The Incredibles – XB – Review

As if on cue, a major movie cartoon is released on
the public and the videogame tie-ins are right behind.  The Incredibles is a
fantastic and well done animated picture that incorporates everything right
about super heroes (with a great comic bend). 
If you know the movie, then you know the game. 
Mr. Incredible and his wife (Elastigirl) were superheroes 15 years ago.  But a
lawsuit happy public forced them to retire and assume new "regular" folk
identities.  Now, Mr. Incredible is known as Bob, and he longs for his days of
action and two fisted justice and thanks to the re-emergence of a super
powered villain, the government has called Bob out of retirement.

From a gameplay stance, the Incredibles does offer
some interesting possibilities.  Playing as the family of super heroes, you
are treated to four different styles of gameplay.  Mr. Incredible is super
strong, so expect some heavy lifting and big melee action.  Mrs. Incredible is
elastic so she does all sort of swinging and stretch attacks, Violet the
Daughter has invisibility and shield powers so her levels are more stealth
based.  And Dash, the son with the super speed.  Dash’s levels were amongst my
favorite as he burns through his levels in an almost "Sonic the Hedgehog type
velocity.  And of considerable note, the family can combine their powers to do
special attacks that are more then a little bit clever.  Now the varying
gameplay styles was a welcome addition and I really enjoyed some of the
levels.  But… the controls just weren’t as tight as they should have been. 
The responsiveness just didn’t seem as sharp as it should have been.  The
simple attacks are just that, simple.  It should be noted that the game is
played from the 3rd person perspective with a dynamic camera.  But the regular
host of problems do come out and will inevitably frustrate you on more then
one occasion.
The deja vu feeling will be crossing your mind
fairly often as there is some repetition in the game.  And that repetition is
one of the game’s worst problems.  Too often it seems like you have fought
this guy or the level seems too familiar or whatever.  It’s this, that keeps
the Incredibles firmly planted in mediocrity.  No other Pixar movie could
spell out a videogame better then The Incredibles, but just having a strong
license is not enough for a strong game.  Since the game has you acting out
the tasks in the movie (loosely) there isn’t enough action in a less then two
hour movie to make an eight hour game (that’s roughly how long it will take
you to beat it).  So the real question is, why didn’t they just make an
entirely original adventure using the character’s from the movie?  I am almost
certain that this will be the next sequel in Pixar’s library.  What better way
to introduce character’s the movie’s creators might want to see in a future

Now, having come off HALO 2, I was afraid
that games might all look a little limp for a while.  But fortunately, The
Incredibles does have some nice graphics.  The in game cutscenes are fairly
strong interpretations of the movie and the action sequences also do the title
justice.  There is a nice cache of bright colors and dark hues that compliment
the game nicely in a cartoonish way.  And even Dash’s levels come across
nicely at a steady 60 fps.  I still am trying to figure out what Mrs.
Incredible is grabbing onto while she swings around.
The audio is also done well, THQ apparently
couldn’t afford to get the original actors to voice the game, but they did
get competent replacements.  Decent voice work is another compliment to the
game as is the audio music.  I wouldn’t stand up and cheer for it, but I never
turned it down or off either.
You know, as I look back on this review, it would
appear that the game is pretty good.  But I don’t exactly want you to get that
out of this review.  So let me add the last blurb of information to solidify
your decision on whether or not you want to purchase it.
The Incredibles, never really busts out of its
shell like I wanted it to.  I think that older kids and adults will play it
for a while, but will be bogged down by its repetition.  I actually was
talking to myself while playing the game and questioning why this game
shouldn’t have been better.  It’s all there.  A cool little superhero family
and what should have been an original adventure.  But the decent graphics and
audio don’t outweigh the cumbersome controls and blah execution.   I suspect
younger kids 10 and under will get some playtime out of it but even so, I
imagine only a small, select few will see the end of this title.

Review Scoring Details

Gameplay: 6.5

Nice that there are several ways to play the game,
but the levels get awfully familiar.  I wanted more originality in the
execution.  Controls need revamping.
Graphics: 7.3
Above average graphics.  I love Dash and his speed
demon levels.  It was neat to see Bob pick up massive objects and blast them
through a wall or enemies.  Nice use of horizon.  The cursed camera glitches
do pop up and will tick you off.
Audio: 7.1
Decent, ample voice work, but after seeing the
movie, it just felt a little.. off.  Some fairly humorous one liners. 
Difficulty: Easy
It’s just not hard for anyone over 13.
Concept: 6.2
This category would have scored so much higher if
the developers would have come up with some better scenarios for the family to
get tumbled up in.  Super hero games aren’t new, but with such a fresh spin on
things with the movie, I think it would have worked better if that same
freshness was unleashed in the game.
Overall: 6.9
I said it best in my last paragraph.  I wanted
more, but didn’t get it.  This might be a must buy for the rare gamer.  But
the average nine year old will stop playing after a while and go back to
something else.