reviews\ Aug 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension Review


To be honest, I’m more appreciative of the cartoons that stemmed from my youth than most of today’s fare, mainly because the stuff that comes oozing out of our TV’s these days seems more commercialized than inventive. There are exceptions to the rule, however. Among them is Disney’s Phineas and Ferb, a show about two goof-offs who refuse to spend their summer days doing the same old thing. Instead, they go off on the kind of adventures usually reserved for the likes of Calvin and Hobbes – or some other inventive duo.

Their exploits have carried over well to Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension for the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii. While the PS3 edition has a slight advantage with four episodes and better high-definition visuals packed onto the disc, we were sent the Wii version for this review. Relax – this is by no means a heavy negative. In fact, this is one of the more entertaining romps we’ve had the pleasure of popping into our Nintendo console.

Part of the fun of Phineas and Ferb’s game is that it never really does the same thing for too long. One minute you’re platforming across an alternate version of Danville (one loaded with the kind of gelatin that would give Bill Cosby nightmares), and the next you’re using a baseball launcher to fend off an invading armada of robots. Then there are puzzles, sliding segments, more platforming – it all mixes together into a wild, whimsical little ride (one that doesn’t quite follow the typical convention of licensed cartoon fare), and that really works to the game’s advantage.

Disney and High Impact Games have taken great care of their franchise with Across the 2nd Dimension, not only keeping things lively, but also entertaining. Kids and adults are bound to have a lot of fun with this one, even if the older players never quite get what Dr. Doofenshmirtz wants to do with an otherdimensionator in the first place – he’s bored, he’s a scientist, you get the gist. What’s more, you can either go at it solo or have a friend jump in (or drop out) at any time through very supportive co-op. It’s fun seeing Phineas and Ferb team up. Other characters – including the mighty Agent P – are unlockable.

Along with interesting gameplay change-ups, Across the 2nd Dimension also features superb presentation – as far as the Wii goes, anyway. The level design is intuitive while also being fun, and the animation is pretty good. What’s more, the sound effects lend to the proceedings as well, never going beyond their cartoon boundaries, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If Across the 2nd Dimension does have one major negative, it’s just that it’s too darn easy to finish. We plowed through the game in a matter of hours, not even feeling that slight sense of challenge. Had Disney pushed the envelope just a little bit, making certain bosses tougher instead of a cakewalk, we would’ve had the kind of licensed classic that others could live up to, no matter what console it was on.

Phineas and Ferb will just have to put up with being good, because that’s what Across the 2nd Dimension truly is. The genius-induced stage set-up, slick presentation, and enjoyable co-op tactics make this an ideal way to end the summer with a bang.


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