The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian (DS)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Graphics: 2.00
Sound: 3.00
Gameplay: 3.00
Replays: 1.00
Gamelength: 5.00

Fall Line Studio’s “The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian” for the Nintendo DS suffers from the classic curse of bad movie-to-game conversions.

“The Chronicles Of Narnia” is a wonderful series of books with wonderful movie conversions thus far. Even the first game was pretty good, although the first game was far from amazing. Even still, for a movie-based video game, I had pretty high expectations. I was expecting a slightly above average game, but what did I actually get? Come to the world of Narnia with me and let’s find out in “The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian” for the Nintendo DS.

If you’ve seen the movie of the same title, you know the story. Prince Caspian’s uncle is trying to kill him so his son can become the next prince, so Prince Caspian has to gather all sorts of creatures and the children from the first movie to fight back and eventually foil his uncle’s plans once and for all. There’s not a lot of flare here and while the movie and book both rock, the storytelling in this version of the game feels dull and boring.

The second of many things that are wrong with this game is the graphic design. In a few words, this game is extremely ugly. There is absolutely no excuse for a DS title based on such a big ticket movie and endorsed by Disney to look this bad. This game should, in theory, look wonderful. It’s not like there was a small budget or a lack of advertisement. So why does everything look like bad 2D, like the first Clay Fighter from SNES? Why does everything look blocky, colorless and blurry? I couldn’t tell you the answer to those questions, but I can tell you this: “The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian” is one of the ugliest games on the DS and in this particular case, that is simply inexcusable.

Music and sound effects all sound okay, but even on this front, the game screams “Generic”. Sure, the music is just as epic as the tracks found in the movie, but how about the sounds of swords slashing or arrows flying through the air? None of that stuff sounds very good, even if it’s passable. It may not seem like a big deal, but when everything else is wrong with the game, this is just the tip of the iceberg  Not only is the game hard on the eyes, but it sounds like every other action game ever made for the GBA/DS.

So if the game is ugly and it doesn’t even really sound good, is there anything positive to say about it? Well, the positive things all have some serious downsides. The game play is very simple. You run around fighting people in RPG-style battles, but to attack, you need to perform an action with the stylus. The action depends on the character’s weapon, but they’re all very basic. At first, this all feels really awesome, but after playing for more than 15 minutes, it just gets annoying. I very quickly found myself wishing for a simple “point and click” menu setup like those found in most classic RPGs. Combat is also in pseudo-real-time. Characters can perform actions whenever they want, but you have to wait for their stamina to refill before they can attack again. This gives a sort of speed gauge effect, like those found in many old RPGs (such as the famous Final Fantasy 6). Aside from that, you’ll collect a bunch of random items, upgrade your characters and fight a bunch of lame bosses. This is nothing but a very repetitious, unintuitive, dull title that simply isn’t worthy of “The Chronicles Of Narnia” or Disney brand. I don’t understand what happened here, but I hope that the other gaming platforms have much better iterations of this game.

Pros:
-The combat is really fun for 15 minutes.
-Lots of characters to obtain and control.

Cons:
-Generic sound quality.
-Absolutely horrific graphics.
-Not innovative at all.
-Boss fights aren’t much harder or different from normal fights.
-Story is told without any sort of flavor at all.

Bottom Line:
Unless you’re a seriously 100% obsessive die-hard Narnia fan, don’t even consider purchasing this game. If you really want to torture yourself, rent it or borrow it from another pour soul who actually wasted the cash to buy the game.

Overall Rating: 3.00

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