Anubis II Stats and Records

No stats here I’m afraid. The game couldn’t allow that as then there would possibly be a reason to replay the game.

Anubis II Review

It’s time to finally play the third big game in the Ninjabread Man family. Conspiracy Games came up with other titles of course and I will be playing one of them soon, but Trixie, Ninjabread Man, and Anubis are the ones that I consider to be the big 3. Unfortunately, this might be the worst game in the trilogy. It all begins and ends with the final boss that is excruciatingly bad. It’s quite telling that this is the first game in ages where I had to go to Gamefaqs in the end. I try to make it a hard and fast rule that I will never use online resources to help me out in a game because I need the full 100% bragging rights. No matter how tough it makes it for games like FF VII. Still, I didn’t think that I needed to give Anubis the same level of respect and attention. The game basically cheats by not even telling you what the controls are.

There isn’t really a plot, but based on the back of the cover, you have been sent out to stop the villains! That’s not a bad premise I suppose although it certainly could be better. You are thrown into the first level without any other context. There are 4 main levels and four-5 mini ones as well. They all play out the same way aside from the final boss fight, where things get a little more intense, but not in a good way. You have to find 8-10 sacred pieces of something to unlock the time gate that will let you clear the level.

The levels are a little more linear than Ninjabread Man and I am also pretty experienced at playing this game by now. The levels are very similar to the other titles after all and you get used to reading the compass after a while. The game certainly isn’t very difficult so you will clear each level on your first or second try. The actual length of the game is quite short after the unreasonably long first level and you’ll have it beat in a few hours at best. There is absolutely no replay value to be found here, which hurts the game even more. The price is very low so that’s a start, but at this point you may as well buy a slice of pizza.

Now, I don’t mean to knock the game too much, but it has some pretty big weaknesses. For starters, the gameplay is your classic 3D platformer. You can swing your cane around to whack people on the head and you can shoot energy blasts as well. The latter is always your best option so use that to defeat enemies and beef up your health bar and lives. You can also jump of course and I recommend using the Z button over the motion controls. The latter is simply too unreliable and it is what hurts the gameplay. The level designs aren’t great as it is, but it’s even worse when you keep falling in the same spot. Luckily, there aren’t too many places where you can fall to your doom, but it can still be sad. I didn’t find out that you could jump with the Z button until I was at the final boss. If I had known about this earlier…things would have been very different!

Either way, the sword swinging is still rough though and a nice little Z button feature isn’t going to save this flawed game. The music consists of the same recycled theme that we’ve heard over and over again in the other two titles. It even plays for the final boss since the developers clearly couldn’t grab a second theme to put into the game. It’s pretty lazy if you ask me. The graphics are rather sub par although I wouldn’t call them terrible or anything. You can still see what is happening so that is definitely a plus. Games like Hidden Invasion have a lot to learn about proper brightness settings.

The final boss is what destroys the game though. If you thought that you had seen a poorly developed game before…think again! The final boss isn’t really a fight as you have to keep climbing these blocks that will disappear from time to time as you grab grenades. The game never tells you how to fire them by the way. To do this, you have to hold the A button and make a swinging motion. The problem is that it won’t work very often and the boss is on full spam mode so the energy shots never stop coming. If your grenade doesn’t come out in time, prepare to take some heavy damage. It gets old quickly and this boss took me way too long to complete. It quickly brought the game down to size. Otherwise, it may have stood a good chance of being the best in the trilogy. The Z button allowing you to do proper jumps is a huge improvement, although I suppose that there is the chance that the other two games had such a feature as well. All of the levels are suddenly a lot more manageable with this feature. If only there was a button for attacking and throwing bombs as well.

There’s also a weird glitch in the game where the Nunchuk will stop working sometimes. The game will keep telling you that it is not connected anymore of the game will suddenly have you running in a direction and you are unable to stop without unplugging the Nunchuk and plugging it back in again. I had to do that a great many times during the game so I feel like there is something wrong with the code. Granted, there are probably so many things that went wrong in the code that you could get lost there.

Overall, There’s not much reason to play this game so I can safely say that Anubis II lived up to its reputation. The Motion Controls on the Wii weren’t very good even with the AAA games. It’s not really a surprise that they tanked miserably with this title. The developers probably just checked to see if it could at least be slightly playable and then ran off with what little money they got from this game. I doubt it had a whole lot of quality control and it may not have had any at all. I can’t really picture myself buying an Anubis III, but if I ever see it in the 2 dollar bin, then maybe I’d take the plunge. If you’re looking for a bad game to play for fun, then I recommend Ninjabread Man. That game certainly had more heart….just a little more, but that’s good enough.

Overall 4/10

Myth Makers: Trixie in Toyland Review

It’s time to take a look at another infamous Wii game from back in the day. While Trixie isn’t quite as well known as Ninjabread Man, it is on the same level. It is by the same company after all and the game is almost completely copied from the Ninjabread Man title. Seriously, it’s probably hard to believe but you are basically playing a reskinned game. Even the main menu theme is exactly the same. It does seem to be a little more polished though, but this works as a doubled edged blade. You’ll see what I mean in a moment. Trixie’s a bit of a bad game due to the short length, but it certainly could have been a whole lot worse.

As with the Ninjabread Man, there isn’t really a plot in this one. You’ll have to check out the back or read the booklet if you want to get the story behind the game. You play as a girl with rabbit ears who goes around whacking people with her weapon. Eventually, you reach the final boss and take the win, freeing the land from the oppressors. By this point, you will notice that the game did have higher production values than Ninjabread Man. For starters, there is actually voice acting in this game. “Take that buster” is Trixie’s catch phrase and she tends to say this when you hit one of the enemies with her weapon. As you can expect, this does get a little repetitive so I’m glad that it doesn’t happen every single time. It seems to be random, but at least I do like her enthusiasm. The villains also yell “Destroy” whenever they fire a missile. Those guys are tricky, but nothing you can’t handle.

There are two main types of villains. The robots are the strongest and I recommend taking out from afar. That being said, they’re a lot weaker than the counterpart from the Ninjabread Man so you can win in close quarters combat as well. The controls are a lot more responsive than Ninjabread Man so you can actually fight normally for a change. The other enemies don’t even try to attack you all that much so you can just swing at your discretion. The part of the game that is a little tougher than Ninjabread Man is the jumping part. The game loves to eat your double jumps so then you end up falling into the gap and plummeting to your doom. Trust me, it’s not a fun way to go out. This won’t be much of a problem until the final two levels, but you should expect to lose many lives at that point.

The main levels are all in 3D and you travel through the level trying to grab the 10 puzzle pieces to complete it. They can be a little hard to see, but luckily you do have a compass which helps you find them. It’s certainly not the most accurate one by any stretch of the imagination, but it works well enough. What does make things difficult is that the first level is very large. Even by this game’s standards, you’ll have a hard time locating anything. There are around 10 floors and all of the differently colored blocks start to look the same after a while. That level took me a very long time and naturally, losing a life can be very sad because you go all the way back to your latest check point, which may not have been all that close.

This is really what I meant when I said that the extra polish was not necessarily a good thing. The levels are a little too big now and while they have more of an actual design than the Ninjabread levels, it also means that it takes a little longer to find everything. The game is also longer than its rival, which should be a good thing in theory, but I wouldn’t have minded it only being the usual 4 levels. There are 10 levels in this title although 5 of them are fairly short.

After each main level, there will be a bonus one. The gameplay for those varied from overhead to side scroller. They were actually pretty fun and were more enjoyable than the main levels. You would have to reach the goal while surviving from these different gameplay styles. It’s hard to see where you are going so I recommend taking your time. As for the final boss level, it’s a small one that just has you work on getting through a few jumps. The actual boss is very easy and you shouldn’t lose any lives against him. Just run around the guy while shooting your darts the entire time. The damage will built up and the villain eventually falls. It’s much safer than actually trying to fight the guy in hand to hand combat.

Graphically, the game isn’t all that bad. It certainly looks better than Ninjabread Man, but still wouldn’t hold up all that well to the average Wii game. At the very least, I did like Trixie’s design, but the main villain could have been a little cooler. The soundtrack is pretty bad and the fact that it has the same theme as the other title is pretty lazy. It works for nostalgia like having Melee’s theme in Smash 4, but it shouldn’t be reused for convenience.

There isn’t really any replay value here so that hurts the game a little. It’s still very short even if you do end up getting lost a few times so this wouldn’t even last you the full afternoon. Luckily, you can grab it for a few dollars, but that’s why I definitely could not give the game a positive rating. Honestly, it would have probably dropped to a 3 if it had gone on for much longer. The final boss level was pretty frustrating as I kept dying to the same jump and the final main level was a little too much of a maze. It also had tricky jumps that could be quite tragic.

Overall, Trixie in Toyland is actually not as good as Ninjabread Man even though it seemed to have been more refined and to have gotten more of a budget. Sometimes more content isn’t always a good thing. I did appreciate the voice acting though and the fact that the game actually had a final boss was also a nice improvement. The minigames were solid too so if not for the main level designs being so bad, this title would have had a decisive victory. I certainly recommend trying it out for the novelty value, but you won’t be missing much if you decide to skip out on this one. I’ll be trying out the Trixie racing game soon so we’ll see if that game is able to surpass this one. I don’t see how someone could mess up a racing game so maybe we’ll finally see a 5-7 star game from this company.

Overall 4/10

Ninjabread Man Review

Have any of you ever heard of the Ninjabread Man? This game may have flown under the radar for a while, but it does have quite the reputation and it is certainly well deserved. This is known as one of the worst Wii games of all time although I have to say that this may be overdoing it a little. Sure, the production values are quite bad and the game is extremely short (Roughly an hour) but it does have heart. If anything, the game would have been more annoying if it had been longer…but maybe that just means that this game really isn’t that good. Regardless, it is getting a negative score, but it could have been a lot worse.

There is no real plot to be found in the game as it stays on the cover. You simply start out as a living Gingerbread Man who wields a sword. You go around destroying Cakes and Tomatoes. The Cakes are very overpowered so don’t engage them in close quarters combat. Instead, spam your Shruikens. They can take out any enemy from a safe distance and they also get stronger the more that you use them until you get to the point where every enemy will die from a single hit. It’s a nice way to effectively break the game. The controls are very spotty though so watch out for that. We’re back in the classic motion controls era after all and this isn’t exactly a AAA title. The sword swinging rarely worked which is why I switched to throwing in the first place.

The gameplay is in 3D and you can jump. You now know all that their is to know about the gameplay. The objective of each level is to find 10 puzzle pieces to fix a generator. You then jump in to automatically complete the level. There are 4 levels total and one of those is a tutorial level so there are really just 3. There are no bosses whatsoever and no real ending either. The credits just play and that’s it. The 3 real levels all have the exact same format. There is a compass towards the bottom of the screen which lets you know which direction to go. Unfortunately, it’s not always the greatest way to find a piece as the terrain messes with its sensors, but it does its best I suppose.

The final level tries to be more linear which helps with the finding. As long as you don’t make a wrong turn, you should be fine. Each enemy that you defeat gives you one health point and defeating 6 of them gives you a one up. I recommend stocking up on those. Not really because of the enemies since they’re reasonably easy to deal with once you start spamming the projectiles. You’ll want them because of the jumps since the sensor bar will often times not record your jump or it will merge them together so you won’t go far enough. It will rarely lead to a death, but there is one section where you can die. I got through it fairly easily, but I wasn’t so lucky in another title from this company. (I’ll be reviewing that one shortly)

On a technical merit, Ninjabread Man is no more impressive than with the gameplay. The soundtrack basically consists of free domain type music that don’t seem to have much emotion. It just feels like the music was put together in roughly 5 seconds and the developers just figured that you wouldn’t get tired of it. There’s no real variety and while the theme can be a little catchy after a while, it’s no fun compared to titles like Sonic and Mario. I want my hype themes. Meanwhile, the graphics are naturally not all that good. They’re pretty low budget and while they aren’t terrible, Ninjabread Man will lose in a head 2 head fight against just about any other title. It may look better than Balls of Fury at least.

There is no replay value to be found here whatsoever. I suppose you could just replay the game, but there is literally no reason to do so as it doesn’t keep track of your score and there are no collectibles around either. This game didn’t even get any real voice acting so the game is very silent. I imagine that the game must not have cost a lot to make so the developers probably made a profit off of it. It’s a scary thought to have considering that this game was just not all that good. Again, it wasn’t terrible considering all of this.

The concept is decently sound. How bad can a 3D platformer be right? The controls are the main frustrating part. Luckily, I didn’t come across any big glitches so that was good. If the jumping was more stable, that would have gone a long way. That being said, the overall length is really what keeps this game from getting a 5 or higher. There’s no way I can justify a game being about an hour long or less. Even if it had multiplayer this would be a bit of a stretch although it would certainly help out quite a bit. This game now goes for around 1-5 dollars so at least you won’t be losing a lot of money.

Overall, Ninjabread Man is for the hardcore Wii owners who want to own all of the titles. I honestly purchased it because of how bad the game is known to be. I’m the kind of guy who gets curious about things like that. It’s still not the worst game that I’ve ever played by any means and I actually think that it was more fun than the higher budget spinoff that I played afterwards. That review is coming soon and it will help you remember that sometimes bigger isn’t better. Quality still trumps quantity even if both of them are in very short supply here. If you’re curious about Ninjabread Man, I recommend satisfying your curiosity. If won’t cost you much and then you can finally count yourself among the select few who got to play this game. It’s truly something else!

Overall 4/10