Review: Beastly (Nintendo Wii)

Beastly
Publisher: Storm City Games
Developer: Visual Impact Productions
Genre: Meandering Simulation
Release Date: 2/22/2011

Let’s Review

When I was given the opportunity to review a game about the Beast, I was ecstatic! The Beast is one of the ten greatest Marvel Comics characters of all time.

Probably right below the Thing and right above Hawkeye.

The Beast is so awesome he makes Wonder Man awesome through osmosis.

Can you imagine being that awesome? He’s like a bigger, harrier Spock that loves to party!

Alas, our vampire overlord tricked me. This game has nothing to do with Hank McCoy. It is instead a video game spin-off of the movie version of an adaptation of a book based off of a classic fairy tale where a pretty girl wants to have sexual intercourse with a big furry monster.

Don’t worry though; he’s not furry in this version.

The movie Beastly stars Number 4, that girl from High School Musical, one of them there Olsens, and NPH. The game Beastly stars tedium, N64 era graphics and unmitigated pain.

1. Story

Beastly is an update of the classic tale of “Beauty in the Beast” set in modern Day New York and centered around high schoolers. The game lets you play as an ancillary character in the story, one whose insignificance is so vast that he or she is not given a name.

(You choose the character gender, but it doesn’t seem to affect things.)

Long, painfully dull story short, the character you control becomes facebook friends with the movie’s principal cast and cyber stalks them. Your actions in this game vary from completely unimportant to the story to the entirely illogical.

Truth be told, I’ve never encountered anything quite like this game. It’s as though the spirit of LJN has traveled through time and possessed the makers of Beastly in an effort to make the worst movie tie-in video game of all time.

Seriously, the core of this game goes as follows:
1. Walk over there.
2. Keep walking over there; it is far.
3. Talk Listen to a Character that was actually in the movie.
4. Walk someplace else.
5. Stand in a certain spot and do nothing.
6. Stand in a different spot and do nothing.
7. Play a horrifyingly stupid mini-game.
8. Watch a clip from the movie.
9. Unlock a still from the movie.
10. Stand someplace else.
11. Unlock another still from the movie.
12. Repeat until the end of time.

The game is completely linear, telling you exactly where to walk and what to do at all times. There is no freedom what-so-ever and nothing interesting to do were you granted that freedom. Beastly forces you to play and beat each mini-game in order to progress, even if it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Why do I have to play a poor man’s, d-pad button pushing version of Dance, Dance, Revolution in order for stuff to happen to other characters? Really? My character doesn’t even seem to have a name! I’m supposed to believe that a witch won’t turn another dude into a monster because I can’t master a simplistic Bemani game? (I can, of course, because the game is stupid easy.)

My daughter watched me play this game. She told me to write in my review that this game is, “dumb and doesn’t make any sense.” She was particularly confused by this part where you break into a zoo.

(I don’t know why I have to break into a zoo, I’ve stopped asking questions at this point. )

It goes like this: The game then forces you down a path in the zoo and doesn’t let you continue until you go to a number of different animal habitats and read facts about the animals. The game tells you such important things like, “Unlike apes, monkeys have tail (sic.).” Then you are forced to try to go into a building despite the fact that a guard is right there.

You tell the guard, “It’s okay; I work here.” He responds by saying, prove to me that you work here: how thick is a rhino’s skin? How many species of monkeys are there?

Seriously, game?

The bulk of the story is that you are a complete milksop who is bossed around by casual acquaintances while a version of Beauty and the Beast is happening to people you kind of know. It’s like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead without any of the good.

2. Graphics

The video clips from the movie look nice. The CBS Logo that is in the games opening is not without its charms.

Everything else in this game is ugly.

Beyond bowling shoe ugly.

Even for a Wii budget title, this game is ugly. It is blocky, it has invisible walls, the perspective is bad, and the scale is way off.

Seriously folks, desks in this game come up to your character’s neck.

The chairs attached to the desks look like they were designed for the Rephaim.

It is bad.

It is a bad, stupid and ugly game.

I do not like this bad, stupid and ugly game.

3. Sound

Well, the music doesn’t want to make me kill myself. So there’s that. It is not interesting or catchy or good or anything.

(Of course, uninteresting music can be a problem when you are forced to play a bad DDR ripoff.)

The biggest problem here, though, is that the audio of the movie clips is way, way, way, way quieter than the rest of the game. In order to hear the details of the plot, which my character has very little to do with, I had to grab the TV remote and blast the TV. Then, as soon as the clip is over, the background music is BLARING!

Did anybody actually play this thing before they started throwing discs in boxes? Is checking the audio levels really that difficult?

4. Control and Gameplay

Wow. . . Uh. . . . Wow guys. A good chunk of this game is spent walking. You walk by pointing the
Wiimote at a spot on the screen and holding B until your character get there. Occasionally you have to press A to listen to another character, or take a picture.

That description fully explains everything that goes on in the main part of the game.

A thrill a minute, eh?

Seriously, you spend most of your time meandering around, and they can’t even figure out a decent control scheme for WALKING!

There is a part in this game where you are at a night club. You are told to go into the night club. You amble all the way to the front of the night club. The bouncer says to wait in line, so you saunter to the back of the line. Then you wait.

Then you wait again.

Then you wait some more.

Then you get tired of waiting and try to get into the night club again.

You finish this part of the game without actually getting into the night club.

It’s as though Beastly is inspired by that part of Super Paper Mario where you have to run in the hamster wheel for god knows how long. It thrives on the mundane. But why stop there? Perhaps I could fold this character’s laundry or trim his fingernails?

Did I mention yet how bad the minigames are? The first one you play is basically a shooting gallery, and has the worst controls this side of Calvin Tucker”Ëœs Redneck Jamboree. You are at a school election rally, wherein various students are holding signs with Kyle’s, one of the candidates, faces on them. Some of the faces have eye patches or mustaches on them. You’ve got to click on the defaced ones with a tiny hand and not click on the normal ones. Somehow this makes the crowd support Kyle, and you win by achieving a certain level of crowd support.

This is one of the minigames that makes a little bit of sense.

Right after that, there is a “sort of” minigame where you have to ask people to go on the class trip to Machu Picchu.

No, really.

Later, there is mini-game where you have to click on rose illustrations when they are the right size in order to cast a spell on Kyle to turn him into the beast. You play this game after dancing in a night club at a party for Kyle. It comes out of nowhere and raises the question of, “Why is my character cursing Kyle?” We’ve done nothing but help Kyle the entire game up to that point. We’ve met the witch that is supposed to curse him. The player controlled character spends half the rest of the game trying to figure out what happened Kyle. Dude! We just cursed Kyle, and saw him become a beast!

Some time after that our character. . . Hold up. I’m tired of this. The unnamed protagonist of Beastly is now called Chester. I don’t care if you pick the boy or the girl. He/she is Chester. Screw all that.

Chester.

So, some time after cursing Kyle, Chester is trying to figure out what happened to Kyle. Chester, being a completely useless twat asks somebody what to do. She tells him to check his locker for clues. Naturally, Kyle’s locker is on the other side of the school, so we have to walk to it.

Upon reaching the locker, some random character tells Chester, “Hey, that is not your locker.” Chester, being a complete milksop, is forced to walk all the way back to the other side of the school and ask the girl what to do now. The girl tells him to kiss off.

So, Chester decides to pull the fire alarm. Pulling the fire alarm turns all the students instantly invisible. Then Chester has to walk all the way back to Kyle’s locker. Upon reaching it, he realizes that he doesn’t know the combination to the locker. Actually, Chester doesn’t even know which locker belongs to Kyle.

This leads us to a minigame wherein we are forced to unlock six lockers with three digit combinations. You start by seeing all the lockers. You click on one, and are taken to a screen with the lock. Rather than input the combinations in a way that makes sense, the numbers are spinning at all times. You have to press A to stop the first number. If you stop on the wrong number, you are kicked back to the locker screen. If you get the right number, you press A to stop the second number from spinning. Get it wrong, and you are kicked back to the locker screen and have to start from the first number again. Get it right, and you press A to stop the third number from spinning. Get that number wrong and you get kicked back to the locker screen, and you have to start all over again.

Talking about this game is hurting my stomach.

Later on in the game you go on a trip to Machu Picchu, wherein you walk around Machu Picchu and then answer questions about it.

There is also the world’s worst motorcycle riding minigame. Honestly, handheld Tiger games put this thing to shame. It made want to throw Beastly out the nearest window and boot up Mach Rider. You ride down a straight as an arrow street that is absolutely maggoty with road cones and potholes. Sadly, you could not cause a horrific accident and have Chester spend the rest of the game in a coma.

Yet, I prefer the motorcycle minigame better than the “Spot The Difference” minigame, a game which is all about MACHU freakin’ PICCHU!

To sum things up, the gameplay is universally terrible and the controls are all sloppy.

5. Replayability

Ha, ha. . . No.

6. Balance

Beastly is a collection of loosely related, poorly made and uninspired mini-games. While its routine tasks of “walk over there where that arrow is telling you to go” can’t possibly provide any challenge to anyone at any time, some of the minigames can be frustrating. It took me an embarrassing long time to figure out how to open the lockers in that combination game, and even longer to figure out the timing of the spinning numbers. There is a dart based minigame that is particularly obnoxious. The timed spot-the-difference minigame has us comparing a line drawing style picture to a photograph like picture and proved to be irritating as all get out.

Basically, this game has the balance of a drunken amputee that just got off the dizzy dummies on “Wipeout”.

7. Originality

None. This game is about as original as masturbating in the shower.

8. Addictiveness

HA!

9. Appeal Factor

I guess if you really loved the movie and wanted to watch video clips from it and look at stills. . . No. You can just go on the internet and look at that stuff, and read some poorly written (natch) fanfic. This game shouldn’t be played by human beings.

10. Miscellaneous

Beastly won’t let you have multiple save files. If you are playing as a boy and want to start a new game as a girl – you can’t. Not without killing off your original Chester.

You can’t manually save at all. It only autosaves.

The game refers to a flashlight as a torchlight despite taking place in America!

The game makes you answer questions about how much a rhino weighs and when Machu Picchu was built.

The game can’t figure out a decent mechanic for walking.

One of the minigames in Beastly has Chester take photographs. I don’t know why. We never see them or use them later. You take photographs by standing in a predetermined spot at pressing A. It does not matter which direction you are facing. I hope it appreciates all these nice photos of blank walls.

Sometimes the movie clips have nothing to do with what is going on in the game. Other times it appears to be a blatant contradiction to what the game is showing.

Please don’t buy this game.

I almost didn’t survive this experience. I tried to lie back and think of England, but it didn’t work. So, I spent most of the time playing it thinking about the movie Action Jackson. After a spell, I realized that there needed to be a buddy cop movie that starred Action Jackson teaming up with Robocop where they fight Axel Foley’s evil twin brother, Maxel Foley.

In conclusion, I call the movie Detroit’s Big Three.

(I’m not going to let Storm City near the video game tie-in.)

The Scores
Story: Awful
Graphics: Awful
Sound: Awful
Control and Gameplay: Awful
Replayability: Awful
Balance: Awful
Originality: Awful
Addictiveness: Awful
Appeal Factor: Awful
Miscellaneous: Awful
FINAL SCORE: AWFUL GAME

Short Attention Span Summary

This game is awful. It is boring. It’s ugly. It doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. You are playing a game about Beauty and The Beast wherein your character is neither Beauty nor the Beast nor the witch that curses the beast, nor Beauty’s father, nor even a close friend of one of these characters. This is like a Star Wars game where you play as Wedge Antilles’s mom and read postcards about fighting the Empire.

Crap, I gave Lucas an idea for a new Star Wars game.

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