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Lizzie McGuire 3: Homecoming Havoc Review

Developer: Climax Studios Publisher: Buena Vista Games
Release Date: August 16, 2005 Also On: None

The Wario Ware series of games has evidently received a fairly high measure of popularity, as is evidenced by the fact that Buena Vista has decided to release a game that follows much the same concept. Aimed at girls in both the chosen premise and the chosen license, Lizzie McGuire 3: Homecoming Havoc provides a game that is mildly entertaining for the brief length that it lasts.

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The graphics in this game are nice-looking if not the most detailed I’ve ever seen. They are based not at all on the live action that the series on which the game is based on uses, but rather on the element of the mind, the cartoony Lizzie that tells the viewers what she is thinking. This being the case, however, the cartoon look is probably just as appropriate for this game anyway and the graphics certainly never get in way of the gameplay of the game.

The sound likewise is competent. The music is somewhat catchy, although it does get repetitive over time, but the sound effects are a mixed bag. Some of them, such as the collective sigh when Lizzie loses a game, are done fairly well, but others are not so lucky in that regard. Overall, the sound is done about as well as could be expected for a game like this.

For those of you who are familiar with the Wario Ware formula, this game shouldn’t seem to be anything significantly out of the ordinary. Essentially, Lizzie wants to be the homecoming queen, so she has to win all of these mini-games in order to reach her goal. As premises this odd are becoming more normal with games such as Feel the Magic also following it, the premise cannot be insulted too badly.

Anyway, in order to become the homecoming queen, Lizzie has to progress through ten rounds of mini-games, each round containing ten mini-games and a dance competition. The mini-games are a mixed bag of the usual stuff: timed button tapping, rapid button tapping, maneuvering in environments, and other such things.

Most of these mini-games are simple and require little or no difficulty to win. Indeed, you will have the most trouble with the fact that the game never tells you which mini-game you will be playing. When you start playing in particular, you will lose more mini-games due to not identifying the particular game fast enough than you will due to an inability to win the games.

At the end of each of the ten rounds, there will be a dance competition. This is sort of the GBA version of DDR I guess. Arrows fly across the bottom of the screen and you have to press the corresponding direction when the arrow in a small box at the right of the screen. Overall, this isn’t too difficult either, and the game is forgiving for mistakes as well.

All this goes to say this: this game is entertaining. The problem isn’t with the fun factor of the game, but with the fact that after what will be no more than a couple hours, the experience will be finished and odds are you won’t be rushing to play through again. This means a very low value in terms of length and replay value. If you ever find this game in a $5 bargain bin, the short burst of entertainment it will give you (even if you’re a guy) is worth that much if you’re a Wario Ware fanatic. Otherwise, it’d probably be best to pass on this game.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 3
Final: 5
Written by Martin Review Guide