The Island of Dr. Frankenstein Review

When you venture onto the Island of Dr Frankenstein you figure that you are going to be in for a pretty hype experience. Well, at least the concept of it. When you actually see the cover of the game you will probably begin to have some doubts and they will only continue to grow as you play through the game. It ultimately had a good idea of two but ended up squandering it all away.

The game starts off immediately with a kid named Franky being woken up by a pair of legs that are not attached to anything. The legs can’t talk of course but Franky can understand them anyway because he is just that good. Basically the mayor wants to see us because the island is sinking. We have to fix it fast or everyone is going to die.

I should add a little context here. So the main characters all live on a floating island which is powered by 50 generators. This is the land of monsters so all of the inhabitants are popular creatures like Dracula, The Mummy, Werewolf, A Floating Head, Frankenstein’s monster, and more. This is a way for them all to live in peace but the problem is that none of them are particularly tech savvy which is why Franky is around.

He fixes the generators so that the island doesn’t end up falling down on everyone. So that’s the setting and the main issue is that someone appears to be sabotaging the generators/engines so everybody is doomed. We have two missions, fix the various generators and also find out who the traitor is.

The game isn’t nearly as epic as that might sound though. The gameplay is really just about walking around the island and talking to people. You find out what they all want and get it from someone else. There is no way to run and the island is fairly large so be prepared for a while lot of backtracking and going to the same place like 20 times or more.

The characters add new demands at random points and you have no way to know this except to talk to everyone again after each mission you complete. It’s definitely not very efficient but you will have the island memorized by the end. There is one action you can take while moving around which is to use your Luigi’s Mansion vacuum cleaner. You suck up these little cosmic dust clouds which you then give to people when they ask for them.

It also leads to the game’s “danger” mechanic. If you let the dust clouds pile up too much then the island will crash. So you have to be sucking these things up the entire time as you go through the island. It adds an extra task to you just walking which is okay I guess but I don’t like mechanics like this where you are forced to just waste time and do something you wouldn’t do otherwise. It feels like it was just tacked on to mask the fact that there isn’t much to do.

Finally, there is the puzzle aspect of the game. Characters want you to fix their equipment so they’ll launch you onto a board of two pipes. One of them shoots out a laser and the idea is to add gears onto the map which will redirect the lasers to hit the other nozzle. This part could actually be pretty fun at least. It’s the kind of puzzle that I can get behind as it’s really about problem solving and you don’t have to worry about the game forgetting to give you context clues.

Here’s the issue though, you can only complete these puzzles by putting gears into it. To summon a gear, you have to use 10 cosmic dust clouds and 1 meteorite. The way to get meteorites is to open chests around the island or to dig them up. It costs 30 clouds to dig up a meteor so you can see how even now the game is trying to really wring some extra play time out of you. It makes you wish that the game would relax a bit and let you do your own thing. Don’t even attempt a puzzle if you don’t have enough gears since any that you use in the puzzle will be destroyed if you leave. Also be careful of how you spin the gears because if the laser hits you then you also lose all of your gears.

The motion controls are pretty difficult on that front so you can expect it to happen at least a few times by accident. Unfortunately at the end of the day that means that there is really no escape for you. Even the best part of the game has annoying mechanics which speaks volumes about the game as a whole. It’s not as bad as it could be since most of it is pretty harmless but I still expected better out of this one.

As far as the graphics go, the game certainly doesn’t hold up. I’m not sure if it was intentionally trying to look bad but that might be giving the game too much credit. There are only 2 musical themes in the entire game so you’ll be hearing them on loop for a long while. Definitely could have used more music but what is really missing here are the sound effects. There are none so when the characters are talking it’s like they are lifeless.

The only part of the game that shines through would be the writing. It’s very disjointed but the game is certainly going for a parody type of atmosphere for the most part. None of the characters are heroic and even Franky just wants to go to sleep. Even with the end of the world right around the corner, the characters can’t really dredge up the motivation to do anything. It’s pretty surreal but really works when you get down to the meat of things. At least it adds a little humor to the game or it would truly be soul less otherwise.

Overall, The Island of Dr. Frankenstein plays out about as you would expect. It’s a very short game with absolutely 0 replay value. You have to 100% complete all missions and collectibles in order to beat the game so there is nothing left to do. The game itself is around 3-4 hours tops so it won’t last you very long either. You can get this game for around $1 not counting shipping so it’s not a bad one to check out. That being said, you can definitely find better games on the Wii or basically any other console. This is an example of a title that really could have been so much better with some quality of life updates.

Overall 4/10

Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 1h 44m

Stage records

Balance Bridge 18000
Roll’em Up 6875
Penalty Kick 16800
Hide the Joker 24000
Ghost Flashlight –
Fantasy Stick 15500
Number Balloons 16100
Rodeo 12500
Block Race –
Lightning Order 17040
Cloud Jumper 3500
Obstacle Overrun 14300
Dot Image 11200
Spark Ball 21360
Boat Race –
Air Hockey 18600
Chancy Crane 4850
Earth Defense Team 15200
Cowboy Barrel Dodge 15000
Flying Teacups 15000
Magical Panels 11500
Horse Jump 16700
Total 274025

Block Party Review

No not Block Party, BLOCK Party! I’ve played a lot of cash ins in my day, but none quite like this one…..sorta. Okay, that line’s a stretch, but this one is better than some of the recent titles that I played like We Ski. The games here actually had some thought put into them and they’re actually a little more original than you would suspect. Saving someone from getting eaten by a dog? I can roll with that and you certainly wouldn’t expect to see a game plot like that one in the average Wii title. Unfortunately, the game’s reliance on motion controls gets a little dicey at times. It’s probably just my remote, but the games were unwinnable so I ended up not being able to unlock 2 of the games.

As the title boldly yells, there are 20 games to be found here. That’s not a bad number if you ask me. Did you ask me? I sure hope you did because there’s my answer. Unfortunately, it looks a little less impressive than you would think since about half of the games are clones. It’s almost hard to tell at first, but when you actually think about it, you’ll quickly realize that you just did the same thing twice. The only difference was the background and the animations around you. It’s a clever trick, but one that won’t work on this blog reviewer.

Let’s talk about the minigames..or the ones that I can remember anyway. The most iconic one is definitely where you have to save a kid who has been eaten by your Dog. He’s a huge dog and is actually bigger than the player, but that just ups the stakes. You have to playfully tap him with the newspaper to distract him so you can save the other player. It’s a tricky minigame and it’s impossible if your remote’s motion controls are broken so good luck trying to beat it! Another minigame is where you have to stop the Ants/Bugs from eating the Sandwich/Cake by blasting them all to smithereens with your Ray Gun. I have a feeling that the game’s developers did not like animals, which is always regrettable. I’m fine with blasting monsters, but let’s not get ants. They mean well and just want a solid dinner. The gameplay is solid for this one though.

We’ve also got Sack racing/Trash Pulling. In these minigames, you must shake both Wii Remote and Nunchuk to move forward. Trash Pulling wouldn’t work, but I was able to beat the Sack Racing one. It’s a good exercise for your wrists, but make sure that you don’t lose since you definitely wouldn’t want to try beating it again. Trust me, it’s not in your best interests. One of the best minigames is one where you jump on a trampoline and must perform the motions and click the buttons that the screen tells you to. It’s all about reaction times and I definitely enjoy that kind of game.

The best minigame by far is one where you have to track an egg with your eyes as it goes under various plates. The game never feels like it’s cheating and you can get a very high score as long as you’ve played Super Smash a lot over the years. That’s definitely a game that I could play quite a few times. Another good minigame is one where you have to fly through the sky and collect as many fruit as possible. It’s simple as you just move back and forth, but it’s executed well and the controls are very responsive. We also can’t forget the Clothesliner/Volleyball as you try to keep your balance as you go across the stage. The controls can be a little more iffy here, but when they work it’s quite fun. This is a game that can get competitive. Another good minigame concept is the Balloon Shooter. There are two versions. One where you’re shooting balloons to save the kids and another one where you’re blasting discs in the sky. Both are good, but a little glitchy as you could have sworn that you hit the objects, but the game calmly tells you that this didn’t happen. It was probably rigged, but it’s extremely easy anyway since the A.I. is bad at those games. It’s strange, they’re amazing at some of them, but terrible at others…ah well. That’s enough game summaries, you get the jist of it. A lot of them were actually quite fun and hold up well. The controls aren’t great, but they still beats most of its rivals anyway.

I actually like the graphics quite a bit. They’re simple and to the point so they effectively illustrate what’s happening to you at all times. The characters are all presented fairly accurately compared to what you would think of when looking at a kid. The soundtrack is a little more dicey though and that’s mainly due to the sound effects. The kids are always laughing…always! There was even a glitch where they were laughing for so long that the game couldn’t load up and I had to beat it again. The game seriously needs to calm down with that as the gimmick doesn’t exactly help the game. It’s not bad and can be a little amusing I suppose, but why? That’s the question that the developers need to ask themselves before including something in.

I also don’t trust the Auto Save feature on this game. I beat most of the worlds only to find out that I had to start from scratch the next time. I don’t know why that happened, but at least the game is short. Most of the levels are 30-60 seconds long so that means you should be able to beat it all in less than 20 minutes. That’s a very short game so I feel bad for anyone who spent over 10 dollars on it. 2-5 is not that bad although even then you may want to think about this choice for a while.

There is also absolutely no replay value so don’t count on that for help. The game doesn’t even save your high scores for each game, which is a shame. (Saw what I did there?) So…what are you supposed to do? Unlocking the minigames is literally the only thing to do here. Then you’ll just be chilling with friends and to be honest this game can definitely get quite competitive. On your own…..forget about playing this. There’s no real point, the only entertainment to be had here is the entertainment of playing with a friend.

Overall, Block Party forgot to include the actual party. Seriously, you need some kind of replay value in the game or you’re just a 15 minute distraction. I guess it can be good to have for Finding Nemo load screens, but that’s about it. It’s a shame because I thought that the minigames were actually pretty decent. Surprisingly, the game actually put some effort into them. Sure, there are glitches and the controls can be unresponsive, but I feel like the game did quite well with the very limited resources at its disposal. It probably made them a quick buck and succeeded in its mission. I recommend this title if you don’t mind the fact that it’s only about 15 minutes long. It is definitely one of the best Wii party games although the console has a huge selection of them. Play the dog minigame and watch him overpower all of you! (Also be warned, not all of the games on the cover are actually included inside!!)

Overall 5/10

Rec Room Games Review

It’s time to play another game from the 5 dollar bin. I got this one for under 2 dollars so I’d say that it was a steal. It’s too bad that the game didn’t actually end up being good though. That was a bit of a let down since party games should automatically be a lot of fun. How can you mess up short mini games? All you have to do is come up with an activity that will be fun for 30-60 seconds and you have your mini game.

The game jumps you right to the mini game selection screen. All 20 of them are available from the get go and there are no other modes to look at. Literally, the only other option here is to jump to the credits and mayyybe options, but I don’t think that there are any. Seriously, you’re basically thrown to the games and there is 0 replay value. Your high scores aren’t even recorded, which is pretty odd for a game like this one. This means that unless you really like the mini games enough to play them a few times, you’ll be done with this game in an hour or less. There is nothing to keep you and it’s rare to find a game with 0 replay value, but this title pulled it off.

The graphics are decent I suppose. They didn’t put a whole lot of effort into them as you can imagine, but I wouldn’t say that they look downright bad either. I dunno, I guess it’s just hard to make a game that I think looks really bad. You’d have to put in a lot of effort to give a game that appearance and I don’t think that companies want to do such a thing. Not just yet anyway! The soundtrack is rather forgettable. It’s decent though, but I’d like some more variety. A few more tunes to keep me excited and ready for whatever comes next. Rec Room doesn’t pull that off, but why should it? This game was in the 2 dollar bin for a reason right!

In the end, the only thing to really talk about here is the mini games. I can either stretch this section out a bit or let the review end early. Hmmm, decisions decisions. Not all of the mini games are lousy, I feel like I should say this as a disclaimer. Some of them had some real potential and others actually managed to live up to that so kudos to the game. If you really think about it, this game could have gotten a quick 7 had it been on the PS3. Then again, I recently played a game with bears on the PS3 that was pretty bad so….maybe not. (That game’s still probably getting a 5-6 though)

The best mini game here by far is the Box Maze. You have to use the Wii Remote to tilt the surface of the stage as you gradually guide your ball to the correct hole. It takes skill and passion. A whole game on that could be interesting so long as it isn’t too repetitive and a plot surrounding the game is around to keep you interested. It was one of the first games that I played so I actually got a little hyped to see how the game would end up. Smack A Squirrel was also decent except for the concept, but they’re toy squirrels so that helps a bit. After all, I’ve skipped out on two Wii Games because they promoted animal violence. *shudders* The problem with this game is that your hammer is unresponsive and often times it will stop you from actually hitting the squirrel and you just tap it, which has no effect.

Then we got to some of the dicier games like Bowling. Wii Sports did a much better job with it than this game, but I’m sure that nobody is surprised at that. Good luck hitting anything with your swings! Alley Ball is another decent game. You have to flick the Wii Remote up to try and land the ball inside of the rings. The controls were surprisingly smooth for this game and it’s certainly a keeper. Disct Toss and Ring Toss sort of make each other a little redundant and likewise with Rubberband Sharpshooter. As you can imagine, throwing anything with the Wii Remote controls is a formula for failure. Table Tennis was probably the most disappointing game in the collection simply because it should have been good. Tennis should always be fun and it’s so easy to implement, but the game forgot how to make your characters miss. As long as you flail around with the Wii Remote, you can keep on returning just about every ball which leads to some very long points since the computer doesn’t want to give up either. The controls don’t hurt this one much, but are still a factor.

Darts is fairly decent, but the controls make it hard to ever hit your target. Chinese Checkers and Peg are quite similar and both of them are no fun at all. Maybe these games are better in real life, but I don’t see the appeal of moving across an empty field or just making lines until everything is gone. These titles couldn’t hold my attention. HillbillyGolf was pretty terrible and even worse than the real Golf. At this version. You throw a little baton thing and the game is really broken. Foosball is surprisingly not that good as you simply can’t control your players quickly enough to do any real damage. Back to flinging the Wii Remote around until you win!

All right, back to the fun games…or as fun as you can get here. Trashcan Basketball is fairly interesting even if you’ll never be able to hit it. You have to throw paper in a trash, but the controls are incredibly unresponsive. Good luck trying to do anything here. Tic Tac Toe Toss has some potential, although the rules are a little odd. You throw things to connect the lines and the game operates on pure chance. Air Hockey is decent. As expected, the controls hold it back a little, but it still manages to be decently fun.

Table Hockey is a lot of fun and actually has a semblance of skill and effort as you try to score. Controlling your players is as difficult as in Foosball, but it’s more fun and actually feels real. Dodgeball is another one of the best games and I may have to actually dethrown Box Maze. Yes, I changed my mind during the review, but I forgot about Dodgeball. This is why it’s good to have the game’s cover in front of me! I made a monster comeback in my first attempt at the game so you can bet that I will not be forgetting it! I didn’t talk about all of the games, but I mentioned most of them. There are 20 in total, so feel free to play them all! (It’s all you can do here anyway)

Overall, Rec Room Games is not my idea of a fun time and odds are that it’s not yours either. Most of the games are simply not balanced correctly so some are too long while others make you wonder how they’re supposed to be fun. There are some enjoyable games here, but considering how long it takes you to beat them, you can still get bored in 30 minutes quite easily. With no high scores to think of, replaying the minigames by yourself or with friends is the only thing to do. This lack of replay value is what ultimately made me decide to give the game a 4 instead of a 5. It was close and the games are good enough to get a 5, but the title just feels lazy and that’s inexcusable for any video game title! I do not recommend this game, even for 2 dollars you could….well, maybe you can still get this game. It’ll still get you your money’s worth, but maybe you should just get a Pepperoni Pizza at one of the dollar shops where it’ll cost you 1:50. Then you can save the other 50 cents for your insurance. No worries folks, I’ll be reviewing more bargain bin games soon!

Overall 4/10

M&M’s Kart Racing Review

I’ll admit that this was a title that I have been wanting to buy for some time now. Who here didn’t grow up with the famous M&M candies? They were and still are awesome. I feel like having a bag of them right now. They’re just sooo good. Well, that was one of the reasons why I wanted this game, but I also noticed that the reviews for it were rather negative. I like games that tend to get poor scores (especially on the Wii) and I like the M&M’s so throwing in the racing genre was an added bonus. It was about as good as I had expected although it should have been 4 players.

There’s not really a plot in this game so you’ll probably just jump into the tournament mode. There is only one tournament, but it is over 10 races long so it should last you a good 30-40 minutes. The first stages were pretty dicey, but the backgrounds get more interesting during the later levels. You actually get to go to space as well as a chocolate mountain. That sounds pretty fun right? Most of the levels are around 2-5 minutes so they shouldn’t take you very long to complete. One of the levels was especially funny since it’s basically just a generic circle as you follow the road and there’s no danger of bumping into anything. You can just coast along and chuckle at your brilliance.

There’s not much to say about the gameplay. You accelerate with one of the buttons and then you head for the goal. There is only one item in this game and it takes the form of a cup of tea. (It looks like tea anyway) If you run over it, your character will get a slight boost in speed, but your kart will also start shaking a lot so it’s a gamble. It’s great on the easy stages without many turns, but it’s typically not worth it on the earlier levels.

I liked the final 5 stages much more than the first 5 ones. The main reason is that the camera is pretty bad and you won’t be able to see where you’re going until it’s too late. I crashed quite a few times on those levels, but I still managed to squeak out a first place finish every time….except for one level. It was a boat level and I got stuck for so long that I was firmly in last. I quickly redid the level and nailed it, but it’s nice to know that the computers do have a little fight in them. My recommendation to beat the camera is to put on the brakes a lot and keep your foot off the gas when you see any kind of turn approaching.

Don’t worry folks, this isn’t the next Casper! Once you beat the Tournament there is still one thing to do. You have to keep on racing the levels over and over again until you get enough coins to get every kart with every character. It shouldn’t take too long since 30 races will be enough to get enough coins for one character so you just need to enter the tournament like 20 times. Of course, that’s the long way. The best way is to just find the level with the most coins and keep on playing it until you have them all. I’ll probably attempt this someday……if video games stop coming out. I have too much on my plate to worry about this at the moment so it’s going to have to take a back seat.. (Smash Bros on the 21st, DBZ early next year, Big Naruto game late next year…etc)

I got enough coins to unlock one or two cars for the blue (or yellow) M&M and that’s good enough for me at the moment. You can tell that the game was made rather quickly due to the lack of replay value. There really isn’t anything else to do in single player mode and that’s where the multiplayer mode comes in. This is the kind of game that will only have a lot of replay value if you have someone to play it with. The gameplay definitely pales in comparison to the other racing titles, but it’s not that bad when you’re actually playing it. It’s actually fun and you just don’t want to play it in super large batches. As long as you keep this in mind…you’re set! Of course, one flaw in the multiplayer mode is the fact that it only goes up to 2 players. In this day and age, that’s a little unacceptable. It’s the kind of game that would be perfect for 4 players so I don’t see why they didn’t do that. It would be hard to see where you’re going, but that’s already the case in single player mode.

The graphics are definitely not that good. They are better than some of the other Wii games from the bottom of the barrel, but they’re definitely not the next Mario Galaxy. I would actually compare the graphics to some of the older DS games like Alex Rider. While you are going through the course, it’s usually still loading. So, you’ll see parts of the wall not be there in one moment and then they’ll suddenly appear. You’re simply going too fast for the actual game to keep up so the animations are a step behind. It’s a pretty bad sign to be honest, but it’s mostly just hilarious. I imagine that there are a ton of glitches here just waiting to be found.

There’s not really much of a soundtrack here. I seriously don’t recall any specific themes during the races. Maybe I was too excited to notice them, but I’m assuming that they were just unmemorable. I quickly turned on the game as I was writing this review so at least get the theme song (And my stats post) ready to go and it’s not bad. It’s just ultimately generic so you will forget it instantly. I should also mention that the loading times can be rather long so you should hope that you don’t dislike the music since you will be listening to it a whole lot. There is no opening or ending cinematic in the game for beating the tournament so there’s no chance for music at those points.

Finally, you can rest assured that this game does provide each character with a few taunts. Feel free to use them while racing since it won’t slow you down and the voice acting may cause your opponent to crash into a wall while they try to cover their ears. The M&M’s are very sure of themselves and you should hear how confidently they insult the others. The character designs did make me pick the blue (or yellow) one by default since they all looked pretty bad, but at least they mean business. It should be noted that while you are driving at over 200mph, the gameplay speed is very slow. You’re basically going through the stage as if you were on a real toy cart. Since some of the stages are only about 2 minutes, this means that the scenery is pretty limited. (30-40 seconds per lap after all) So, that can be interesting, but maybe it just makes the game more strategic.

Overall, M&M’s Kart Racing won’t last for very long, but it’s not an unpleasant experience. I may not actually play it again until around Christmas, (If at all) but I knew what I was getting when I bought it. It was a little over the usual 5 dollars that I’m willing to shell out for a game, but I knew that it was worth it. If you are going to use the multiplayer option then feel free to add an extra number to the score and if you’re by yourself, then you may want to keep it as you see it. I had a tough time deciding whether this game deserved a 5 or a 6, but I went with the latter in the end. After all, the game is still entertaining and there is a little replay value thanks to the coin collecting. I would sooner recommend Mario Kart 8 or F Zero GX, but this is a fun title if you’re looking for a Wii Racing game that you can get for a few bucks. How can you go wrong with eatable main characters? Also, don’t fall for the hype! There are 15 levels, not 10. Everyone reports it as 10 and it’s the most false advertising that I’ve seen in a while. It’s good for the game not to spoil the secret levels, but everyone else should catch on. We don’t want to underscore the game now do we?

Overall 6/10