, and these coins can be traded in to play mini-games after completing each level. You can play either skeeball or test your pick-up skill with the crane game. The crane game can win you collectible figurines or tickets, while skeeball can only win you tickets. These tickets can be traded in for new playable characters, new costumes for your playable characters, or weapon mods.

There are 25 levels to play through, with some new enemies to face, and a few your kids may recognize from the series. There is no difficulty setting, and the game should allow for kids of most ages to play without too much frustration. Camera angles while platforming can be odd at times, and some guesswork might be needed to jump from cloud to cloud, and spot to spot, but it wasn’t enough of a problem to make the game unplayable. The shadow of your character can easily be seen and used a guide of your landing spot, so play close attention to that if you are having this issue.

There are a few bosses you’ll have to take out, but they are merely a speed bump in your journey through the Otherdimensionator. They might be a little challenging for the younger gamers, but we are pretty confident that most fans of the show will blast right through these bad guys. The smaller minions in the game, which range from robots to gnomes, are also easily defeated. Young gamers will enjoy blasting through a crowd of gnomes and seeing their pointy little hats scattering all over the ground. These are just plastic gnomes, so no blood and gore to worry about.

The puzzles in the game don’t require too much thought, and since the game is rated E 10+ that isn’t surprising. Level layouts are mostly linear, with a few levels that give you the option to choose which path you want to take on first.The game has a nice multiplayer feature where a friend can pick up a controller of their own, press start, and take control of whoever you have tagging along with you in your game. They can also easily log out by pressing start and choosing to logout player two, so no need to have anyone put out if someone’s ride shows up. This is only local multiplayer, where you and your friend have to be in the same room and on the same console. Online multiplayer for a game designed for kids can open up a world you probably don’t want your kids involved in just yet, so no online is probably a good idea.

The graphics for game play looked smooth and nice. Level detail, while not at the level of some exclusive platform games, was nicely done and looked great. Watching the gameplay is like watching the actual cartoon on TV in HD. That was nicely done. Animations were smooth and detailed. Weapon design and usage are original and entertaining to watch.

The storyline for the game, while decently written, is told in cut scenes. The cut scene quality on the PS3 rendered these scenes almost unwatchable. The videos were blurry and clearly upscaled from either the Wii, or possibly even the DS. They really look that bad. The developers should have taken the time to possibly start with PS3 quality video, and then downscaled it for other platforms. It clearly looks like they went the opposite route.

The PlayStation 3 version of the game gives two added features not found on the Wii or the Nintendo DS. PlayStation Move controls are added, and are a welcome addition. Menus can be navigated with a point and click style, and if you have both the Move and the navigation controller, no other controller is needed for single player. No need to have your hands together on a Dualshock controller. With the Move and navigation controller, you can sit comfortably on the couch with your hands at your side. The analog stick on the navigation controller is used for player movement and the motion controller only utilizes the trigger, the four standard PlayStation buttons, and the Move button. Other than menu navigation, the Move motion controls aren’t used for player movement, except to revive yourself if you take too much damage.

Also included on the PlayStation 3 hybrid Blu-ray disc are four episodes of Phineas and Ferb (almost a full hour) in high definition. This is a great idea that more companies should embrace. Why not have a game and a movie on the same 50GB Blu-ray disc? The episodes included are:

  • I Scream, You Scream (12:05)
  • Mom’s Birthday (11:54
  • Dude, We’re getting the Band Back Together (22:33)
  • Comet Kermillian (12:31)

Developer High Impact Games did a great job of taking a television cartoon series, and turning that into a playable world that is both fun and entertaining. This game should appeal to a wide variety of young gamers and not just fans of the show.

If you have a PS3 and a Wii in your house, get the PS3 version. $39.99 for both, but the PS3 gives you 4 free Phineas and Ferb episodes in HD.

Enjoyable game regardless of the platform. If your kid loves Phineas and Ferb, they will want this game.

8

 

  • http://www.twitter.com/kc_chang Kevin Chang

    Must go with the PS3 version.

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