Review: The Fall (Nintendo Wii U)

the fall logoThe Fall
Developer: Over the Moon
Genre: Adventure/Action
Release Date: 8/26/2014

While it’s nice to have a game without a sequel number, subtitle or year attached, I think that naming your game something as simple as The Fall really just makes it hard to Google. A few people (and a popular season) have already used that name.

Anyways, the game opens in a bar in Amsterdam called Mexico City. . .
(No it doesn’t.)
The game is based on the 1981 Bulgarian film Yo Ho Ho. . .
Released in 2009 by Norah Jones, The Fall. . .

For Realsies
The Fall can be traced back to October of last year and a kickstarter campaign by Vancouver’s Over the Moon. They successfully raised more than twice their stated goal of $17,000 Canadian dollars, and thus the game is at least twice as good as they were trying for. That’s just science.

Unfortunately, the money was delivered to them exclusively in toonies, and a lot of that extra coin was spent on canvas bags with dollar signs on it.

Canadian Dollar signs.

They are just like American Dollar signs, but they smell like back bacon.

According to its website, The Fall features “(a)n excellent story – Set in a rich, atmospheric world, that explores interesting ideas surrounding rigidity and protocol.” Here is the excellent and interesting story in a nutshell. You play as an Iron Man suit who crash lands in a space cave. The Tony Stark inside of you is injured, you guess, because he isn’t moving you around. You try to get him help.

Wait a second. Crash-landing on a strange planet, guy in charge is injured and his underling goes on a mission of self-discovery in order to rescue them. . . That’s the same plot as After Earth except that your character is basically an emotionless robot. Oh. . .

Well. . .

In The Fall, this is on purpose.

Anyways, your suit is named ARID, which is my seventh favorite brand of deodorant. She is a lady robot suit even though her pilot is a dude. In true Metroid style, half of the stuff the suit can do is turned off for. . . REASONS. .. and by the end of the game you will have turned on some of it back on.

Not-Samus eventually she comes across an Aliens– like abandoned space building crawling with metroids space slugs. While there, she encounters a likable world controlling mainframe that kind of sounds like Patton Oswalt. Patton Oswalt decides that the lady robot suit must act like a domestic servant in order to get to a different part of the building with medical personnel. Strangely, the game doesn’t devolve into some sort of fetish-based adventure despite edging towards ASFR, BDSM, and maid territory half an hour into it. (Maybe this was based on a Fifty Shades of Grey style RAGS game based on that time when Iron Man’s armor gained sentience due to Y2K. More research is required.)

Most of the gameplay of The Fall is adventure style, wherein you pick up everything and rub everything on everything else until something happens. If you haven’t played a bunch of adventure games, you might get stuck pretty easily because you didn’t think to use a shoe cover on a sensor bar to keep it from sensing dust. As usual with these sorts of games, I would have liked to see some sort of negative consequences to using the wrong items together, and it would be nice if there were more than one solution to any of the puzzles.

In addition there are some platforming elements. . . well, really there is only one jump that is even slightly difficult to make. . .

In addition, there are some shooting elements. Nothing particularly troubling, you shoot at evil robots when they aren’t shooting at you. You hide from them if they are. The button to cloak or go for cover works most of the time, but isn’t terribly reliable. If you are in a spot where you could either cloak or duck behind cover, it often decides to do neither.

So, after you kill a bunch of robots and commit slugicide for nebulous reasons, you fight the Head Robot in Charge, not Patton Oswalt, some other robot called the Caretaker.

At least that is what is supposed to happen. For me, the game freezes and crashes my Wii U the floor below the boss battle. That’s what happened the first five times I tried, anyway. Youtube tells me that is basically the end of the game, apart from not-so-shocking reveal and self-discovery.

All in all, the game is a likable robot coming-of-age tale that thinks it is way cleverer than it actually is. It is the first part of an announced trilogy, which gives the game a convenient excuse to only tell one third of a story. The graphics are charming and consistent, though occasionally a bit murky. (The facility can power 100 robots but not 100 watt lightbulbs?) The voice acting is quite well done and significantly less robotic than a lot of video games I’ve played. The controls are straight-forward with only a few problems.

Essentially, it is a very nice, but short, Sega Genesis game with better voice acting than those lovable black cartridges would allow. I’d recommend it to adventure game lovers looking for a throwback, but unfortunately I cannot recommend a game that crashes.

Short Attention Span Summary
The Fall comes across as a labor of love in what is often a cynical video game industry. Unfortunately, the standard adventure game trappings and Wii U crashing freezes prevent me from recommending it. I’d wait to try it until all three games are released and packaged together.



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2 responses to “Review: The Fall (Nintendo Wii U)”

  1. TheRequiem95 Avatar

    Damn, I’m trying to decide between this game and “Ittle Dew,” and I’m finding that both games have annoying bugs that need to be patched. Ergh!

    I’ve read elsewhere that the crashing issue in “The Fall” only occur if you are running it from external storage, and not if it’s running from the internal Wii U memory. Anyone else have experience with this?

    1. Michael Kennedy Avatar
      Michael Kennedy

      I don’t even have external storage for the Wii U.

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