REVIEW – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (3DS)
A Game Review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Version – 3DS
ESRB Rating: ‘E’ – Everyone
Release Date: 9/24/2013
Obtained – Courtesy of GameMill
Will this game be all clear skies and fun, or will it be cloudy with a chance of not being so good? Read on to find out!
Gameplay & Controls
The gameplay of this game may be quite familiar if you played Fruit Ninja, or Cake Ninja. Basically the player will have a starting time of 1 minute and various items will be tossed on the screen. The player must ‘slash’ the food items, and avoid the red clocks or flaming marshmallows. The touch screen will show a grey version of the food and where to slash and if it’s one of the bad items, it will be entirely red. However, the player will need to keep an eye on the top screen as further along the player gets bonus points for slashing in the food item in a particular direction (shown with an arrow). Also, throughout the session, some random gifts are tossed and often travel quite fast which if slashed awards either an item for an invention, or some type of unlock-able. There are also bonuses such as extending the time by a couple of seconds. If the player slashes the flaming marshmallow the level is ended immediately. When the level ends, the score is calculated and the player is given a 0-3 star rating.
There are 6 ‘worlds’ each with 6 levels. There are also some challenges which are unlocked when the player gets a certain number of stars. These are more endless modes for some practice or just setting a high score. The unlock-ables are just characters to use their voice during the main story mode, or some blue prints to unlock inventions. The story mode also has some variety where the player may have to slash a particular food 10 times (while still collecting other food and items), or to complete the level without missing more than 3 food items. But mostly, it is just going after the food and avoiding the negative items. There are some items that take multiple slashes and bonus items that need to be slashed repeatedly. I was only able to build one of the inventions despite unlocking all 4. The special items required for building them do not seem to appear very often as I completed all 36 levels and replayed some numerous times for the 3 star rating.
As for the controls, nothing is used besides the stylus. The stylus is used to slash the food during the game and also used to select the mode. I would like to point out that the slashing is entirely too sensitive. If there’s a food item tossed near one of the red items, it becomes incredibly difficult to get the item. I’ve noticed on numerous occasions where I thought I had a clear shot at the item and the game said I hit both. Oftentimes it is the item that gives the instant game over forcing me to replay the level. I understand it is trying to be a little tricky and difficult, but I’ve usually played most of the levels looking at the bottom screen to attempt to avoid the red items on the harder levels.
Visuals & Sound
This section goes half and half for the overall enjoyment of the game. First off, the good. The graphics for this game are very well done and each item is filled with detail. The 3D effects are also very enjoyable and really make looking at the top screen enjoyable. Now for the not so good part, the music and sounds. Each of the 11 characters has one particular saying and whenever you slash one of the objects or unlockables, you have to listen to them repeat the one line which can get on the annoying side. Some of the characters have weird accents or sayings where they get more annoying then others. Also the music variety is nothing too memorable either and easily forgettable. The sound effects of the score adding up and the end-of-level options bouncing down also gets on the annoying side as well.
Overall the gameplay may have that familiar style to other games, however, the theme changes and the food tossed changes. While there are several unlockables to acquire, some seem somewhat rare making it harder to collect all the inventions. With the music and sounds more on the lacking side and the controls being somewhat difficult the game could have been better. The graphics and mode variety try to help distinguish it from similar games and make the game more enjoyable to play. I would recommend this game to fans of the toss and slash type of gameplay, or even those that are fans of the movie. The concept is simple enough for anyone may enjoy it and makes it easy to play in small bursts.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10
+ easy pick and play type of levels
+ variety of modes
+ beautiful graphics and 3D effects
+ plenty of unlockables
– limited sound clips
– sensitive controls
– limited items for inventions
– limited amounts of levels, game is a little short