Brave: A Warrior’s Tale (Wii)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Monday, December 14, 2009

Graphics: 6.50
Sound: 6.50
Gameplay: 5.00
Replays: 1.00
Gamelength: 3.00

“Brave: A Warrior’s Tale” is likely to scare away even it’s intended younger audience.

Platforming action video games have been around since the dawn of gaming way back in the proverbial day. Just about every developer in the world has made an attempt to create a new game of this age-old genre. Many have tried, many have failed and despite that, the genre is far from dead. In this latest effort, Collision Studios tried their best to create a child-friendly experience not entirely unlike the Zelda series. At least, not on paper. The result, however, is a clunky mess that never realizes it’s full potential. That in mind, gather around the fire for some good old-fashioned story time in “Brave: A Warrior’s Tale” for the Nintendo Wii.

At first glance, this game doesn’t really seem all that bad. I mean, the graphics are surely far from terrible, especially through the eyes of a younger gamer. The younger audience will surely get a kick out of the bright colors and cartoon-like art design. Decent as the graphics may be, the problems kick in shortly after the game begins. That stuff is for later, though!

With decent voice acting and a slew of upbeat sound effects, the sound quality matches the visual experience. As such, this is a game that comes across like a television show. So, again, younger gamers should enjoy what they hear. At least, for the most part. Parents and other older gamers, however, are likely to be driven mad by some of the overly repetitious sound effects.

“Brave: A Warrior’s Tale” is, as the title implies, a simple story of a tribal warrior. Using that basic design, it’s as simple as playing through different parts of the stories as they’re told by the older warrior to other people. This story honestly feels like a bit of a half-job, but it gets the job done and, for all intents and purpose, it’s not absolutely terrible. It’s just lacking any real substance.

All elements are in place. The opening cutscene plays and the game throws you into the action. At that point, this actually seems like a decent game. However, those expectations and hopes fade away very quickly.

This game is simple to control. For the most part, everything is as simple as pressing a button or moving the Wiimote in a very simple way. Things become very unresponsive from time to time, though. It becomes a real headache when such simple actions as a basic series of easy jumps start to feel clunky. It’s almost as if the game has an on/off switch for the clunky controls, with a mind of it’s own.

The level design is generally straight-forward with very minimal confusion, especially with the over informative minimap. There are a ton of marks on the minimap that literally show you what to do, eliminating any possible confusion, which is yet again great for the younger audience, but not so much for experienced gamers.

So, with a child-friendly audiovisual experience and minimal confusion with straight-forward level design, I bet you’re wondering exactly why this game is so bad. Well, let’s get to it.

Aside from the sometimes terrible controls, the game has a few other serious issues.

First of all, the game is far too short and has absolutely no replay value. Unless the player is literally a 4 year-old with absolutely no gaming experience, this is likely to be a 5 or 6 hour game.

Next, the previously mentioned control problems really ruin the experience. The game literally seems to mess with the player sometimes, taking away any sort of fluidity for what seems to be no good reason. I don’t know if this is just a side effect of the Wiimote or just bad game design, but there are plenty of other games out there with perfect motion controls. In short, it comes across as bad game design.

Finally, everything is far too simplistic and never feels quite rewarding enough to justify..well, anything. Yes, you unlock new weapons and even magic, but everything is very artificial. Most of the spells and weapons don’t really add any truly game-altering mechanics. It just seems like pointless eye candy.

Under normal circumstances, those things may not be deal breakers. The problem is, this game just isn’t fun. These problems, when combined, are a lethal combination that can only result in frustration, boredom and ultimately, a serious waste of money.

Unless there’s absolutely no other option, this is one story that’s better left untold.

Overall Rating: 4.50

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