You’ll Be Sleeping With the Fishies
Finding Nemo, based on the movie, is directed towards young kids. These children will probably like this game due to the very simplistic controls and movie theme while older people will blow this title off for the same reasons.
In this game, you will play as Nemo and his father Marlin. The game plays out in a similar way as the movie as the game’s stages are linked together by stills taken directly from the movie. From the beginning stage, you will play through a helpful tutorial that brings you to understand all of Nemo’s moves and objectives. In the side scrolling levels, a few repetitive maneuvers will be used. Rocks will be crushed, rings will be collected, pearls must be found, and stones must be hit to cover water flows. These actions will be performed in just about every level but they suit a fish’s world perfectly. If a path is blocked by a bolder, then attack it several times to make a new path. A pearl acts as a key while an oyster is a lock. Once a pearl is found, the player must grab it and carry it back to the opened-mouthed oyster. When the pearl has been dropped in, his lid will close allowing the player to advance in the level. Throughout each level are rings of bubbles. The more rings the player swims through, the more chances he will have at a mini game at the end of each level. These mini games are just simple memory games that upon completion will uncover a picture. This is just a simple added bonus that doesn’t really offer a challenge. The game could have done without this. Unlocking still pictures isn’t the most fun thing to do in a game. A new feature should have been unlocked like the ability to give/take more damage.
Breaking away from the traditional side-scrolling element, the player will occasionally encounter a level where you must swim away the screen. This new type of level plays similar to the mini game of Manta Rings in Mario Party 4. The player must swim through rings while staying behind a fish that creates them. It’s a nice break from the rest of the game, however, I wish there was an option to invert the controls. Some people don’t like the fact that ?Up’ is to go “Up”. Inverted controls would have been a good accommodating feature. Some mini games can be found within the game as well. Fish are testing Nemo and he must complete objectives such as “hit the oyster with your tail into the fisherman’s helmet,” or “pop all the bubbles.”
The game uses a password system instead of battery back up. But this is not really a problem since each password only consists of four characters. Also, this game is only one player. The game would have greater replay value if more than one player was able to play at the same time, whether it is cooperatively or competitively.
The control scheme is very simple. The shoulder buttons are not even used. “A” is used as a dash technique and can be utilized as a faster mode of transportation or for the destruction of rocks. The “B” button is used as a tail attack and if held down, allows Nemo to hold pearls in his mouth. Perhaps the game could have benefited from the use of the shoulder buttons as more puzzles and ways of attack could have been implemented into the game allowing for greater variety. However, the control is very responsive and doesn’t move either too slow or too fast. Plus, if the player wants to speed up game play, the “A” button dash move can be used.
The game’s best graphics lie in the cut scenes and look as if you are watching the movie in the theater. The in-game graphics are pretty well done, but at same time, the backgrounds tend to interfere with the foreground. Sometimes sea creatures will be swimming in the background, but you’ll think that they are right next to you, so you swim around them. More clarity is needed here. I think the characters could show a little more liveliness by blowing more bubbles in the character animations. The music fits the mood for the game as you get the feel that you are swimming in a great sea. There aren’t really a whole lot of sound effects, but the ones that are in the game fit the part well.
Kids will find Finding Nemo a fun game as they will probably enjoy the “Toy Story” animation from the movie. Parents will buy this game for there kids because they know that it will be nonviolent and supports the name of the movie. However, older people will overlook this game because of the “kiddy” factor—as they should because older gamers will be looking for something a little more complex. To sum it up, if you are under eight years old and your parents will only let you buy a nonviolent game, then go ahead and buy Finding Nemo as it is one of the best kid targeted movie-to-game titles, but its simplistic nature and design will drive mature gamers away.
*Note: You also receive a free movie ticket to see Finding Nemo when you buy this game in specially marked boxes.