In a world
where some things are what they seem (parents are parents) and other things
are the complete opposite of what they seem (your child is secretly a boy
genius), one can expect a certain number of chaotic events to occur. Such is
the case with The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Attack of the
Twonkies. As you can imagine the twonkies are coming, and they aren’t very
tactful about who they attack in a timely manner. In other words, it’s time
for the Boy Genius to step out of his scientific bedroom, grab his robotic
dog, and head out into the world of make-believe danger.
Attack of the Twonkies was designed for PlayStation 2 and was not released too
long after the previous game, Jet Fusion, it’s no surprise that the gameplay
engine is virtually the same. You may notice graphical differences if you look
really close, but as far as the gameplay is concerned, this version is more of
necessarily a bad thing for fans of the series. Jimmy Neutron might be silly
at times, but in a game world he’s more connected with his inventions, just as
you are more connected with him.
For those of
you who missed the last game, Attack of the Twonkies’s control scheme relies
heavily on the action/adventure style. Movement is done with the left analog
stick and is sensitive to a few degrees (push the stick lightly for the
slowest movement; push it all the way for the fastest movement). This is
standard for action/adventures, as is the X button being assigned to the jump
the Cheese Gobbies give Jimmy something to snack on inbetween twonkie attacks.
They heal his health, while batteries recharge his gadgets. This begs the
question: what’s in his arsenal this time? Nothing violent, but anyone who’s
seen the show would know that. Despite wanting to be good and pure (yeah
right), Jimmy needs something vigorous enough to suck the life out of his
enemies. What better way to do so than by using a vacuum? The Vacuum
Demodulating Reciprocator, to be exact. Also known as the VDR, this weapon
catches twonkies with perfect precision.
notable Attack of the Twonkies weapon is the Sheenograph, which emits an
annoying, screaming sound to hurt enemy ears. I know what you’re thinking –
American Idols sing the blues. Thankfully that’s not this game’s idea of a
painful, screaming sound. You really do hear a screaming sound, and like the
game says, it is annoying.
the Twonkies is somewhat held back by the game’s desire to tell you a story
and explain what needs to be done next. Both of those things are integral to a
game, especially one geared toward children. However, the most fun, addictive
and effective games find a way to tell its story and list the objectives
without being obtrusive. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: most kids,
especially those who love videogames, do not want to read. They don’t want to
sit around and click through messages. They want to get inside the game and
examine its finest details. Kids who become annoyed with the introductory
objectives will never get to that point if they stop playing.
held back by long story sequences and repetitious gameplay. Once again I am at
a loss for words. Is this really what kids want? You can justify movies, but
repetition is hardly justifiable. Parents buy the games most children play,
which might be part of the problem. If you see your child losing interest in a
$50 game the week after you purchased it, pay attention to the reasons why. It
likely has more to do with your child’s disappointment with the game than
anything else. More often than not, your child isn’t losing interest in their
Xbox, GameCube or PS2, just the types of games that he/she is playing.
Attack of the Twonkies, whether you’re young or old, you must have two
criteria: (1) an interest in/love for Jimmy Neutron and (2) an interest in
playing through a Jimmy Neutron game regardless of what it throws at you.
Surely this audience is out there. Personally I wanted something out of the
ordinary, something that took Jimmy’s clever inventions and made a game with
unique mechanics. The game we got was not entirely disappointing, it just
wasn’t as exciting, as addictive, or as unique as I had hoped.
If you’ve played
Jet Fusion, you’ve played Attack of the Twonkies. Not officially, but most
definitely in spirit. Most of the tasks are similar if not the same, from the
good ones to the menial ones, and even the ones that make you say, "Did they
have to include that?" Parts of it are decent, parts of it are enjoyable, but
the rest of the experience is just barely above lackluster status. Combine the
elements and you have a below-average game with not nearly enough going for
Good stuff: Jimmy
Neutron and friends look like Jimmy Neutron and friends. The characters have
been rendered in polygons (as most games are), creating a good match for his
Generic backgrounds, sup-par lip-synching, grainy/faded environments. The
animation isn’t too spectacular either.
Voice work from
the Boy Genius. You could file this under "nothing spectacular," but that
folder’s already stuffed.
This is somewhat
of a kid’s game, so don’t be surprised if you waste the twonkies faster than
you can eat a twinkie. Now that I think about it, that might not be a bad
never fear! Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius is here! And he’s brought along an
average game with some promising gameplay. It’s too bad you have to pass the
boring parts to get to them. Like watching a half-decent movie with a few good
scenes that you must see. That’s what this game is like if you’re a Jimmy
Neutron fan. The rest of you may be hoping for something along the lines of
SpongeBob: Battle for Bikini Bottom or The Fairly Odd Parents, two games that
can be enjoyed regardless of whether or not you’re a fan. Attack of the
Twonkies just isn’t that good.