Amazing Island – GC – Review

You heard me, I have to turn in my
official "Fonzie" badge next week because I could not make a cool looking
monster in a game aimed at ten year olds.

You see, it seems that my character
(Andy) has a pure heart, and because of that pure heart I was whisked away to
Amazing Island through the magic of a book appropriately titled "The Secrets Of
The Amazing Island".  That being said, the residents of Amazing Island, The
Maboo Tribe have been hoping that one as pure as I (Andy really, personally I’m
not that nice) would come to the island and stop the dark magician "Black Evil". 
Being that Andy is such a swell eleven year old, he sets off in his quest to
free the temporarily possessed Maboo Tribe members and stop Black Evil.   

Did I mention that your main
character is eleven years old?  I did, well since most eleven year olds
aren’t that tough, the Maboo tribe show Andy how to create monsters endowed with
Andy’s pure heart, in essence, good monsters.  The purpose of these
creations is so Andy can morph with them and race around the island competing in
different series of events.  The events are essentially mini-games that
involve throwing fireballs, running sprints, doing long jumps.  Kind of a
monster Olympics if you will.  If you can finish each event with a score
that lands you in the top five, then you continue on.  After completing
enough events, you eventually will go head to head against a possessed Maboo
tribe member.  Beating that member will free him/her from its eviling
parasite and return them to the Maboo village.  When you return, the tribe
member typically can be spoken to and will advance the game forward.  It is
a pretty simple game all around and I felt like I was being led around by my
nose.  Not necessarily a bad thing mind you, the game has a younger target
audience.  

Screen Shot for Amazing Island

Nintendo has always been a big fan
of bright colors and sweet characters.  Amazing Island is no different. 
The game looks like a Saturday morning cartoon fest with sugary cereal heaped on
it.  I actually remember thinking that if anything the games visuals are
almost too saccharine sweet.  Bright hues jump off the screen, full vibrant
colors are everywhere and somebody must have gotten a deal on the color blue at
the warehouse.  Very child friendly visuals abound here people. 
Monsters are all over in the game and not a single one of them could be called
unfriendly looking.  I was reminded of all the Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh
cartoons that my son loves so much.  

Screen Shot for Amazing Island

The music too is very upbeat and the
music that plays in the background seems to keep the game’s pace going forward. 
Special effect sounds were strong enough, and the explosions and smashes that
some of the events elicited came through my speakers effectively. 
Actually, I found myself surprised at how some of the sounds worked, a pleasant
surprise.

Back to the game, Andy, has
completed several tours of the island’s game courses and collected various
items.  In fact, now Andy can create more monsters and start having his own
stable of critters.  Collecting items will help his monster out for certain
events, like using the speed icon when readying for a sprint-like event. 
It all helps, as I usually found myself finishing 4th or 5th in most events. 
Sadly, it seemed to me that there was too much running around between competing
in the actual events.  Personally I wished there was more of the games and
less of the talking.  


Review Scoring Details

Gameplay: 7.5
It’s fairly easy to play, and the button mashing craziness of some of the events
reminded me of the old arcade Decathlon games.

Graphics: 7.4
Bright, bright kid friendly graphics.  Not quite cell-shading but very
cartoon-like visuals that made me feel like I’d been eating candy all day long.  

Sound: 8.0
It surprised me, the level of noise that was coming out of my surround sound
system.  I didn’t have 5.1 surround sound but I really liked the thick
sound that came out of my front speakers.  

Difficulty: Medium
Surprisingly, it is quite difficult to take first place in the events that pop
up.  You never really feel lost since the game isn’t very complicated, but
I’ll be dipped if I just could not finish a course with all first place
finishes.  Good luck.

Concept: 7.9
Years ago, there was a game made called Mail Order Monsters where you got to
design a monster and add all sorts of DNA additions and weapons.  The game
reminded me of that on some base levels and made me long for a game like this
that was aimed more at older gamers.

Multiplayer: 7.0
You can have friends over and go head to head in the 30 mini-games that are
available, but chances are, you will tire of them after an hour.  The
originality of the games seems to repeat itself after a while and in reality
only about half of them are desired.

Overall: 7.1
While the sum of the whole is not equal to the sum of its parts, the game has
some good qualities that kids will enjoy.  The game is creation driven and
making new goofy monsters will appeal to most and the sport like games will
please those parents who want a less violent title for their young children.