REVIEW – Brave: The Video Game (DS)

A review by Jeremy Hardin



Game – Brave: The Video Game
Developer/Publisher – Behaviour Interactive / Disney Interactive
Version – DS
Time Spent Playing – 3 hours
Price – $29.99
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Disney Interactive

Tired of her overbearing queen of a mother, princess Merida runs away from her home and family.  Stumbling across an old witch’s hut, Merida demands a spell be given for use on her mother.  The Queen consumes the magic tart and is transformed into a bear.  Upon returning to the witch, Merida learns that an ancient evil is being resurrected across the lands which affects everything, including the witch’s magic.  So now, she must traverse the lands, fighting her way through hoards of enemies in order to defeat the evil Mor’du and break the curse!

Gameplay and Controls
Players take control of Merida (the lead character of Disney/Pixar’s Brave) as she fights against fierce enemies to end a magical curse, restore her family and save the kingdom.  Players must fight across 20 levels, 4 boss fights and 1 final boss fight against Mor’Du, the ancient evil bear in order to break the curse.  The story is told via cutscenes using subtitles and still drawings.  There is not much voice acting, which is a shame because it would have help to immerse the players in the gaming experience.
The first 3 levels serve as your tutorial as you are guided by voice and text on how to dodge, attack, solve puzzles and more.  You have a sword and bow at your disposal with which to defeat your enemies.  You also have several abilities you can purchase, which enhance your combat skills and your status, and you also will unlock elemental powers which are imbued into your sword and bow.  In order to purchase these upgrades you will need the required amount of orbs.  Orbs can be found in two ways, either in a red chest or upon defeating enemies with the correct elemental power as indicated above their heads.  You can still defeat enemies, even if you are using the incorrect elemental power, but you will not earn orbs.  Along the way you will encounter a handful of puzzles, some must be solved in order progress, while others are their for extra loot.  Some of the puzzles you will encounter are pressure plates that need blocks pushed on them, pressure plates that must be stepped on in order, Simon Says,  and more.  One major downside to gameplay is the repetition.  You will find yourself fighting the same enemies (with different elemental weaknesses), solving the same puzzles albeit with slight variations.  Upon completion of a level you will be awarded either a bronze, silver, or gold medal depending upon certain factors. This medal achievement system can encourage some players to try to best their own scores, but it’s not hard to score gold the first time around.
Players control Merida using the d-pad and you can attack with your sword by pressing Y and the bow by pressing A.  You can also hold down either of the buttons to perform a charge attack if equipped.  You can dodge using the R shoulder button and you can switch between elemental properties using either the L button or the touchscreen icons.  The controls are easy to use and quick to grasp, even for younger children.

Visuals and Sound
There is nothing too memorable about the visuals or sounds worth mentioning here.  Although, I must keep in mind that I am most likely not the target audience to be playing this game.  The visuals and sounds are equally standard.  The levels have different themes, ice, volcano, forest, etc.  However the layout and progression through the levels ends up becoming repetitive.

Concluding Overall Impressions
Brave: The Video Game offers a short blast of fun for fans of the movie, with waves of enemies, multiple weapons and upgrades alike.  Unfortunately, it’s just too short and doesn’t offer much of a replay factor.

 

Final Score: 3.5 out of 5

About the author:

Jeremy’s love of gaming, especially Nintendo started in the late 80’s when his parents bought him and his older brother an NES. Many hours were spent playing Mario and Duck Hunt. Eventually Jeremy graduated to bigger and better games and systems, like the SNES, GC, Wii, 3DS, and finally to the Wii U. Ask him what the defining moment of his childhood gaming was and he’ll answer, “the day I beat Zelda 2.” To this day that game holds a special place in his heart. His favorite types of games are platformers.

Jeremy started blogging for NintendoFuse in October 2010. He started off as a lurker on the forums who won a free copy of And Yet It Moves on WiiWare. From there he realized he liked the forums and the site and wanted to remain a part of it. He was brought on board shortly thereafter and has helped post news and reviews for the past couple of years. Currently Jeremy has taken a step back to focus on family and school. He assists in minor back-end site maintenance from time to time.

Jeremy – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.