Spyborgs could become the year's Cinderella story for the Wii: A game of confused design and cluttered play completely revamped to become a sizzling Wii brawler.
But it needs more work.
What Is It?
Cartoon, mini-game sporting action Wii title, overhauled with a new grittier look and heavy brawling button-mashing. The game has a trio of cybernetically-enhanced super heroes brawling their way through 35 stages.
What We Saw
A sizable chunk of a single level, ending with the appearance of an over-sized boss.
How Far Along Is It?
The build we played is two to three weeks old and still in the pre-alpha stages. It's due out later this year.
What Needs Improvement?
Waggle: It's in there. They mostly avoided motion control in the game, sticking to good-old-fashioned button mashing, but when the motion rears its head, it's ugly. The on-screen symbols for what to do and when to do it are confusing and the timing sloppy and far too forgiving. These special attacks need much work.
Spy Vision: The game allows you to use the remote like a flashlight, shining it all over the screen looking for things to "pull" into the world with a flick and then, typically, destroy for stuff. Really not necessary. Lose it.
What Should Stay The Same?
Aesthetic: Mostly because I like that word. But also because the games new look is heaps better than the Saturday morning fare they were showing around last year. Now the look of the game matches its tongue-in-cheek, occasionally off-color humor.
Button Controls: Thumbstick to move. C button for one attack, B for another. A to jump, Z to block. It's all fairly simple when motion is left out of it. I think the Wii can stand a solid button-masher and I think it doesn't need a single motion control to do it.
Fun: The game isn't really trying to do anything complicated, just to do it well. What I played of the game, motion control frustration aside, was quite a bit of fun. I'd play this game. I'd buy this game.
Co-Op: The game's cooperative play is just what the Wii needs. Playing with a friend allows you to tag-team and string together attacks. Playing alone allows you to slip between the three characters seamlessly.
Spyborgs is a graphically impressive game. It also delivers on basic game play, so why much all of that up by forcing in some Wii controls that I can't imagine anyone really wants. If the game can either fix or ditch the motion and waggle, I'll be mostly sold on Spyborgs.