reviews\ Nov 19, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Bionicle: Matoran Adventures - GBA - Review

Mata Nui is still threatened. The Bohrok is ever present and only through the combined strength of the Matoran and Turaga can good prevail.

If you are totally confused by the characters and locations, then you haven’t played Bionicle before. This Electronic Arts, Lego Interactive and Argonaut Games’ release for the GameBoy Advance is an arcade adventure that takes place on a tropical island. The Matoran and Turaga look like tiny warriors wearing big mask. The path to victory, which takes place in vertical and horizontal two-dimensional mapboards, is fraught with monsters and puzzles. Some of the puzzles are right up the Matoran’s ally, while you will need to call on the skills of the Turaga to get through.

The Matoran islanders and Turaga elders are in a continuing quest to defeat the evil-spirit brother (Makuta) of the island’s namesake. Makuta has unleashed the Bohrok, which are destroying everything in their path.

The game begins in a jungle setting with a Matoran. After a very simple exercise in vertical game play, the Matoran teams with a Turaga, and the duo continue the adventure. There are, of course, power-ups to be collected, and a variety of beasts to overcome. You can use the Matoran’s throwing disk, or the elemental power of the Turaga to clear the path. Should you fail, and incur too much damage, you begin anew at the start of the level.

Switching between the two characters is quite simple. In fact, the player interface of this game is very player friendly. The L and R buttons allow you to switch the order of your heroes, while the B button is for using the weapon, and the A button is for jumping. The D-pad controls avatar movement.

The game itself sports six regions or Wahi, including jungle, desert, ice fields, swamps and volcanic areas, with three boss levels. You can also uncover secret characters, and create new parties. There are six Matoran to choose from but all six have identical abilities. There are also six Turaga, with varying abilities. In addition to the Bohrok, there are Rahi to fight. The Rahi are the creatures of Mata Nui who have been infected by masks and serve Makuta.

This is strange world, and while Bionicle certainly has some charm and innovative ideas when it comes to the world, in other regards, it is an average arcade-adventure.

The sound is typical of the platform, and the graphics are two-dimensional though lush and bright. The animation is solid. This is a game that has a variety of puzzles to be solved and monsters to be overcome in a linear march from point A to point B.

While the game is solid and a pleasant diversion, it fails to rise above the average in terms of game play.

This game is rated for Everyone.


Gameplay: 7
The mapboards are horizontal and vertical-based, and not overly large. There are challenges that you must figure out but this is not an overly complex game.

Graphics: 7
The environments are well rendered, but the game is rather flat and the animation offers nothing that is innovative or new.

Sound: 6.5
The sound elements of this game are merely average for the platform.

Difficulty: Easy
The game interface is nicely designed for ease of access, and the control elements don’t require much of a learning curve.

Concept: 7.5
The game has a nice little twist on the typical plot of evil bent on destroying the world. The Polynesian-sounding names are intriguing and the game’s use of switching your avatars’ order is nice.

Overall: 7.2
This is a game that will lure younger players with its action style, while older players may hunger for something a little more challenging. The graphical elements are typical of a two-dimensional arcade-adventure game. The game does have some nice aspects, but not enough to carry it to the top of the genre.  


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