Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay

Lets be honest, videogame movie tie-ins are, for the most part, pretty shit. There are rules to the exception though of course, with the likes of King Kong, The Warriors, Spider-Man 2 and Golden Eye 007 being the very few that managed to live up to their source material. But as I said, for the most part they're shit. So when this latest title popped up on my radar I wasn't exactly dying to get stuck into it. Granted I wasn't a massive fan of the film Big Hero 6, but purely based on the fact that it was a videogame tie-in, I just couldn't be arsed playing it. But I did and I'm not surprised to report that, yeah, it's pretty shit.

Developed by 1st Playable Productions and out now on Nintendo 3DS and DS comes Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay, a game that is essentially just a bog standard scrolling beat 'em up with Big Hero 6 characters plastered over it. The story takes place after the events of the blockbuster movie, and once again focuses on 14-year old whizz kid Hiro Hamada and his sidekick, the loveable robot Baymax. Though I doubt that this will be considered canon by the time a Big Hero 6 sequel rears its head, it nonetheless follows on from the film and bases itself around a sizeable robot attack on the city of San Fransokyo. With the robots dealing significant damage to the city, the responsibility of kicking their collective metal asses falls to Hiro, Baymax and their super-powered friends. The set up is pretty mundane and typical, but in both of those respects the gameplay follows suit.

Gameplay in Battle in the Bay is incredibly, incredibly linear. Taking place over 20 levels, your goal during each mission is to essentially wipe out the enemies on screen and reach the end of a level. At its heart, that's it. Seriously. But while even a fantastic game could be ultimately boiled down to saying “Press X to win”, Battle in the Bay is just taking the piss. Firstly, when not fighting you simple just have to navigate through an incredibly basic level, which more often than not completely takes place on one direct path. There aren't any secret passages or alternative routes through this sprawling city, no, just one linear, boring and lazy path to certain victory. These platforming sections are just plain lame, and combat doesn't fare any better as that's when the game truly shows how simplistic it is.

Combat is basically a lesson in button mashing, and even still not a very good one. From jumping around and mashing the Y button to simple spamming the hugely overpowered special attacks, it would be an understatement to say that there's no skill involved here. What's worse is that through Battle in the Bay you're able to control various  other characters seen in the movie. Each one has their very own unique power, and while you may assume that they'd control and feel completely different than Hiro, you'd be wrong. Aside from visuals, each of the additional characters don't really change how the gameplay feels- even with added characters to play as the game feels like it's running over the same ground! Unforgivable.

Visually it looks like an early Nintendo DS game, and with certain visuals looking particularly jagged, often feels like you're playing a GameBoy Advance game. It ain't pretty, and while I do appreciate that 1st Playable Productions have tried to nail the look and feel of the movie, especially in each levels backgrounds, the gameplay utterly fails to impress or innovate in any way. But hey, maybe I'm too old for a game like this, and maybe it's for those kids who loved Big Hero 6, right? No. Plainly put, it's a shit game with the Big Hero 6 characters pasted over it. Kids aren't dumb. They'll see through that. Alternatively, buy them either Animal Crossing: New Leaf, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds or Pokemon X & Y. You know, something good.

Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay is a heap of junk and gets a 1/5.


Denis Murphy

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