A WiiNintendo game review by JHardin1112.
Ask most gamers what their opinion is of a game based off a movie license. Don’t be surprised if most people react with disdain. We’ve all seen it happen before. A new movie hits theatres (usually animated) and the video game tie in releases at either the same time or shortly thereafter. Almost invariably, the game performs with less than pleasing results. I’m looking at you Total Recall! So, in a long line of disappointing movie based video games, how does Rango stack up? Can he win our attention, enjoyment and more importantly, our money? Or will Rango prove to be yet another game quickly forgotten?
Diverting from the main story line of the movie, Rango tells a tale of our noble chameleon sheriff’s exploits. A strange glowing rock has been found and our hero Rango informs the townsfolk that it is indeed a meteorite. He then goes on to regale the citizens of Dirt with his exploits of the past week and how he came to discover the origin of the rock.
NOTE: As I have not seen the movie yet, I won’t comment on similarities/differences between the game and the movie. After I watch the movie, I will update my review for comparison, if necessary.
Gameplay and Controls
Players will assume control of Rango as he relives the events of the past week. Each level is introduced by a humorous pre-rendered cut scene, more on that later. Gameplay is a mixed bag relying heavily on platforming, static gunfights, and on rails shooter levels. Generously scattered throughout each level are sheriff stars which you are encouraged to collect. Gather enough stars and your star meter fills up. Once the meter is full, press 1 to activate it for a burst of unlimited ammo. Melee attacks are controlled by the Z button. Most enemies take only a couple hits to defeat. During the shooting sections you will employ the use of your popcorn shooter to take out the various enemies. Press B to shoot, shake the nunchuck to reload. You are able to take cover during a firefight by pressing C, but this still doesn’t protect you if an enemy comes to your location. They will attack you behind your cover. Randomly throughout each firefight, fallen enemies will drop power-ups for your gun. These come in handy in defeating the enemies, more so when encountering a boss. The combat is repetitive, albeit enjoyable.
Visuals and Sound
As I mentioned in the gameplay section, cut scenes are pre-rendered. Relying on the in-game engine they look a little rough at times. This doesn’t take away from the fact that the scenes are humorous or entertaining in any way. This is just a little issue I took note of. As Rango is describing the locale he is about to enter, one of the townsfolk listening to his description will correct him. These corrections are implemented as pieces of scenery falling out of the sky or popping up from the ground. These few moments make the cut scenes more entertaining. Whether it be racing through desert canyons, traversing a speeding train, flying on the back of a bat, or running through the inside of an old arcade cabinet game (not inside the cabinet, but inside the game!) Rango offers numerous locales and pleasing visuals. Complimenting the visuals are the sounds, specifically the music and voiceovers. The actors doing the voiceover work fit the characters quite well and add likeable personality to what could have been drab NPC’s. Throughout the game you will see a little mariachi band playing music and throwing out one-liners, spelling out doom and gloom for Rango. The music reminds me of a spaghetti western (Good, Bad, and the Ugly anyone?), and is enjoyable to listen to.
Concluding Overall Impressions
There is no denying that Rango is absolutely a good game and not just a quick cash-in from the movie. Players should expect to find themselves entertained with engaging gameplay, funny dialogue, humorous cut-scenes, pleasing visuals and sound. That being said I want to point out that the game is fairly simple and short, I beat the game in under 5 hours. Also, the game lacks almost any replay value. These two factors did not lessen the experience in any way for me at all. I am simply pointing them out for your sake fellow gamers. Since previous attempts with other movie based video games have fallen short more often that not, I was expecting the same from Rango. In the end I was and still am quite impressed with the fact that Rango turned out to be such an entertaining game.
Final Score: 4 out of 5