Just a fare warning to the readers. Unlike my previous reviews I have decided to try and take a new approach to how I talk about games. Just to try to liven things up and keep it a bit fresh. Instead of talking about the game normally, I asked a few of the fellow staff to ask me questions about the game. So I will be answering their questions, and would like to add to the list of questions as time goes on. So if you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability.
So for the first question let’s start with David.
David: “Is Spyborgs a game or is it based on a cartoon show? Also, are they more of spies that happen to be cyborgs or are they cyborgs that learn to be spies?”
During the early development of the game I met with Daryl Allison the producer on Spyborgs and he told me that the game was that originally planned as an interactive Saturday morning cartoon. Yet that was originally scrapped and turned into an old school brawler platformer. That is based more on a RPG level system where you can improve your character as you progress through the story.
As for if they are spies that happen to be cyborgs? I would think that tends to be somewhat true, as the game seems to be built in a technological future. However, not everyone is cybernetic, as each character has a different level of technological enhancements. Bouncer, the brute of the game is almost fully robot, Stinger who is somewhat like a Bionic Commando, and Clandestine is a Ninja who has slight enhancements. So they are spies with enhancements.
Alexis: “How does the story compare to other games in the genre?”
The game was originally planned as an interactive Saturday morning cartoon, and was originally scrapped down to a ‘beat ’em up’. When you boot up Spyborgs for the first time and jump into the story you are introduced to two characters Clandestine and Stinger. Stinger was apparently knocked unconscious during the last mission, when someone named Jackal attacked their team. As the game progresses through the ‘Episodes’, chapters of the game, you uncover more about the Spyborg organization and who exactly Jackal is.
While it’s not an epic on par with Homer’s Odyssey, it has a story far beyond what normal ‘beat ’em up’. Usually a ‘beat ’em up’s’ have a story where something is taken, or your girlfriend gets kidnapped. This is not the case with Spyborgs.
Jack: “What is something cool that I can do while playing Spyborgs that I cannot do somewhere else?”
There is a team attack system that allows you to start a group combo on a targeted enemy. This is of course done via motion control inputs. These attacks get bigger and more stylized as the game progresses depending on the enemy and how much you focus your points into special attacks.
Yet the unique thing about Spyborgs, next to the team attack system, is that it finally solved the that issue with your partner robbing all the health items. In Spyborgs when your partner accidentally collects the crate the healing item in it, when at or near full health, the remainder of the health item with transfer to your team mate. Finally ending the need to strangle your friend cause he grabbed the last pizza you needed before the boss fight.
Another unique element is that there is no “lives” system, when your team mate dies you can clear the round of enemies in that area and have your team mate spawn afterwards (with a quarter or more health). Allowing you to work through levels without worrying about dying. However, each level is part of an Episode, so if you both die on that level you have to repeat it from the beginning.
Zac: “The most important question when reviewing a Wii game: How’s the waggle?”
Spyborgs doesn’t fall into the pit of obscene ‘waggle’ controls, and it really stands out as a good game because of that. You are not required to make you use of the motion controls, because simple and normal attacks can be executed from simple button presses. The game can be played as a simple button pushing game, that is until you want to pull of special move or use perform a team attack.
Even then its simplistic movements, you move the Wii Remote or Nunchuck from your waist to your upper arm and a quick motion, or you did the same thing with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck from your chest outward in a thrusting motion. To pull off the special moves. Even outside combat there are a few areas where you must use your “spy vision” to find cloaked items using the IR sensor. When do you do find the item you press A and swing in and upload motion. It’s simplistic and easy, there, really is not any frustrating ‘waggle’ problems.
For those of you are wondering these items are usually crates full of health, special, or experience points. While you can occasionally find a machine to operate part of a level, or a secret tape that unlocks bonuses.
Overall, when you start to compare Spyborgs to the ‘beat ’em up’ type games of the past, you can really start to see how this game stands out as the best of the genre. The game can be a mixture of challenging and easy depending on how you play. Final Bosses are huge and mean, yet you can easily learn how to destroy them through pattern learning, similar to the old days. Health, Combo, and experience sharing helps you work as a team and not have to fight over enemy kills or items.
I have to say that if you are a fan of beat ’em up games of the past this is a breath of fresh air.
Based on a review copy provided by the Publisher/Developer.
More screen shots and informative webisodes are available on page three.